Ever wonder how to kayak? Looking for a new fun activity to do on the water? Kayaking is great because not only is it an activity you can do alone, but it’s easily done is groups as well! As long as you live relatively near a body of water, kayaking is a great hobby!
In this post we will cover choosing the kayak that’s right for you, getting in and out of your kayak, what do do if you flip, where to practice, how to paddle and keep your balance and more!
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Summer is officially here, and I want to be OUTSIDE! One of my favorite ways to enjoy the summer sun is by kayaking. Kayaking is fun, can be done alone or in a group, and can burn up to 350 calories an hour! What’s not to love? If you’re apprehensive about learning to kayak, or just don’t know where to start, I’ve sat down and created a Beginner’s Guide to Kayaking!
Me and my family have been kayaking for years, and have some awesome tips to give you if you’re just starting out. Even if you’ve been kayaking for a while, there are some awesome tips in this Beginner’s Guide to Kayaking you may want to adhere to! This Beginner’s Guide to Kayaking will make the start of your kayaking journey a little easier, and less confusing!
HOW TO KAYAK
What all can kayaks do?
I personally just use my kayak for a relaxing day of floating down the river but they have a ton of ways they are useful. They make great fishing boats for rivers, lakes, ponds and oceans. They are good to use on white water rivers. You can also put an anchor in them so you can anchor in the river for a nice tanning area or napping. Kayaks have many functions and are loads of fun for people of all ages. Be sure to be safe while using kayaks, no matter what your age. Also be sure to have a flotation device in case of an emergency. Don’t ever go kayaking alone and always have an experienced person with you until you are confident in your skills.
Different types of kayaks (how to choose what’s best for you).
There are many different kinds of kayaks out there to choose from. Depending on what you will be using it for will determine what kind you will want to get. I use a 7′ sit-in kayak, and it’s very easy to maneuver and fairly fast. My fiance got a 10′ sit-on kayak and it isn’t as easy to maneuver, but is faster than my 7′ kayak. A sit-on is kind of like sitting on a big floaty and is harder to balance while doing turns and in the current. The sit-in has more balance and is better for the river. The smaller the kayak the better you will be able to maneuver it and handle the steering. If you will be on the river a lot, then I would recommend an 7′ or 8′ kayak. If you are doing a lot of fishing or lake floating, then I would recommend the 10′ or 12′ kayak. There are a ton of different types of kayaks. For a lake or pond, I would use a sit-on that is between 10′ and 12′ long. For the calm rivers, I would use a small (7′ or 8′) sit-on or a small (7′ or 8′) sit-in kayak.
How to get your kayak in and out of the water.
Getting your kayak in and out of the water is fairly easy. You will want to carry your kayak into ankle to shin high water. You don’t want the water too deep or it will make it hard to balance while getting in. You don’t want it too shallow or you will be beached and not be able to move without help.
How to get in and out of your kayak.
I have found that the best way to get in your kayak, whether it be a sit-in or a sit-on, is to place your foot in the middle of the foot area, then bring your other foot in to meet it all while sitting down in one fluid motion. My friend likes to straddle it and sit her butt in first then put her feet in.
Where is a good place to go?
The best place for a beginner to practice is on a lake, as there aren’t many currents or obstacles for you to tip on. This will get you comfortable with how your kayak handles and how to balance. A pond would also work.
How to keep from tipping.
Kayaking is all about balance. Sit in the middle and counter balance the opposite way you might tip. If you feel yourself start to tip then lean the opposite direction gently.
What do you do if you tip?
Don’t panic. it happens to everyone eventually! If you are on a sit-on kayak then just hold onto your paddle so it doesn’t float away. If you are on a sit-in kayak, try to bail out of the kayak before you fill it up with water.
How do you get back in after tipping?
Place your paddle on top of your kayak and swim you and your kayak to shore. Don’t try and flip your kayak back over in the water, it won’t work.
Areas to avoid.
As a beginner, you want to try and avoid tight areas that have strong currents or sharp corners with an under current. If you find yourself in one of these places, just try to keep your kayak from tipping and don’t let your kayak go sideways. If your kayak goes sideways in one of these places it will most likely tip and or sink. Take it slow, and stay in mellow waters until you’re confident to move to more difficult waters. Try to stay out of shallow waters as well, or your kayak will bottom out and get stuck.
Best ways to get around obstacles.
When you’re kayaking, you will come up on obstacles of all kinds. When kayaking around trees or things hiding in the water,it is easiest to pay attention and avoid them sooner rather than later. If they are hidden try to use your paddle like a rudder to turn it faster. Again, don’t panic, and just use common sense.
These are all the tips you need to get started learning how to kayak. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments as I’ll answer quickly! Have fun, be safe, and wear your sunscreen!