Kayaking: What should I know about kayaking before going?

Do you need to know something before going Kayaking? If you are interested in paddling, there are several things to understand.

Getting started requires basic or little knowledge about paddling and water sport activities. Besides, kayaking is fun and a better way of spending one’s time during sunny days or after work.

Also, kayaking helps refresh the mind with other several health benefits, such as improving body muscles, aiding concentration and many more.  

Here is what you should know about kayaking

Get yourself accustomed to the available kayaking accessories. These are tools and equipment that makes kayaking possible. The items to have basic information about and their usage are the following:

The Kayak

There are different types of kayaks to use. Knowing the type helps you understand how to paddle a particular boat, the pros, and cons of the canoe. For example, inflatable kayaks are better suited for calm and mild water, while white water kayaking requires a hard body kayak. However, there are a few foldable and inflatable kayaks which do well in rapid watersThe rescue techniques applicable to the kayak, and more.

The paddle

The type of paddle, it features and where to use it. There are several brands of paddles in the market with varied functionalities. Remember, that you only get what you pay for. Going for an inexpensive or cheap paddle can be costly due to poor strength and quality. However, many cheap kayak paddles under $100 can last you many years regardless of the type of water it is applied to.

Paddle length

Selecting the appropriate paddle length makes rowing more fun and friendly. What you should know about the paddle length is that the width of the kayak determines the size of your paddle. This prevents you from hammering your knuckles on the hull. For example, to splash a kayak of less than 5’5″, you require a paddle measuring 220 cm. While kayaks with a height of more than 5’5” but less than 5’11”, a 230 cm paddle makes your work easier.

Kayak Safety rules

It is recommended to understand kayak safety rules in and outside waterWe have discussed several safety measures in this blog hereRemember that while on water, there are some users and adhering to water transport rules and regulations minimizes the injuries to a greater extent.

The right water gears

Besides the safety precautions, you should know what type of gear to have and their functions. There are several gears to aid your kayaking voyage while at the same time helps prevent kayaking dangers. Such gears include but not limited to the personal floating device (PFD), this is must-have clothing. It assists aids you to float when you flip the kayak upside down.

Paddling location

Before getting out to kayak, you are expected to be familiar with the locality. Going to unfamiliar territories for that first time is to subject yourself to dangers and difficulties, which hinders successful rescue operation during hard times. Get the services of a local guide to assist with new territories at a small fee.

Starting point

The first thing to do is to determine your landing point. Remember to have something easy to spot, such as a tree, rocks or any other landmark. Otherwise, you are going to have difficulties at the end of kayaking exercise in a river with poor exit points.

Trouble times

You should know what to do when in trouble. Use the available means possible to stay out of danger. When things get out of hand, remember to cling onto tree branches and rocks as you wait for help.

Do not kayak by yourself for the first time, be ready to be assisted to learn the ins and outs of kayaking.

Take kayaking lessons

You can take kayaking lessons and have basic canoeing skills. Some lessons are accessible both online and offline. Locate an institution near you to complete basic paddling techniques.

Join paddle clubs

Join any paddling club near you. Kayaking clubs have several advantages, for example, once you are admitted to the club, you are entitled to use the club facilities like the kayak and water accessories at a reduce costs. Furthermore, you have all the available resources to jump-start your kayaking career. That is, to paddle like a pro.

Kayaking is easier and requires continuous exercise to become a better paddler. With continuous exercise, you become a pro and can venture into the club of whitewater kayakers. What you need is to have a few hours a week learning the basic kayaking skills.

Avoid alcoholic drinks

Before going kayaking avoid taking alcohol or any other drug which can affect your concentration. When drunk you have high chances of drowning down the river. It is advisable to avoid water when sick. 

Obeying the weather

Beware of the cold weather conditions which are the major cause of Kayak hypothermia and other related conditions. Remember to carry your kayaking clothing to assist during such eventualities.

Observe the local weather condition. You know the type of a kayak you have, its strength and weakness. Read the daily weather pattern released by the astrological department and avoid venturing into the water with the likelihood of thunderstorm and heavy rains.

Aquatic animals

Get to know the aquatic species available in your intended kayaking area. Knowing these creatures helps build your confidence and you don’t panic when you spot an unfamiliar animal, such as crocodile, hippos, bears, and more.

Know the status of your kayak in advance

If in bad shape you better borrow from a friend or a club near you. Do not risk your life with a leaking boat. Did you know that as you risk, you are also putting the lives of others in danger? The rescue team coming after you will have to endure unfavorable weather condition which would have been avoided from the start. Be mindful for others and start safe to end well.

Have enough drinks and food

Get enough to drink and eat well. You will have the right energy to kayak long distance without many challenges like the dehydration. And lack of energy in the middle of the river.

These are a few factors to know before going kayaking. Besides, we have other factors that influence your kayaking itinerary. We wish you the best and hope that you travel several rivers and lakes sport kayaking just like the father of recreational kayaking John MacGregor did here.

1 thought on “Kayaking: What should I know about kayaking before going?”

  1. Great article, before getting out to paddle one should know the basic paddling techniques such as paddle stroke among others. It is recommended to have some basic training on Kayaking. Avoid bad weather as this has a potential to cause accident. Your safety is paramount hence have your safety essential gears this not only provide safe usage but build confidence to kayak long distance

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