If you have ever been to a large body of water, such as a lake, you may have seen people having fun kayaking on their boats. Kayaking is a great way to spend time being active, enjoying nature from a different perspective, or just an engaging sport that can impress those who watch you.
However, you may be wondering if it is difficult to kayak if you have never tried it before. Well, true kayaking is definitely an activity that takes time to learn and develop skills for, but it isn’t necessarily difficult. Provided you take the right steps to learn how to kayak safely and with proper technique, you can enjoy this interesting sport without too much trouble or confusion.
In this article, we are going to look at how to Kayak, Equipment needed, Tips to make Kayaking easier for beginners and other related questions.
Keep reading for deeper insight.
What is Kayaking
Kayaking is a water sport that many people enjoy doing recreationally, professionally, and for fun. There is a large range of kayaks available on the market today, from entry-level recreational kayaks to high performance racing kayaks designed to go very fast with minimal effort by the user.
In most cases, it is best to start out with an inexpensive recreational kayak that allows you to work your way up as you become more experienced. This will make it less frustrating when you are first starting out because you can afford to crash a few times without breaking the bank!
Is there a Difference between Kayaking and Canoeing?
Yes and no. There are definitely some similarities between these two water activities, but they do have a few key differences that you should be aware of before getting started with either one.
For example, kayaks are usually shorter than canoes because the paddler is seated lower into the boat, creating less of a wind profile compared to a canoe. Although kayaks are usually made for one person to use, there are multiple-seater options available on the market today.
Canoes are longer by design, which makes them more susceptible to catching more wind when paddling at higher speeds – this is why they are not usually used in competition racing events where speed is important.
Kayaks also tend to lean or tip forward when turning sharply because the paddler is seated lower in the boat, which means you need to learn good balance and technique for safe kayaking.
Why Should I Learn How to Kayak
If there is one thing that many people love about going boating or swimming in a body of water is the ability to be able to get out and explore the depths from a new perspective. Kayaking provides that ability because you can move across water at your own pace or attempt to go fast if you have a good kayak and know how to use it properly.
Paddling is also one of the best forms of cardio, so it is very beneficial from a health perspective as well.
Equipment Needed for Kayaking
If the sight of people kayaking stirred an interest in the sport, the first thing to do is learn how to Kayak. However, before then, it is important that you know the equipment needed, which are as follows:
A Paddle is one of the most important items needed for kayaking. It is used to propel yourself through the water and there are a number of different styles, blade shapes, lengths, and weights available on the market today.
Typically, larger kayaks will use longer paddles as they require more power to move around since they are heavier. Recreational kayaks typically have smaller blades as well as shorter shafts so it is easier to grip and control with less effort required from the user.
A sit on top kayak is a special type of kayak that has an open top which you can sit down inside without having any sort of enclosure or deck. They are usually made out of fiberglass or plastic, but there are other materials used as well.
These kayaks are often considered more stable because they have an open design, making them harder for you to flip over. They are usually cheaper than other kayaks and are very easy to get in and out of quickly without worrying about stepping into the wrong spot or dropping your paddle in the water.
A life jacket is another important item that goes along with being able to kayak safely. It is also known by many different names including life preserver, lifesaver, personal flotation device (PFD), etc. There is a wide range of types available on the market today ranging from basic floatation vests, which you can wear while paddling, to full-featured jackets that can keep you afloat no matter what position your boat is in.
A kayak trailer is a very useful item to own if you plan to kayak often or take long trips with your boats. It makes it very easy to load and unload the boats onto the car since it is designed for this purpose and uses wheel systems instead of having to carry them like other kayaks.
It is also nice for storage because they fold up when not in use, which saves space at home or in a garage or shed especially if you have multiple kayaks.
Learning How to Kayak For the First Time: Fundamentals of Kayaking
The Fundamentals of learning how to kayak are easy to learn, but if you are not familiar with how things work in the water then it is best that you take a course or two. That way, you can get your basics down and prevent yourself from learning bad habits, which could cost you later on when you are more advanced in kayaking.
The basics of How to Kayak are as follows:
· Location- Make sure to pick a good body of water that is calm with little wind or waves for beginners. You might also want to consider getting started with an instructor so they can provide guidance when needed.
· Boat Safety Check-Now would be a good time to make sure all your equipment is working properly and nothing has been damaged over time. Also, remember to bring a repair kit in case you need to fix anything when kayaking, since it may not be easy to find the right material on the water.
· Safety-It is important that your life jacket is already on and zipped up before getting into the boat. This way, you will make sure nothing happens to tip it over or put any pressure of weight on it, which could cause you to accidentally fall out of the Kayak.
