Monday, October 25, 2021

Kayaking for Beginners: 5 Important Things

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Monisha Chetia
| Free | Raw | Rebel |

First thing First, Kayaking and Canoeing both watersports go hand in hand but, they do have their differences. Read Canoe Vs Kayak: 6 Interesting Differences.

Kayaking is an easier option for people who want to try water sports for the first time. It does not cost much and is a good exercise for your upper body too. You can paddle down peacefully in a slow river or can get a massive adrenaline rush in whitewater!

But, before unloading your kayaking adventures, learn here the basic idea of kayaking for beginners and the kayaking gears you need to carry.

1. Why choose Kayaking?

kayaking for beginners
By Kelsey Dody/Unsplash.Copyright 2021.

Kayaking is a widely accepted watersport and is most probably available on every riverfront, seashore, or lakeside. A kayaking trip could bring the best out of your mental and physical health.

  • Entry Ticket to Watersports

If you want to get into the world of watersports then, kayaking is the best style to start. It is not difficult, and you can control your kayak easily whenever you are onboard. You could pace up your kayak anytime or anywhere after learning the basic skills.

  • A Perfect Option for Alone Time

Kayaking is the best way to utilize your lone time too. If you love to enjoy your recreations alone, you must go kayaking. Sit on it and paddle through calm lakes; the feeling is unreal! Want to take up courses in kayaking for beginners? Start today.

  • Budget and Time friendly

Compared to other sky-high priced watersports, kayaking is very much affordable. You need not worry about buying your sports gear as shops often rent those tools at a minimal rate. But, you need to take care of your life jacket, make sure it fits your body.

See? Isn’t the lessons on kayaking for beginners easier to grab?

2. Some Basic Kayaking Terminology

As beginner kayakers, you need to get familiar with some basic terms related to kayaking. Every guidebook of kayaking for beginners level advocates learning the terms before practical exposure.

  • Kayak paddle: Unlike canoeing, ‘kayak paddle’ comes up with two blades.
  • Paddle blade: The broad part at the end of a paddle is called ‘Paddle blades’.
  • Spray skirt: ‘Spray skirt’ keeps most of the water out of the cockpit.
  • Bow: The forward end of the kayak is known as a ‘Bow’.
  • Paddle shaft: The long and skinny part of the kayak paddle is called the ‘Paddle shaft’.
  • Stern, Cockpit: The rear end of a kayak is called ‘Stern’ whereas, the central compartment where the paddler sits is known as ‘Cockpit’.
  • PDF: ‘Personal Flotation Device’ in the form of life jackets or life vests must be approved by the Coast Guard.

3. How to Start with Kayaking?

In this section, we’ll be talking about some basic things that need to be taken care of in kayaking for beginners’ lessons.

Choosing the Right Kayak

In the world of watersports, there are different types of kayaks. But, choosing the right kind of kayak can be very intimidating. There are numerous designs of kayaks available in the market. They come in different body sizes.

Some have a longer hull while some have shorter ones, and some are inflatable too. The designs and sizes of kayaks differ depending on the type of watercourse as well.

But you need to consider your body shape before taking your kayak on rent. It must fit you while you sit inside it.

  • ‘Sit in Kayak’ and ‘Sit on Kayak’ 

You could easily find some ‘Sit in Kayaks’ where you need to sit inside kayaks. In ‘Sit in Kayaks’, a spray skirt is attached that stops the water from filling in over the top. This type of kayak is suitable to use amidst cold water.

There is another type of kayak known as ‘Sit on Kayak/Sit on Top Kayak’. On this, you have to sit on the top of the kayak. It does the opposite to ‘Sit in Kayaks’.

While kayaking ‘Sit on Kayak’, you are going to get wet for sure. They are appropriate to use in warmer water. While sailing ‘Sit on top Kayaks’, you can get back to your kayaks more easily from the water level than the other type.

  • Single Kayak

Single Kayaks are fit for kayakers who love to paddle alone. They are also a good choice for beginner kayakers. Single kayaks are very lightweight and are quicker on the water.

