9 Essential Kayaking Tips for First-Time Paddlers

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If you have a love for water sport activities, then Kayaking is one of the most adventurous water sports that you can ever experience. It is one of those activities which are more fun and relaxing in its own way. It involves great excitement and thrill. Kayaking is a water sport activity which involves kayak for moving across the water, it is different from the rest of the water sports activities since it involves a great amount of maneuvering and skills. To adopt a new sport activity can sometimes a challenge and most importantly when it is related to water. If you are going to do Kayaking for the first time, it can either leave you with an experience of a lifetime or can make you feel like a fish out of the water. It totally depends on you, how you perceive this sport activity.

kayak for first timers

Here, we provide you with an explanation of a few tips and guidance before you get into the water with your Kayak. As a beginner, you might need to know or understand the basic techniques of kayaking. You may also like to consult a trainer or might even want to join some classes for it. Well, the comfort is in your hands and you are the best judge of it. There are various types of style in which you can do kayaking, these are done all over the world, some of them are sit on top, Cockpit style, Spray skirt, Inflatables, Tandems, etc. Therefore, here we guide you with various procedures and techniques that you must know before you go for Kayaking.

Choose the Best Kayaks for Beginners Here

Tips for Your First Time Kayaking

1. Make up your mind

The first and most important part of this activity is to make up your mind to row or paddle your kayak on the water. It requires great maneuvering and skill. There is a need of getting adjusted to the water and its momentum, otherwise you may topple off. For the beginners, it becomes very difficult to maintain that balance on the Kayak. It needs a little practice, but once you get used to this, it becomes quite easy to tackle the boat and yourself on the water.

2. Right attire

You must be careful of what you are going to wear, while you are going for Kayaking. No matter if the water is cold or warm, you must dress accordingly. Footwear must also be accurate, nothing slippery is recommended for such an activity. There are specific dresses that are made for Kayaking sport activity. A proper swimsuit is a must with enough protection. The outfit should not be too heavy in weight that it increases your overall weight. It should be a perfect fit and comfortable.

3. To Understand the water body

As a beginner, you must understand how the water is reacting. You must learn proper hand signals and right gestures that are required for the kayakers to learn and understand. This helps to communicate while you are kayaking. The water can be noisy and confusing, that is why you must learn the techniques to communicate while you are kayaking. Since you are a beginner, you must prefer to do Kayaking in a group.

4. Choose the right Kayak

While purchasing a kayak, you'll want to consider a few things which are most important such as where will you be using it, whether you can use it for longer duration or just for a day, how well is the storage capacity of that kayak, how durable is it, what kind of material is it made up of, how light it is, these are the various questions that would come to your mind while purchasing a Kayak. Hence be careful before you buy one. Do consult an expert, who would help you pick the right kayak for you. These kayaks are available in the open market or on Amazon website as well. The kayak that you choose should be highly stable and most durable. A good kayak should offer you peace of mind and ease of travel. They should be built with a highly stable material because many a times while beginners would like to try new things on it and hence you need a strong base as well. Make the best purchase and enjoy its lifetime experience.

5. Training

Sometimes, since you are new at this, you may require a lesson or two to get the complete hang of kayaking. Initially, it might not be something that you like, but once you get the hang of it, you will love it. A proper trainer will help you to explain all the important techniques of kayaking that are required to know. It is nothing very difficult; all you need to do is, to get adjusted to the water and its momentum. It’s always better to take some lessons; it helps to build up your confidence as well.

kayaking for beginners

While you kayaking:

1. Lifejacket

Whether you are new to this or have been doing kayaking for years, wearing a buoyancy aid is a must. It is a life jacket that allows comfortable movement around the arms and towards your neck. Water body can be very unpredictable; you never know when you get into a major trouble when you are in the water. This life jacket will help you save your life by letting you float on the water surface. It is indeed most important thing that you must wear while kayaking.

2. Proper posture

While you start kayaking in the water, make sure you are sitting properly and accurately on the kayak. Your Kayak might have good and comfortable back rest, but do not slouch on it. It is always better that you sit straight on the kayak. Make sure you are not tilting towards one end. The most important part of kayaking is to maintain balance of Kayak while you are on it. Rest your foot on the foot pegs that are available on each side of your kayak. Your heels should be in the center and knees should be bent upwards. Toes should always point outwards. Your posture should be accurate while you are kayaking.