· Sitting Position-Make sure your legs are spread apart with one foot slightly back for support and hold onto the sides of the kayak while sitting down carefully inside until you get used to balancing yourself more comfortably. You can also sit down further into the kayak by scooting towards the front once you have gotten inside.
How to Kayak
· Now that you are sitting inside, hold onto your paddle with both hands and take it out of the water. Make sure to keep your elbows bent while holding it sideways, and then push off against the ground or rock slowly until you have enough momentum to start moving forward.
· Your paddle blade should be flat on top, which will provide more stability during each stroke for beginners. Then pull back until you reach your body before pushing yourself forward again to gain speed gradually as things progress.
· To make turns easier, use one hand at a time when doing different strokes instead of using both together to gain better control over how you turn without accidentally leaning too far in either direction.
· Stabilizing yourself- kayaks are harder to balance than other boats, so if you do slowly lean, do not panic. Just slowly push the opposite side of your boat back upright before things get worse.
· If you want to go faster, paddle on the opposite side, which will cause your kayak to lean in the direction you are going. It takes some time getting used it but can be a fun way for more advanced kayakers to move around obstacles or catch up with others during races.
Typically, people learn these basics within a couple hours after they have gotten their first kayak and taken it out on the water several times.
Even though these steps may seem intimidating at first, it is important to stay focused and take your time learning each technique. This way you will be able to familiarize yourself with other kayakers around you without being so easily confused while out on the water.
Tips and Tricks to Make Kayaking Easier For a Beginner
· If you are new to paddling with both arms, consider starting out with one arm at a time for better control and maneuvering.
· Learning how to Kayak does not mean you have to paddle fast the entire time; slow and steady is usually easier for beginners before things get more difficult.
· You can also add some variety such as using your paddle sideways like a snow-skier (left side then right side) or holding it up high over your head going forwards while reaching forward until you reach that position backwards again. This way of paddling can make things a lot more fun and exciting to do as a beginner trying each technique for the first time.
· Before you go out Kayaking, you can take some time to practice getting in your boat (especially when you are still new at it) or even practicing how to keep yourself balanced.
· It is important to learn how you can keep yourself stabilized when kayaking so that you do not become unbalanced and tip over which could then lead you into sinking in the water.
· Once you have gotten comfortable enough inside your kayak, try turning it around carefully without falling or tipping over by using a paddle as a support. This way you will feel more prepared for navigating obstacles while going through rapids if that is the water route you are taking.
· If possible, get a sit-on-top style of kayak. It is a lot easier to escape from a sit-on-top kayak in case you were to tip over because this type of Kayak does not have a cockpit, which can be challenging beginners to get out.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of how to kayak and feel more comfortable in your boat, it’s time to test out what works best for you depending on how well you balance yourself while paddling around obstacles. You can try out these tricks:
1. Try standing up in your Kayak – This is a great trick that will allow you to get an even better view since the cockpit sits pretty high above the water line even when sitting down which can make it difficult to see everything going on around you at eye-level. If done right, be sure that this is not close enough to tipping over or else your next move could be into the water without your life jacket on.
2. Try leaning to the side – If the water is calm enough, try tilting over to one side while paddling alongside what you are trying to avoid which can help make things easier for yourself by getting past it faster than if you were stuck in place traveling forwards.
3. Try passing through rapids – This one may take some time getting used to since Kayaks are longer and designed with straight sides that run parallel along the entire length of the boat instead of curved sides like white-water rafts which can help keep their passengers more stabilized inside even when heading through rapids at full force.
4. Get better at turning around quickly – It is important to be able to move out of the way quickly in case you are surprised by something that comes up from behind. You don’t want to be stuck paddling forwards instead of turning around which can result in a collision because it’s harder for a kayaker to paddle backwards compared to a canoeist who can use a double-blade paddle to do this without stopping entirely.
5. Try kneeling down – This is another great trick for beginners trying out these Kayaking tricks & tips. It keeps you closer to the water level and feels more stable even if only moving slowly as long as there are not any tricky currents involved. Overall, just remember that no matter what skill-level you are at when Kayaking, anything is possible once you have gotten the hang of it!
Kayaking is a fun activity that many people enjoy doing whether their goal is simply to relax and see the area from a different perspective or to compete with others in tournaments. Either way, Kayaks are versatile and easy to use even for beginners who want to try out these tricks & tips.
So long as you are having fun and staying safe while attempting Kayaking tricks & tips that help you learn how to kayak, then this should be considered an achievement since anything else after this point is only going to make things better as you continue practicing more frequently until mastering your skills without any issues involved whatsoever!