Kayaking, in a way, can be one of the best outdoor sporting activities you could get yourself into today. It will not only make you fit, but is also one of the best way to spend time with family or even friends during your free time. If it is something you have been thinking of getting into today, here are top kayaking beginners’ tips to make you a better kayaker.
- BUY OR RENT A KAYAK?
If you are getting started, you really don’t have to take things a little bit serious; it will make a lot of sense if you can start by renting. Once you have developed the necessary skills you can now buy your own kayak.
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT KAYAK
A kayak forms an integral part of your kayaking experience and you might also want to make sure you invest in the right kayak. Ideally, when you are sieving through that long list of designs and styles, a number of things will come into play. For example, where you will be using it, storage capacity of that kayak and also how durable is it will come into play.
Normally, a great kayak should in way give you peace of mind and also ease of travel. For example, the choice you make must be highly stable. This is important for when you are starting out you need a strong base. Durability of the kayak is also important and must be considered as well. As a beginner, you are likely to suffer a few accidents and you need a design that can withstand any abuse.
- KNOW TO PADDLE THE RIGGT WAY
Paddling, also, forms an integral part of the whole kayaking adventure. It is one thing you might want to learn how to do it properly before your first trip on a kayak. Here you want to have a proper feel of your paddle and how to stroke before you hit the actual waters. One of the best things about this is that you can practice it right at the comfort of your home. Take your broom and imagine yourself paddling from one side to the other. Through that, you will learn how to do it right.
- INVEST ON THE BEST LIFEJACKET
Whether you are a beginner or you have been doing kayaking for years, wearing this great safety gear is not negotiable. Even if you know how to swim, water can get really unpredictable and this great safety jacket will help you get out of any trouble should your find yourselves in and your swimming skills can’t even help you. A lifejacket must be worn throughout the journey. If you are going to go kayaking with your dog, also make sure you a get a proper dog lifejacket.
- BRING ALONG WATER PROFF STORAGE CASE AND DRY BAG
If you don’t have a decent case and you know you are going to go with your smartphone, you need to put some money on the best waterproof case in the market. There is nothing more frustrating than returning from that awesome trip from the lake or river only to find your phone completely damaged because of water. While you can get those press and seal storage containers for your wallet or even food, from your electronic devices and also clothes, we suggest you get a sturdier bag.
- KNOW SOME OF THE BEST SAFETY PRACTICES BEFORE YOU SET OUT
Even as you enjoy those best moments of your life in the river or lake, staying safe is paramount. For this very reason, it is important you learn some of the best safety practices before going out with your kayak. Some of the things you might want to learn are how to act in case of an accident.
For example; if your kayak flips because of fast-moving water that can really put your life in great danger. So what should you do in case of such a scenario? Ideally, you just have to have a solution to every possibly accident. In other cases, if you are going to travel with your kids and dogs, it is also important they also remain safe all through the journey.
- CHECK THE WEATHER BEFORE YOU GO
Weather is one thing that can make or even break the entire kayaking experience. For example, if the weather is sunny and not very windy, that can give you one of the best kayaking experience ever. On the other hand, if the weather is rainy and stormy, that could get really ugly and you are advised to avoid fast-moving rivers or even lakes. Ideally, before you set out, take a quick look at the weather forecast of that particular area you are planning on visiting before. If there is a chance of a storm and windy weather, it will be much better if you call off the trip. Additionally, it also takes time to check for heavy rains; that is a day or even two prior as that will make for more rough and turbulent waters too.
- PROPER POSTURE
When starting out, you need to learn proper posture. Ideally, when you are in the kayak, you need to sit properly and accurately. Most kayaks often come with a very comfortable backrest, but you are advised not to slouch on it. Sitting straight on the kayak comes highly recommended
In other cases, ensure you are not tilting towards one end. One of the best things you could do it to maintain that perfect balance of your kayak while you are on it. Additionally, take your foot on the footpegs located on each side of the kayak. Additionally, your heel must be in the center and your knees should be slightly bent upwards.
