Kayaking is an iconic image of outdoor exploration: a kayak glides through a mirror of crystal clear water, its arch that pierces the fog and its wake that shines in the reflected light. If this kind of thing calls you, we’re here to help. With careful preparation, you can slip into the cabin and put the paddle in the pond.
Kayak Gear and Clothing
This article assumes you are in a classic kayak – one with a cabin and a hatch or two for storing your gear. If the weather and water are warm, your friend or guide could take you on a large, stable boat with no cabin.
Swimsuit or shorts (non cotton)
Long sleeve or short sleeve (any non-cotton top will work)
Hat to protect yourself from the sun
Light wool jacket or vest (depending on the weather)
Spray or waterproof jacket and pants (depending on the weather)
How to Adjust Your Kayak
A well-regulated kayak will be more stable and comfortable. Rule while the boat is sitting on dry land and focus on three points of contact:
Press your butt firmly against the back of the seat. If your boat allows you to adjust the angle of the seat or backrest, do what seems most comfortable to you. However, to have balance and power, you need to sit upright.
Place the balls of the feet on the footrests; so check if you have a slight knee flexion. Most footrests are adjusted by tilting and sliding along a track to preset stop points. It is often easier to get out of the boat to slide the rungs.
Make sure that the bent knees are in close contact with each side of the cabin. This helps you control movement from one side of the boat to the other while paddling. Your fit should be tight but not so stuck that you can’t get out if you turn over.
How to Launch Your Kayak
Most trips begin with a launch from a gradually sloping shoreline. Be careful not to drag the helmet, especially on rocky, sandy or cementitious surfaces:
Find a friend to help you get the boat to the boarding point. Put it in shallow water, perpendicular to the shore. (If you are launching into a river or have a very long kayak, a parallel launch may work better.) For a perpendicular launch, the bow must face outward from the shore and the stern must be close to the shore (but at afloat).
Place one of the paddles under the platform line in front of the cockpit. (It can protrude laterally as a stabilizer).
Standing on the kayak, astride the cabin.
Take the booth and place your butt on the booth seat, then raise your legs and slide your feet into the booth.
Slide your butt firmly onto the seat and place both feet comfortably on the footrests.
Take your paddle and use it to move your kayak past the incoming waves and the ship’s awakening. So stick on the spray skirt if you have one.
When it’s time to get out of your boat later, paddle to the launch position, set the stabilizer and reverse the steps until you ride the kayak again.
How to Hold Your Kayak Paddle
Start by grasping the headstock with both hands and centering the headstock shaft at the top of the head. Your hands will be in the correct home position when your elbows are bent 90 degrees. Now put the shovel down
Make sure the paddle blades are aligned with each other. If you notice that the blades are separate from each other, the palette may be “faded”. If so, take a minute to adjust the blades in-line using a button or the torque adjustment in the center of the shaft. (Feathered blades cut the wind better, but are more difficult for beginners to use.)
Look at each palette sheet and make sure the longest edge of each sheet is on top. This is the correct position to help the blades move smoothly and effectively through the water. (If the blades are uniform in shape, both sides can face up.
Make sure that the gathered sides of the shovel blades are facing you: the curvature of the shovel is subtle, so take a close look.
Place the large knuckles on top of the headstock shaft so that they are in line with the top of the headstock blades.
Relax your grip. Make an “O” with your thumb and forefinger, then gently place your other fingers on the rod. Grabbing the paddle is not necessary and drains your hands faster.
The Basic Kayaking Strokes
The forward stroke
This is the success you make most of the time, which is why a good technique pays dividends:
The capture phase: Pull your torso and immerse the sword completely in one side of the boat near your feet.
The power phase: rotate your torso as the blade moves behind you. Follow the blade into the water with your eyes and it will follow your torso. Also focus on pushing against the tree with the upper hand as you move.
The release phase: when the hand reaches just behind the hip, it “cuts” the blade out of the water.
To repeat, simply dip the blade out of the water near your feet. (The bust will already be rolled up correctly.)
Technical tip: To keep the headstock shaft at a comfortable angle while hitting, “check the time” on an imaginary watch on the top of your wrist.
The reverse trace
This is the basic braking stroke. You can also move it back if your kayak is already stationary. It is the exact opposite of a forward blow: dip the blade near your side; the push is done with your low hand and you cut the blade out of the water when it approaches your feet.
The sweep stroke
This is the basic swing shot. If you make repeated forward movements on the same side of the boat, you will notice that the boat turns slowly to the other side. The radical blow simply exaggerates this effect. The sweep is the same as a forward run, except that it alters the path of the blade to form a much wider arc on the side of the boat. The sweep shots on the right side of the plate turn the plate to the left and the sweep shots on the left side turn the plate to the right.
Using Rudders and Skegs
Rudders: if your boat has a rudder, it is located on the back of the boat and use the pedals to check if the boat is moving left or right. Push the footboard to the right and the boat will turn right (and vice versa left).
