At the beginning of anything we do, we are enveloped by mistakes, confusions, lack of skills. In some cases, we can afford a blunder, and in some cases, a wrong move puts us in danger.
Adventure sports are one such activity, where there is no place for mistakes, and lack of knowledge, and when it is kayaking, then there is a lot to learn and practice.
The process of learning kayaking is equally exciting. So, if you are a beginner in kayaking, learn as much as possible about it. Here, we have some tips for you which might help you to know what you need to learn and practice before sitting on a kayak and attempting it and what things you need to keep with you while kayaking.
1. Learn Swimming
If you are into water sports and passionate about them, the first rule is to know swimming. Although some of you might be wondering who doesn’t know swimming, people who can’t swim exists. If you are one of them and thinking of kayaking, then it is a bad idea.
2. Learn Kayaking
If you are a newbie, you will have to learn kayaking. Kayaking, without knowing how to do it will be a waste of time and life-threatening. Joining a kayak coaching is the best way to learn technicalities of kayaking. They are affordable, and for every outdoor adventure activity, training is compulsory.
3. Have Someone with You
In the beginning, you should never kayak alone. You might have taken your training and learned the techniques, but still, haven’t got the chance to apply what you have learned. So, for the first few sessions of kayaking take someone experienced with yourself or kayak in a group.
4. Check the Weather
Step out for kayaking only after assessing the weather. Don’t attempt kayaking during heavy rain and also when the weather is windy as it causes turbulent flow and big waves. Kayaking on the calm water is always safe, especially when you are just earning how to kayak. A drizzle and ripple are also considerable.
5. Learn How to Rescue
When you are a beginner, the chances of mishaps raises. So, with all the lesson of kayaking techniques, you also have to learn how to rescue yourself as well as others. In kayaking, capsizing is very common. Always be alert and keep calm in the toughest of situations. The rules to rescue should also be learned from a professional.
6. Know the Emergency Signals
There are quite a few signals to communicate with others while kayaking. Instead of vain shouting, use those signals for communication. These emergency hand signals are simple to learn.
7. Wear a Buoyancy Aid
Always wear a buoyancy aid, so that you can swim to the bank in case of emergencies. Wearing buoyancy aid is as essential as wearing clothes. It should be like your second skin. Do not wear a lifejacket as that doesn’t allow you to swim.
8. Sit Properly
Sit with a straight back. Sitting with a straight back becomes more comfortable when you have a backrest. Adjust it according to your comfort. Never lean forward or back.
Point the toes outward and the heels toward the center. Bend the knees upward and outward to put sufficient pressure on thigh braces. Place the feet fitly in the foot guides.
9. Hold Paddle Correctly
The kayak paddles have a long shaft. Grasp the center of the shaft and have a stiff yet flex hold on it. Keep the right side of the paddle up. To get the right angle of holding the paddle, hold it above your head in such a way that your elbows have a 45-degree angle.
10. Follow Techniques
The stroke of the paddle determines the style of your paddling. End the stroke at the right time with a proper blade angle. Do not stroke too far behind.
Keep coiling the upper torso to maintain the continuous flow of stroking the paddle. Put strength at the beginning of the stroke. Gradually, lose the gip a bit and keep your upper arms relaxed when you are pushing the blade behind and taking it up.
11. Go with the Wind
The wind flow ensures better floating of the kayak. Paddle your kayak with the wind. Do not try to go against the wind. If the kayak has spun, let it follow the wind flow and adjust it following the motion.
12. Invest in the Right Kayak
Finding the right kayak is very important for comfortable and safe kayaking. Don’t buy a random one without prior assessment. Before investing in a kayak, you can continue renting kayaks and buy the one you had the most satisfactory experience.
13. Wear a Swimsuit
Store the weather-friendly clothes in the storage case and wear a well-fitted swimsuit.
14. Have a Duct Tape
Duct tape always comes to your rescue when you find a crack on the kayak.
15. Increase Flexibility
While kayaking, you will have to sit in the same position for a long time. Make sure you do regular exercises and have good stamina and endurance level. Always try to increase the flexibility of your arms and legs. A small warm-up and stretching session before kayaking is a great move.
16. Electronic Devices
Never depend on electronic devices when you are on any water surface. They stop working with just one splash. Depend more on physical maps and guidebooks. Always keep paper and pen with you.
17. Extra Clothes, Food, and Water
Bring extra clothes to wear as getting dampened is a given in kayaking. It will protect you from cold. Bring sufficient food, mainly dry ones and water as well depending on how long you are going to kayak. Bringing more than needed, cut the risk factor to half. Make sure not to overload.
18. Have Waterproof Storage Cases
Make sure the storage cases in your kayak are waterproof so that the things kept in there stays dry.
Try always to brush up your skills by continuous practice. Make sure you are taking all the safety measures before kayaking. Hopefully, our tips for the beginners will help them to ensure safety and incline them to learn more about kayaking.
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