- TRANSPORTING YOUR KAYAK
If you know you will be doing kayaking for a really long time, obviously, we know you have also invested in a decent kayak. Now, how are you going to transport it? You need to invest in the best roof rack for a kayak to allow you transport your kayak on top of your vehicle. However, when it comes to the roof rack for your kayak, you need to be careful with the choice you make here.
There are tons of designs in the market and we know singling out the best is not going to be a walk in the park. Some of the things you might want to be on the lookout for are as follows: First, you need a rack that can fit every type of vehicle. Second, the rack should be sturdy and able to last for a considerable length of time. Lastly, it should be really easy and safe to load and unload your boat.
ON YOUR KAYAK
- MOVEMENT OF WATER
Before you take your first trip on your kayak, ensure you have an idea and you really understand the movement of the water. Normally, the water might look so calm but can change its movement at a twinkle of an eye. So for the best and safe experience, make sure you know about water while you are kayaking. For example, if at some point you find the force needed to move ahead is more than your strength, you don’t need not risk your life. Cut the trip short and return to the shore. That will actually save you from some of the bad experiences in the sea or river.
- COMMUNICATION IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY
It is for a fact, things can get really nasty while you are out there, and for that reason, how to communicate with other people is paramount. So before you hit the water, take your time and learn proper hand signals or even the right gestures kayakers often use to communicate. When it comes to this, it will just make a lot of sense if you can go as a group during those first trips and learn how to use these gestures to communicate.
- STAY ALERT ALL THROUGH
Things can change in a twinkle of an eye and for that reason, you need to be alert all the time. Sea animals or even rock can just pop out of nowhere and if you don’t see them coming, that could get you in some serious trouble. Although most people often love listening to their favorite tunes when there are on the water, there is no time for that.
- INVEST ON A SET OF BINOCULARS AND CAMERA
There is no other better way to enjoy those breathtaking sceneries and watch nature than on the seat of your kayak. For this reason, you need to put some money on the best binocular to enhance every look. However, for this device, you need to make sure it is light and also durable. It doesn’t even stop there; ensure it is also water resistance.
Bringing along a decent camera will also make a lot of sense. Who wouldn’t want to capture those great moments for future reference? However, just like the kind of binoculars you choose, ensure your camera is also waterproof since you will be using it near water. The battery life of the camera must also be great if you know you will be on the water for hours and hours.
- BRING ALONG A DUCT TAPE
Talk to any serious kayaker today and they will all tell you how a duct tape is important. At no time should go out kayaking without it. It can come truly in handy if you want to have your gear secured from rolling around your kayak.
WHAT TO DO AFTER KAYAKING
After having that awesome day out there with friends kayaking, when you return to back to base or even home, there are a couple of things you need to do. This will help you get prepared for your next trip.
- STRETCH OUT
Since you have been seated for a considerable period time, you want to make sure you take your time and stretch and feel comfortable. That few bodies stretches will take your body back to normal and prevent you from suffering from those painful cramps now or later. You might also want to make sure you take a rest before you go back kayaking.
- CHECK YOUR KAYAK
Before you have that kayak safely stored in the garage, make sure you take your time and take a quick check for any damages, especially if the area you were kayaking at was a bit rocky. If you find it suffered some few damages, make sure you have it repaired before you have it stored. Additionally, check every single thing you were carrying and ensure you came back home with everything you went out with. Also check the waterproof storage box.
- LET YOUR GEAR AND OTHER ITEMS DRY
Take out every single thing you had when kayaking and let them dry. If you don’t, molds will grow. Additionally, let the box dry from the inside in preparation for your next awesome trip. It cannot get better than that.
In the end, when getting started with kayaking, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. We, however, hope all the tips we have mentioned is going to give you the best experience of your lifetime. We have tried to cover every single thing you would possibly need for those first trips.
Updated on January 23, 2021 by Ben