  • Recreational Kayak

‘Recreational Kayaks’ often come with a wider hull (body size). It helps the kayak to be stable and easier to steer. You can get some space to store your essentials in this type of kayak. But, recreational kayaks are best suited for lakes, flatwater streams where wind and waves are unlikely to hit.

  • Tandem Kayak

kayaking for beginners
By David Boca/Unsplash.Copyright 2021.

If you want to kayak with your partner, then ‘Tandem Kayaks’ are the best for you. Commonly, kayaking is a solo sport but, ‘Tandem Kayaks’ are designed to fit two or more people. This type of kayak is also suitable for less experienced kayakers to learn kayaking with a guide and want a paddle buddy.

  • Touring Kayak

‘Touring Kayaks’ are designed to cover long trips and are made of lightweight materials. As long-distance traveling is more likely to be affected by winds or tidal movements, ‘Touring Kayaks’ are often fitted with a rudder or skeg to aid the steering. They also come up with internal bulkheads allowing more internal storage than the rest.

  • Whitewater Kayak

‘Whitewater Kayaking’ is advisable to navigate in a fast-flowing watercourse. They come with a shorter hull and can be steered quickly in rocky courses. You shouldn’t go for ‘Whitewater Kayaking’ if you are kayaking for the first time.

These kayaks are not for kayaking for beginners. They are best suited for intermediate or advance levels of kayaking and rough water.

4. Kayaking Tips for Beginners

  • How To take Kayaks To The Water?

Before boarding into your kayak, keep your kayak ready in shallow water where you can safely step in, and the kayak won’t drift away. Keep your weight low, step into it with your left foot and then the right one.

You need to keep your weight over the ground where there is the most support. Once you are in, you can quickly move your legs down inside the kayak. Now, you are good to release your kayak and start paddling.

  • How To Paddle Kayaks In The Water?

You need to adjust your footpegs or foot-braces to paddle your kayak comfortably while you ‘sit inside kayak’. In your first time kayaking, you will get to learn the paddle strokes. There are basic strokes like ‘forward stroke’, ‘sweep strokes’, ‘reverse/draw stroke’ to move your kayak upfront and back.

  • How to take Kayaks out of the Water?

Before pulling out your kayak from the water, you need to pump the water out of your kayak as a floating kayak is easier to pull to the ground. Pull your kayak to its lowest point of the water and put all of your weight onto the dock. Hurray, you have done it!

5. Checklist for Kayaking Beginners

  • Wear waterproof, Wind resistance, and Warm

Choose your clothing after checking the weather conditions and water temperature, not the air temperature. You must take a note of it and keep it on the checklist of kayaking for beginners’ lessons. You need to bring your water, wind resistance clothing perhaps an extra layer to keep you warm around icy cold water.

  • Wear a PDF (Personal Floatation Device)

Be it your first kayaking excursion or second, you must wear life jackets or a life vest approved by coastal guides. A personal floatation device is the most essential kayaking gear to carry.

  • Check Paddlefloats

Another essential gear for kayaking is the Paddlefloats. The blow-up cushions fit around one end of the paddle and help you to get back into your kayak without outside assistance.

  • Check Sprayskirt

You need to sit properly in a kayak and wear a sprayskirt before wearing a PDF. Sprayskirt keeps your lower body safe and sound from water coming over the kayak.

  • Check Bilge Pump

Keeping a bilge pump ready with your kayak is very much essential. Most kayaks drown because of waterlogging. You need to constantly pump the water out of your kayak so that it becomes floatable enough to paddle.

  • Keep a Dry Bag

You need to check the weight capacity of your kayak before unloading it in water. Try to keep a few items in a dry bag. If you are planning to kayak for an overnight or a day, take your belongings in a dry bag and pack them tight.

kayaking for beginners
By Imani/Unsplash.Copyright 2021.

Kayaking needs no extra effort. You just need to believe in yourself and learn the basic skills. Be it flat water, rough water, or calm waters, Kayaking has been one of the most sustainable water sports the world has seen.

So, why wait? Book your slot in kayaking for beginners, learn from your guide and sail away without any worry.

To know more about kayaking Skills, read Demonstrate Simple Kayaking Skills.

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