Everything You Need to Get Started in Kayaking [Simple Guide]

Kayaking is a great sport; it employs several muscle groups and teaches you a lot of discipline and determination. It’s not only beneficial to your body but also to the mind as well. The time spent away from the havoc of our modern lifestyle certainly does you good, but like any other activity, there is a lot to learn before getting onto the water; that’s what we’re going to discuss today.

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Gear

Although it might seem that the kayak is a big enough accessory, there’s a lot more involved, but kayaks themselves have countless variations. You have to know what kind of activity you’re going for, is it fishing, is it sightseeing or is it paddling. Choose your kayak well according to your bodybuilding and according to the waterfront on which you’re going to go.

PFD

PFD Or personal flotation device, which must be worn at all times. Now, this is different from the yellow/orange life jackets that you wore as a child when you went out on your uncle’s boat.

These jackets are designed in a way that I love as they enact a higher level of security and higher visibility. They are less puffy around your arms to allow you to move and pedal freely.

Paddle

A large part of your purchases will always be a paddle that suits your build and, according to the object of taking up kayaking in the first place. We have to know whether you will prefer a feathered or not- feathered one.

They will either add or subtract a step to the action of paddling, so just as we advised you to invest a little bit more in the study of kayaks.

Bilge Pump

Although kayaking is rated as one of the safest sports out there, you have to keep in mind that you are in open water most of the time. Chances of injury are there, and the chances of water getting into your kayak are always existing. So a bilge pump is essential in such cases as you install it and start pumping all this unwanted water outside to prevent your kayak from drowning.

Spray Skirt

A spray skirt will allow you to have a dry journey; however, if you are inexperienced with such a thing, we would advise that you do not install it. If any accident happens and you need to jump out of the kayak, removing the spray skirt quickly needs experience, so if you don’t have such experiences, do not install it and get a little wet.

Clothes

Although you’re not supposed to get fully wet, you cannot go kayaking in your normal everyday clothes. Where you have to be dressed for the water and the weather you have to be comfortable also you have to be practical and protective at all times.

We will list some of the clothes that you will need, they are:

  • Normal swimwear or a wetsuit
  • Neoprene footwear
  • Hat

Self Necessities:

These self necessities are also a must as you will most certainly need them; they are:

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Sunglasses
  • A whistle
  • Fully charged torch plus replacement batteries
  • Float bags
  • Helmet
  • Throw rope

Flipping 101

We certainly hope that you will not flip your kayak one day. If it happens and you flip your kayak. What do you do if you are fishing and you are using a sit on top kayak, then there’s no problem. Just flip your kayak and jump on it, this is relatively easy and will take you no effort.

The problem here is sides when you are using a sit-in kayak as it will fill up with water relatively quickly, and it will be harder to take all that water out of it. It will be heavier to flip over again, so what will be mentioned in some safety precautions, any kayaker must always keep in mind that they should ever have to never go out on the water by themselves.

Always have a friend with you, as it is the only solution out there. Placing your kayak perpendicularly, lift the bowl so that the water will slide out, and this will help you to flip it over. And one last piece of advice here is always to practice getting in and out of your kayak in shallow waters.

Starting Out

What’s the very first step that you take when you decide that you’re going to start kayaking. What you do is that you start looking around, seeing kayaks trying them out see what fits you. Next, you need to actually get in a kayak and get on the water with an experienced trainer or friend

Of course, you can borrow your friend’s kayak, or you can sign up for a kayaking class. They will show you and explain to you everything that you might need so that you make an informed choice.

Position

So you’ve got your kayak, your paddles, and everything that you might need. What’s next, you have to know what position you’re going to be sitting in. The smallest journey will take you at least 100 to 150 strokes. If you are in the right position, then you will take it out pretty easily, so to sum up the right position, you have to scoot your backside to the back of your seat.

Your back should be upright shoulders drawn back, and you have to hold your pedal the right way. You can achieve that by rubbing your pedal with both your arms lift the paddle above your head, and rest on your head in the right positions.

Both your hands should be rested when your elbows are at 90° with the pedal. It would help if you formed a knot, all with your index. Go around the pedal while the rest of your fingers usually rest on it. One last thing that you should know is that kayaking is a sport that well, though, targets several muscle groups.

The main muscle group targeted is your core muscles, so all the work of peddling should be generated from your poor legs and arms only to help transfer that energy. However, if you lift up with your arms, they are going to tire out after 50 strokes max. Always make sure that you are employing your core muscles to the max.

Launch and Stop

As a beginner, you must understand that taking things the easy way is the solution here. So if we were speaking about the launch and stop the process, you would do better to start smoothly. Where harming yourself and ruining your kayak is a small possibility as we said before practice getting in and out of your kayak a lot so that this will go smoothly.

Safety

There are a lot of safety precautions related to kayaking; some of them are logical, and some will only be gained through experience. However, we will try to cover them all:

  1. Never go kayaking alone
  2. Always have a friend with you
  3. If you do decide to go on your own, don’t ever go over distances, that you can jump over
  4. Swim back to the shore
  5. Do not explore new places by yourself
  6. Don’t drink any sort of alcoholics before kayaking, always be vigilant and awake

Final Thoughts

Kayaking is just like any other sport, there’s a lot to learn about it, and the easiest way to do that is to do it more often. And as mentioned before, book yourself a class and enjoy the experience.

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