Nothing beats the experience of being in your small watercraft, paddling against the waves, and cruising a significant distance in minutes. If you’re a water enthusiast, kayaking is by far among the best sports you can engage in alone, with friends, or with family. It comes with tremendous benefits to your health, from improving fitness to enhancing your mood, helping relieve stress, and providing a way to escape the busy city life.
All the same, all these benefits do not come without a small cost. For instance, you have to undergo some form of training before you can become confident enough to maneuver turbulent waters or deeper parts of the water body. You also have to arm yourself with the right gear and equipment to ensure a smooth sail in your kayaking experience. At the end of the day, it’s all about being safe, confident, and comfortable while having fun and achieving milestones with your personal watercraft.
Without spilling the beans any further, here are a few great tips that every kayaker must know.
1. Different Kayaks Serve Different Purposes
If you are a beginner in kayaking, one of the first few things you will need to learn is to choose the right kayak for your needs. Kayaks come in a wide range of designs, shapes, sizes, and materials. Some can be used by more than one person, whereas others are built with the needs of a child in mind. At the end of the day, the kayak you choose should be determined by your specific needs. Some of the most common types of kayaks you can find on the market include the following:
- Recreational kayaks – recommended for relaxed kayaking experiences
- Inflatable kayaks – easy to transport and ideal of calm waters
- Sit-on-top kayaks – awesome for kayaking in calm waters, especially for beginners
- Standup fishing kayaks – great for fishing while standing
- Touring kayaks – ideal for longer kayaking trips for adventure seekers
- Child-sized kayaks – recommended for kids and youths
2. How to Get the Kayak There and Back
As a kayaking enthusiast, there’s a big chance you decided to purchase your own kayak or several for your family members. This means that you will need to transport your small watercraft from your house to the water body and back every time you go kayaking. As explained at fantastickayaks.com, you will need a solid plan for transporting your kayak. You could use several options, including on the car roof, in the truck bed, or on a trailer depending on the kind of vehicle you are using. Since many kayaks come with a few grab handles, getting the vessel to the water from your rig will not be so hard, especially if you have a few extra hands nearby.
3. You Might Need Professional Training
All the same, the best way to learn kayaking is through an experienced kayaker or trainer. Apart from teaching you to develop your kayaking skills, they will also guide you with choosing the right kayaking gear, including the kayak, paddles, helmet, and lifejacket. Professional training also comes in handy as far as water safety is concerned.
4. Swimming Skills Are a Huge Plus
While enjoying your water adventure, anything can happen. The raft could capsize or you could lose your paddle. The life jacket will help keep you afloat, but swimming skills could help you get out of immediate danger and avoid drowning.
5. Always Check the Weather
Especially if you are the busy type of person whose schedule is normally tight, it is not unusual to feel a burning urge to hit the waters whenever you get the chance to. However, you should know that not all days are kayaking-friendly days. Before you head out, always check the weather in your kayaking location to ensure the conditions are favorable. This should dictate a few things, including:
- Whether it is safe for kayaking
- What to wear
- How to get there
- Other safety precautions to take
These will go a long way in ensuring your safety while making your experience more fun and adventurous than uncomfortable and risky.
The benefits of this water activity need not be emphasized further. If you learn the strokes, choose the right kayak, have the right gear, and take safety precautions, only your prowess will limit the intensity of kayaking experiences you can venture into. If you are a beginner or are considering getting into kayaking, the above are just a few things you must know to get the most out of the activity.