A Beginner’s Guide To Kayaking

Learning new things is always a grand thing, but if the process is new such as learning a new sports, it becomes difficult. For the novice kayakers, learning about kayaks for beginners is essential to enjoy the sports and for self-improvement as well. Surprising as it may seem, kayaking is actually way more approachable than what people might perceive it to be. The basics can be learned any minute and the paddling styles are easy to follow as well.

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History of Kayaking

​Kayaks were used by many tribes for many generations. It was first used by the “Inuit” tribe as they hunt for food. They used it to sneak to their prey on the water’s edge. Looking back, the first kayaks were made from lumps of driftwood or the whale bones that are then covered with animal skins. However, in the 1950’s, things have changed. A new era has blossomed for the kayak industry. The newest kayaks now used fiberglass boats and most of the kayaks today are made from tough wearing polyethylene plastic. Even though there are different types of kayaks, the most common one is the traditional, closed cockpit type. It is where the paddler sits inside the boat and it is sealed with a movable spray deck.

​Benefits of Learning Kayaking

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​There are many benefits gained from learning kayaking. For one, it improves cardiovascular health and it is considered as a great workout as well. It can boost your mental health and provides the opportunity to enjoy nature at its best. The sport also provides good bonding moments with friends and families. Since the journey is often times done in the water, enjoying the scenery together with your loved ones is a memory worth having.

​Factors that are Needed

​Besides learning the steps as a beginner, here are some of the skills that are needed when learning kayaking. For one, it is needed that you first have the passion for learning how to kayak. Also, you should be comfortable being in the water and trust your abilities to traverse unknown waters safely as well.

​Equipment

​Here are some of the things that you may need before learning the sport. You need to purchase the ideal kayak for your personal preference. Get the best paddle that suits your needs, and you can also get cold weather clothing like bomber gear if you plan on traversing colder waters. You can also get protective clothing to protect you from the heat of the sun. Even though you are good in swimming, you need to get a life vest as well.

​Safety

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​If you can find ways and means to be safe, you can opt for that. Safety is important for any type of sports, not just in kayaking. Always go with a buddy if you are beginner and even if you are good later on, having a kayaking buddy is always a good thing. You must always wear a personal flotation device and ensure that is it reliable when you are on the water. Also, before going out to the open waters, you can check the weather conditions because nature could be harsh at any time of the day. If you think that a storm is bound to come soon, seek shelter as fast as you can.

​Beginner’s Guide

​However, the apprehensions are understandable. If a certain thing or process is new, worries are bound to arise which is why here are some of the simple steps that could assist beginners in their journey to learning about kayaking and the simple means to do it and get it done. One major thing to consider before starting is to get the details and the type of kayaks that you would want to use and ride when in the open waters or lake. Also, you need to consider other factors before starting to learn about kayaking as well. Here are some of the tips of learning kayaks for beginners.

​Ask help from the Pros and experts

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​Asking help is not a bad thing. The pros can lead you on the right direction and they will also be the one to assist you in case you lack some details and information. There are many ways to ask help from the pros. You can either find a good local outfitter or a certified instructor who can help you and teach you on the basics of kayaking. Searching your local records or searching online are among the things that you can do.

​Get the Right Numbers

​Before learning, you need to get the right size of your kayak and the right type as well. Getting the numbers right are important so that the learning process would not be a difficult one. Your instructor can help you the basics but they will also teach you to get the right type of kayak and the right size that matches your preference. For instance, the sea kayaks are different from the ones designed for rivers or lakes and whitewaters. The sea kayaks are less tippy than the whitewater kayaks so you need to be aware on which kayak is the ideal one for you.

​Respect the Beginning

​For beginners, there are some things that you could not do and could not get. Being a novice, you need to respect that you have to start from the bottom. You need to go wide for stability. Remember that the wider the hull, the more stable you will be. Some new kayakers wants to go up the level abruptly and they tend to get an open cockpit style which could result to safety issues and control.

​Take it Easy

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​When learning something new, take things easy. Do not be in a rush to learn everything in one single day. It is important to not push yourself to learn right away. Learn one thing at a time. Kayaking is not something that you can master and do right for the first time, it is something that is learned on a constant basis. You have to accept that reality that learning takes time and mastery takes time and practice. Go easy on the learning technique.

​Sit Properly

​In learning how to ride a kayak as a beginner, you need to be aware that posture and sitting properly is significant. Your kayak instructor might teach you to remember this technique. You need to sit upright, slightly lean forward. Remember that when you lean back, you have less control over your kayak which is why this step is important. The process includes putting your paddle into the water as far forward as your toes, and when you pull it out of the water, it needs to get even with the back of your body as well.

​Don’t be Hardheaded

​When you think that the conditions are now limited, always head to the flatwater or calmer waters. If you lose confidence over your ability, immediately search for a flatwater. This term is used by kayakers to describe ponds or lakes where the water is not moving. Being a novice, seeking flatwater might be the best deal.

​Paddle Right

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​Besides paddling right, it is crucial that you are informed and knowledgeable of the type of paddle that kayaks used. The Kayak paddles have two blades. One end of the paddle is set at 90° angle and you need to understand that as you learn the different strokes and types of paddling. It is important to paddle with efficient strokes and to have a relaxed grip. The rationale for this is that it helps in preventing fatigue and it can even extend your paddling session as well. A good paddle form requires that you pull the blade face through the water on one side while you need to push the paddle through the air on the other side. You also need to maintain a strong core. You can rotate your core while you paddle so that your arms will not do all the work. The push-pull stroke is vital so that you won’t have to use a lot of effort.

​Conclusion

​When you love what you are doing, you will always grow from it and it is the same with the passion of learning kayaking. When you have the passion for kayaking, it is easy and the process are not taxing because you want to do it and you can. You need to be aware that once you are dealing with nature, everything is unpredictable and getting prepared is an essential element from your part. Getting help from the pros, learning the basics, knowing the pros and cons of each type of kayak and among other things are significant as you grow in this passion. Learning to follow the step in a right manner is important which is why knowing about kayaks for beginners are needed to help you on your journey to enjoying the perks of the kayaking world. Get the right gear, follow the safety guidelines so that you can lessen the discomfort in the long run. Learn the steps, remember it, follow it, and do things right will surely reap great rewards for your kayaking dream.

Kenny Woo
 

I'm Kenny Woo, chief editor of Skate Stuffs. We believe in empowering people with passion on skate to make them choosing better tool set and techniques.

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