3. Hold the paddle correctly

This is something that each and everyone would know, but a lot of times people hold their paddle in the wrong way, which might cause problems while kayaking. Make sure you hold the paddles over the shoulder distance and with both hands. It should be held just above the shoulder. The concave part of the paddle should always face towards you. The paddle should sweep through the water easily. The knuckles must be in the line with the blade.

4. Rescue

When you have just started how to do Kayaking, must know that there will be times when you might have to face difficult situations. To tackle the kayak on the water is quite a task; you must learn the correct procedure on how to rescue yourself and others. Take a lesson or two to learn proper techniques of rescuing yourself in any kind of emergency or trouble. You should always help others as well. This part is the most crucial one while you are kayaking. If you don’t know how to rescue yourself or others in case of emergency, then your life can be in danger. The water body is something that cannot be predicted. You may not understand the momentum of the water and might land up in some problem. Therefore, rescue procedure should be learnt carefully and correctly.

5. Waterproof storage

Your kayak must always have a waterproof storage. In this you can keep your expensive things. This storage should be kept locked the minute you are on the water surface. This will help you keep extra stuff which is important in it. It can be treated as a safety box as well. You may keep first aid for kayak or a duct tape in this as well.

6. Physical Maps

While you go on kayaking, make sure you have physical maps ready. These maps will help you to indicate the direction that you must go while kayaking. It helps to find a way while you are kayaking. There can be times when everything looks alike; this map will help you reach the shore. This is something that can help you come back from where you started. These maps should be laminated, so that water doesn’t spoil it.

7. Duct Tape

Duct tape is used in case of emergency. While kayaking there can be times, when the kayak might suffer minor cracks or punctures. Duct tape can help you cover those damages without any worry. A good kayak would generally not have such issues, but it is always better to be prepared for any kind of a bad situation.

8. Stay Alert

While you on the water surface make sure you stay alert on the kayak. As a beginner, you must always stay alert while you are kayaking. One mistake or negligence and you will be floating in water. Never take things for granted. No matter how experienced you are, you may still make mistakes while you row a kayak. Therefore, make sure all your senses are in place because whatever said and done, you are playing with water and its force.

9. Movement of water

Make sure you understand the momentum of the water rightfully. The water may look calm, but can change its momentum at any time. Make sure you understand the water while you are kayaking. If you feel that the force required to move ahead is more than your strength, then don’t take any risk and return back to the base. This will help you to save yourself from any kind of bad experience.

10. Communication in case emergency

You must learn proper hand signals and right gestures that are required for the kayakers to learn and understand. This helps to communicate while you are kayaking. As a beginner it is better that you go in a group so that you can at least communicate your issues or distress to others through signals in case of an emergency. Make sure you learn this correctly because communication is important while you are kayaking. Do not forget to send signals to your fellow kayakers in case of any problem.

After you finishing kayaking

1. Stretch out

Since it has been hours that you have been tackling the water, sitting up straight, you must make sure you stretch and feel comfortable. Adjust your body back to normal and make sure you don’t get cramps later. Take a little rest before you go back.

2. Check your kayak

Once you are done kayaking, make sure you check everything that you were carrying with you. You must check your kayak, if there is any kind of damage that has occurred in the kayak, then you must immediately take it for repair. You must also check the waterproof storage box and take out all the things from it and let it dry from inside as well.

Conclusion

As we all know that kayaking is a water sport activity which involves kayak that moves across the water, it is different from the rest of the water sports activities since it involves a great amount of maneuvering and skills. A life jacket should be worn and helmet is also required while doing this activity, it could be done on various types of water bodies. There are various types of style in which you can do kayaking that are done all over the world, some of them are sit on top, Cockpit style, Spray skirt, Inflatables, Tandems, etc. It would clearly, not be recommended for the people who fear water and water related activities, but if you are one of those who would love to explore and have a zeal to enjoy the thrill then it is the most correct sport for you.

For beginners kayaking is a tough water sport activity. Therefore, an accurate guidance is required for such people. It is indeed an amazing adventure that will give you a lifelong experience. It is something that you would like to keep doing and be master of it. Make sure that your approach and methods are correct.

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