If you are going kayaking for the first time, you have landed on the right page. Here you will learn about all the crucial tips you need to know about kayaking as a beginner. Kayaking is a fantastic sport. Plus, it is relatively simple to hack, and so you shouldn’t be worried if you are planning to do this for the very first time. By the way, kayaking is one sport you can learn and still have fun at the same time.
There are different types of kayaks, such as sit-on-top kayaks, touring kayaks, whitewater kayaks, folding kayaks, tandem kayaks, pedal-powered kayaks, kayaks for kids and inflatable kayaks. The most common ones are flat-water kayaks, sea kayaks, and whitewater kayaks. Whichever kayaking you want to venture in, you need to equip yourself with some necessary skills if you intend to enjoy your new adventure.
Essential tips every kayaker should know
It is understandable you are super excited about going on this new adventure. However, before you get in the water for the first time, here’s what you should know.
Get a lesson
The very first thing you need to do when it comes to kayaking is to get a kayaking lesson. You may be tempted to think you don’t need some training because peddling a kayak is simple. While there could be some truth, if you don’t have some proper coaching, you might find yourself wasting your time by paddling around in circles.
Instead of wasting your precious time wondering what to do, why don’t you take some kayaking lessons? They are not even expensive. Just go to the internet and search for a kayaking center near you. Most of them offer kayaking lessons for beginners, and the rates are pocket-friendly. You can also ask your friends, family members, or colleagues for recommendations.
Get the right boat
The market is flooded with a whole range of different types of kayaks, such as tiny squat freestyle play-boats and narrow racing boats. It is now up to you to choose the right one. The place you intend to learn kayaking should be able to guide on the most suitable boat. For instance, if you are a beginner, the sit-on-top kayak is an excellent choice since it is stable and easy to paddle. The flat-water boat is useful if you are paddling on a lake.
Although it may be tempting to dress for the weather, make sure you wear for the water; it is important. A hot sunny day may lure you into dressing a pair of shorts and tee, but when you go on the waters, you realize its icy cold. Instead of enjoying your new adventure, you will be feeling cold and uncomfortable. Hence, ensure your clothes are appropriate for the water. Wear a wetsuit, kayaking gloves, and waterproof cagoule.
It will be tough for you to paddle your kayak if you are not sitting correctly in your kayak. Do not make the mistake of slouching even if your kayak has a cozy backrest. It would be ideal to sit upright and rest your feet on the footpegs situated on each side of your kayak.
How to choose the right kayak as a beginner
Just like learning, picking the right kayak is crucial, especially to a beginner. If you are looking forward to choosing your first kayak, the below tips and ideas will help you make a good choice.
Sit-on-top vs. sit-in kayaks
The sit-in and sit-on are the two basic styles of kayaks. Just like the name suggests, sit-in kayak will allow you to sit inside of the kayak hall, allowing you to sink your body inside the kayak. On the other hand, a sit-on kayak will let you sit on it. As a beginner, it is recommended you choose a sit-in kayak because it is convenient and more comfortable. Another advantage of a sit-in kayak is that it provides ample storage space to store your personal belongings. However, as you continue to gain more experience and become confident with your peddling, you can choose a sit-on kayak. It offers excellent excitement and more fun, although you will end up wetter.
It is vital to choose the right kayak material. There are 7 categories of kayaks, depending on the materials used to make them. These categories include fabric frame, inflatable plastic, wood, hard plastic, carbon fiber, Kevlar, and fiberglass. Hard plastic and fiberglass are the most commonly used. While plastic is pretty heavier compared to the rest, it is not prone to damages. The price of fiberglass is a bit higher, but most kayakers prefer it because it is lighter and convenient. As for the carbon fiber and Kevlar, they are lighter than fiberglass but pricey. The wooden kayaks are less popular due to their unnecessary high cost of production.
Plastic kayaks are an excellent fit for beginners. Although they are quite heavy, they are affordable and resistant to damages. Inflatable kayaks are more suitable for professionals who want to have an adrenaline experience on rough and rapid water conditions.
As a beginner, you don’t plan to have long kayaking adventures. In that case, you will not need to carry a lot of personal items. Therefore, inflatable kayaks will offer you excellent service because they are easy to transport, although they come with insufficient storage spaces.
When it comes to kayaks, the ones good at tracking are not good at turning and vice versa. When you become a pro, you have the freedom to choose either, but as a beginner, you should opt for a kayak that tracks. Tracking helps a kayak to stay on a straight path and maintain a stable position along your route. This is very critical, and it will protect you from colliding with other kayakers.
Kayaking is a sport you definitely want to venture into. Do not be put off by the crazy prices you see in the market. These days, you can even get a quality kayak under $500. So, take your time, try different kayak brands, and choose the most suitable option depending on your needs and budget.