10 Essential Tips You Should Know Before Kayaking
Here are our tips we think every kayaking beginner should know.
Get a lesson
Kayaking doesn’t seem a very difficult sport, but you might find yourself paddling around in circles for the first half an hour without some proper basic skills. You can also waste a lot less time and learn how to paddle when you take kayaking lessons. Kayaking lessons aren’t expensive and are great fun as well. Kayaking lessons for beginners called starting sessions are starting at £5 per person. You won’t only learn the essential skills you need; you can discover new safe locations for paddling and make new friends.
Choose the right kayak
There are many different types of kayaks available from small freestyle playboats to long narrow racing boats. If you would like to paddle on a lake, then you’re after a flatwater boat. Sit-on-top kayaks are great for beginners as they are very stable and easy to paddle. If you’re going to kayaking for the first, we recommend you start on the river, and once you’re comfortable, you can try sea kayaking.
Dress for a water
The water temperature might be icy cold; even it’s a hot sunny day. Make sure that you wear appropriate clothing such as a wetsuit, kayaking gloves and waterproof cagoule. If you fall into the water, which is a high possibility, you’ll be glad you wore the appropriate clothes.
Wear buoyancy aid
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, it’s essential to wear a buoyancy aid. Buoyancy aids are like life jackets but allow more movement around the arms and neck. That’s why are much more situated to kayaking. Even if you’re a strong swimmer, you never know when you might fall into the water. Kayaking shools will always provide buoyancy aids, but if you’re paddling alone, we recommend you either rent or buy the right buoyancy aid.
Bring a change of clothes
Always bring a change of clothes, even if you don’t think you’re going to get wet. You’ll be grateful for the spare set of clothes.
Don’t kayak alone
It’s always safer and more fun to kayak with somebody else. It’s never a good idea to go kayaking by yourself, no matter how much experience you have had. Team up with another kayaker, at least there would be someone there to help.
Sit properly in your kayak
One of the essential kayaking techniques for a beginner is to sit correctly. Sit up straight with your lower back and buttock at 90 degrees to each other. You’ll find footpegs on each side of your kayak. Rest your feet there. Your knees should be bent upwards and outwards, allowing contact with the thigh braces. Your toes should be pointed outwards and heels towards the centre.
Hold the paddle the right way
You need to hold your paddle with both hands just over shoulder-distance apart. Make sure the concave part of the blade is facing you. The open part should always sweep through the water when you dip the paddle blade into the water. Check your knuckles are in line with the blade.
Know how to rescue yourself and others
Number one rule of kayaking for beginners is to know how to rescue yourself and others. Make sure you go through a basic capsize with your instructor. Good instructors should teach you how to the right the boat and get back in again. Always stay with your boat if you capsize.
Save yourself and your fellow paddler first
People are more important than boats. Sometimes you might get into panicked situations when you lose a paddle or even a kayak. The most important thing is to keep each other safe. Kayaks can be replaced; people can’t.
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