Skeg: a skeg is a fixed steering flap that falls from the bottom of the hull. It is mainly used for monitoring (keeping the boat in a straight line), especially in windy conditions (rudders can also play this role).
Beginners often use rudders and biases incorrectly and often forget to lift them in shallow water, which can cause harm. For this reason, it is easier to leave them out of work. Rudderless rowing encourages you to learn a better rowing technique faster. And if it’s so windy that you need a skeg or rudder, you shouldn’t really row without an expert guide who can explain how to use them properly.
Safety Precautions for Kayaking
Whenever you go out into the water, it is important to bring essential gear and clothing. Some additional security measures are also in order for an unguided visit:
- Bring the paddle to a friend. When there is no guide, you should always go with another rowing machine who can ask for help or assistance.
- Make a union pact. A friend who paddles away from sight or hearing will not be of much help.
- Know your distance limit. If you have not received rescue training, you will never row further away from the shore than you can easily swim. (The areas near the coast are however more interesting).
- Investigate your dangers. Ask an experienced local rower about places to avoid, as well as currents, tides and weather forecasts.
- Know the water temperature. You should always dress to tip over, at least, this means a kind of wetsuit when the water is cold.
- Check your PFD. Make sure it fits perfectly and is wide enough not to interfere with breathing. If the temperatures overheat and you need to remove a layer, paddle on shore first, never remove your PFD in the water.
- Be careful when wearing a spray skirt. Do not use one unless you know how to properly remove it and make a wet grip.
- Don’t forget your whistle. The universal distress signal is three long bursts.
- If you’re planning on kayaking in the future, consider taking a rescue class. And sailing, tides, currents and surfing lessons can help you avoid problems in the first place.
Tips for Your First Time Kayaking
Are you planning your first unguided outing? Simplify things for you:
- Choose a small, calm body of water. Lakes or ponds with little or no boat traffic are ideal.
- Find a gently sloping sandy beach for launch. The steep, dirty and rocky coasts will be more demanding.
- Go on a sunny and windless day. It will keep complications low and comfort high.
- If there is wind, start rowing in the wind. Paddling against the wind on the way back is a struggle; Paddling in the tail wind is, well, a breeze.
- Plan an excursion, not an expedition. For an optimal relationship between fun and fatigue, keep your rowing time under two hours.
Frequently Asked Questions about Kayaking
1. What is the difference between a canoeing and a kayaking?
A canoe is rowed with a single paddle paddle and the boat is open, with a rower on his knees or seated. Kayaks use a two-handle paddle and there is an option to sit or sit in a kayak; Sit in a kayak, the rowing machine is inside a cabin. Sit in a kayak, sit the canoeist on top of the kayak, more open to the elements.
2. What to wear?
When it comes to kayaking, it is best to be prepared for the items. In summer, clothes and shoes that are good for getting wet are sufficient, although in winter wearing a wetsuit is advantageous, even if wearing thin layers and also wearing a waterproof jacket. You should always use PFD for safety in case you get into the water and get stuck.
3. What should I bring?
When you go out on a kayak trip, there are some essential items to bring: bottled water, sunscreen, sealable bags for personal items, gloves, a change of clothes and a hat in summer and a hat for winter. If you want to bring a travel camera, be sure to keep it safe when you’re not using it.
4. Will I get wet?
It is very likely that you will get wet when you go kayaking, even if you don’t fall into the water! Your feet are likely to get wet as you jump into the water, and your paddles and people rowing around you are also likely to splash it. If you find you are cold, it will help you have an extra layer on you.
5. Do I need experience?
You don’t need any experience to start kayaking and you can take it easily. However, it is important that you know how to swim at least 25 meters, in case you fall into the water, even if the river bank is never far away.
6. Do I need to be suitable?
Kayaking is a sport and requires exercise, but you can practice it whether you are in good shape or not. However, some kayaks will have a maximum weight limit since excess weight can cause the kayak to tip over. However, the more kayaks, you will certainly be in better shape, which will lead to longer sessions in the water.
7. Will they be very head?
Kayaks are rare to flip over and, when it does, it is often due to people acting inappropriately or a sudden or irregular weight distribution. Kayaks are very stable and easy to handle, so they often don’t tip over.
8. Is it safe for children?
The kayak is definitely safe for children and with our two person kayaks sitting on top for sale, you can easily keep an eye on them. We recommend that children over the age of four go kayaking when they are of age to understand and follow the instructions.
9. What if the time is bad?
Kayaking can be an all-season activity and around the world all kinds of weather are likely to occur when paddling. Although it is best enjoyed on hot summer days, you can still enjoy going out in the water when it’s cold, cloudy or raining. However, don’t go kayaking when conditions are too dangerous, such as when there are high levels of rivers, strong winds or heavy rain.