Kayaking is a splendid outdoor activity. The water cools your hot skin and you drift along a river, stream, lake, or ocean. The waves bob the kayak up and down. Each stroke you take moves you forward ever further to your destination. If you want to get into this excellent activity, then this article, 10 Kayaking Tips for Beginners – Tricks, Safety, and Techniques, will be sure to help you out. After reading this piece, you will be paddling like a pro in no time flat. This article will give you some handy tips to help you out.
1. Kayak with Friends on Your First Time
If it is your first time kayaking, then you want to go on a group trip or with friends for your first time. It is too risky to go by yourself. When you are out on the water with friends, they will not only help to make the trip more enjoyable and make you want to do it again in the future, but they will also be sure to help you out in a pinch. They will show you the proper stroke techniques and help you climb back in the boat if you happen to fall into the water.
If you go on a group trip the first time around, then your group leader will teach you everything. Do you not know how to properly paddle? They got you covered. Do you not know what to do if you fall into the water? You can count on them. Do you not have all the gear? They got all the fixings.
2. Check the Weather Report
There is a big difference between kayaking on a warm summer day and in the middle of winter. You can feel it down to the bones. The weather affects your opinion of the experience. People who like sunny days are more likely to enjoy kayaking when it is sunny outside. Bad weather can make the difference between you wanting to go kayaking again in the future or not at all. Life is too short for you not to enjoy it.
3. Bring a Personal Flotation Device for Everyone
If you are not the most comfortable in the water, a life jacket goes a long way. They keep you buoyant even though you may not be the best out on the water. No matter your body fat percentage, a personal flotation device (PFD) will make sure you float and that way you won’t drown. Even if you consider yourself a master swimmer, you should still bring a PFD along with you. Regardless of your skill, everyone gets tired at some point or another. A PFD will keep your head above water despite your energy level.
4. Make Sure You Are Holding the Paddle Right
Proper paddling technique will help you go a lot faster in the water and help you avoid the rocks that line the shore. It will also enable you to avoid injury. You can find an embedded video to help you understand proper paddling technique below. Check it out and you will be paddling like a pro in no time flat.
5. A Whistle Will Save Your Voice and Maybe Your Life
In nature, you can either yell for help or you can whistle. If given the choice, I would choose the latter any day of the week. It is a much better tool that carries volume a much farther distance than your voice. You can really hear a whistle above the crowd. That is why you hear a whistle in some songs. It stands out above the noise. People listen for a whistle. It is sharp and poignant. A good whistle might just end up saving your life.
6. Dress for the Water, Not the Weather
When I went kayaking at Moss Landing in Monterrey Bay, I wore warm clothes to keep me warm even though it was a sunny day outside. You might wonder why? Well, Santa Cruz water is quite cold. The water comes from Alaska and it is chilly up there, so you cannot go in the water off the coast without a wet suit on. On that entire trip at Moss Landing, I did not go in the water at all because the water was much too frigid. If it is a warm day out and the water is also warm, then dress appropriately. It goes a long way.
On the point of personal experience, my first kayak was the Malibu Ocean II XL Tandem Sit Top Kayak. It was a dream kayak to say the least, holding up to all the fury that a testosterone fueled teenage boy could throw at it. I still have it to this day. I wrote a review about it. If you are considering kayaks, then it will be sure to help you out. Check out the article by clicking on the link below. It is the best family kayak by a wide margin.
7. People Matter More than Boats
In sticky situations, this tip seems obvious, but not the most obvious. You can replace a kayak, paddle, or food, but you cannot replace a person. If given the choice between ditching the boat or person, ditch the boat first. You do not want to lose a person. It is just not worth it.
8. Proper Posture Protects Your Back
You only have one body, so you need to make it last. Your body remembers everything you do. So when you do end up going on that upcoming kayaking trip, you need to make sure your back is well-supported. This means good seating on your kayak. I prefer hard plastic seats. They give you the back support you are sure to need. As opposed to the soft ones, hard plastic seats do not bend at all, so your body is encouraged to keep its back straight and posture perfect.
9. Stretch Every 30 Minutes or So on the Kayak
On the note of proper posture, make sure you stretch a bit every 30 minutes or so while you are on your kayak. Most kayaking trips last about two hours and often longer and sitting down for a long time can really take a toll on your body. Muscles start to lock into place and joints go rigid. Put the paddle down for a moment and stretch. Arch your back. Wiggle your toes and move your legs. Bring one arm across your chest and pull it in the other direction. Do the same with the other arm. Kayaking is like a marathon except in the water sitting down. You need longevity in this race.
10. Self Rescue Goes a Long Way
In addition to bringing that PFD along with you, you also need to know some techniques of the water. This means moving diagonal with the current towards the shoreline in case you fall in strong current. You also need to know how to get back into the boat. Do you have the arm strength to life yourself up? Or do you need to come to shore? Or does someone else need to jump in to help lift you up onto the boat? It helps to visualize yourself in the water with a plan of action in case you fall in. It happens to everyone who kayaks at one point or another. You just need to take a few minutes or so to think it through. If you are white water kayaking, you need to wear a helmet.
Final Thoughts to Paddle Home On
Well, you should be all set to go. It is now time to go kayaking. A wonderful journey awaits you. The ocean waves beckon. The stream will be sure to push you along at a steady pace. Take a deep breath in and breath out. Kayaking awaits you. Before you go though, I ask that you check out AllTrails.com. It is my go to site for outdoor adventures. If there is a trail near you, it has it. If you want to find a kayaking trip near you, then it will be sure to be an excellent resource. So what do you say? Are you going to check it out? Adventure awaits you.
If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment below and please share the article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!