Kayaking is considered one of our favourite actions. We love the texture of being within the water, seeing wildlife and birds, and the comfort of simply dipping a paddle in and floating round. Since we reside on a lake and personal kayaks, we have now countless alternatives to be on the water.

We’ve additionally kayaked on trip, exploring the bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico, kayaking across the Arcadia Bay, recognizing Grizzly Bears from the waters in Alaska, and floating down the Delaware River within the Delaware Water Gap. And the spotlight of a lifetime — kayaking in Antarctica.

Kayaking for us is rest — we’re not whitewater, long-distance, or speedy kayakers. Positive, we get train and have completed difficult kayaking, however taking within the surroundings and being with the water is our principal intention.

Kayaking might be completed by virtually anybody. Listed here are some suggestions as you start your kayaking journey.

Regina in her sit-in kayak

Regina in her sit-in kayak

(Photograph Credit score: Sue Davies / Journey For Life Now)

1. If You Don’t Strive Kayaking, You’ll By no means Know How A lot Enjoyable It Is

Our first piece of recommendation for learners is to simply do it. If you happen to don’t strive, you’ll by no means uncover the enjoyment of being within the water and paddling by way of the stillness. Take a deep breath and go for it.

2. Begin Gradual — Don’t Chunk Off Extra Than You Can Chew

Kayaking seems to be very simple, and it may be. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re model new to kayaking, it’s greatest to take it gradual. Beginning off in a peaceful lake is far simpler than taking up rapids within the Delaware River or the ocean in your first try.

It may be useful to do your first journey with an organized tour or to take a lesson. That approach, you’ll have any individual to show you find out how to maintain the paddle, flip, keep away from hazards, and have probably the most pleasing expertise. If you happen to do resolve to do a tour, strive in search of a brief journey as a substitute of leaping right into a 2–3-day lengthy journey.

3. Study To Paddle, Flip, And Cease

Studying to maneuver a kayak is essential. It’s good to know find out how to flip proper, left, and cease and even transfer backward. Mainly, the kayak goes within the route of the aspect that you’re paddling on. If you happen to take an organized tour, they’ll offer you a lesson on how to do that in your first day. Some kayaks (typically utilized by tour corporations) have rudders for steering.

4. Lease Earlier than You Purchase

We had been kayaking for greater than a decade earlier than we ever thought-about shopping for a kayak. Within the early years, we usually rented kayaks or joined organized excursions. This had many advantages. We discovered that we liked kayaking and bought to expertise totally different sorts of kayaks. As soon as we felt sturdy sufficient, we graduated from organized excursions to renting kayaks and going out on our personal. From there, we purchased our personal kayaks.

Kayaking on Kemah Lake

Sue and Regina Kayaking on Kemah Lake

(Photograph Credit score: Sue Davies / Journey For Life Now)

5. All the time Go Out With A Buddy

For a really skilled kayaker, going out alone is protected sufficient. For brand spanking new kayakers, it’s not. We all the time kayak collectively, even within the lake in our yard. You by no means know when one thing might go improper, and you may get your self right into a harmful scenario.

6. Don’t Neglect Water, Snacks, Sunscreen, Insect Repellent, And Hats

One technique to destroy a kayaking journey is to not be ready. Being on the water within the solar means that you’re uncovered to the weather and might get dehydrated. Be sure that to deliver water, sunscreen, and a hat. We put on a rash guard in order that we don’t should reapply sunscreen ceaselessly. If you happen to’re going out for a protracted day within the water, then snacks are important. Insect repellent may also come in useful. For entering into the boat, we put on water sneakers.

7. All the time Put On A Life Jacket

We all the time put on life jackets. It doesn’t matter if we’re solely going out for half an hour or for longer. Chances are you’ll by accident capsize and sporting a life jacket might be the one factor conserving you afloat. In reality, we require everybody who visits on the lake to put on a life jacket whereas kayaking.

8. Maintain Issues Dry Whereas Kayaking

In the summertime, you most likely don’t thoughts getting moist from the spray whereas kayaking. However your digicam, cellphone, and pockets gained’t be so completely satisfied to be drenched. That’s the place a dry bag is available in. Dry luggage are cheap and are designed to maintain issues dry whereas in a ship or kayak. It’s a vital funding if you wish to take footage out of your kayak and even simply have your cellphone with you. Nowadays you’ll be able to even get a small protecting sleeve simply on your smartphone and connect a foam floater within the occasion your cellphone drops into the water.

9. Getting Into A Kayak Gracefully

The best technique to get right into a kayak is from a seashore or the shallow finish of a lake. You merely straddle the kayak, waddle out to the seat, put your butt into the seat, after which herald your legs. Sounds easy, but it surely takes getting used to. It’s additionally potential to get right into a kayak from a dock or a zodiac. This requires extra observe, otherwise you’ll find yourself within the water beside the kayak — which we’ve completed greater than as soon as. Be sure that to have your paddles shut by as you gained’t need to climb out once more.

Sit-in kayak

Sit-in kayak

(Photograph Credit score: Sue Davies / Journey For Life Now)

10. Shopping for Your First Kayak

Our first kayak was an inflatable kayak. It was cheap and straightforward to move and inflate. It’s additionally simple to retailer. 7 years later, we nonetheless often use it. We then purchased cheap, leisure sit-in Pelican Kayaks, that are our main kayaks at this time. Since our automobile didn’t have a roof rack, we needed to make two very gradual journeys with the kayaks tied to our automobile to get them residence.

If you happen to purchase a kayak, you’ll should be ready to retailer it in the course of the low season and transport it wherever you’re kayaking. We’ve problem lifting our kayaks to place them on a roof rack, so be sure you’re in a position to try this earlier than investing in a rack and kayak.

11. Selecting The Proper Sort Of Kayak

There are numerous kinds of kayaks, together with touring, fishing, competitors, and whitewater. Some are made for one individual and others are for 2 (tandem kayaks). It’s greatest to do a little analysis before you purchase. There are sit-on-top and sit-in kayaks. If you’re very tall, be sure to get a kayak that you simply really feel comfy in.

sit-on kayaks being towed

A tow of sit-on-top kayaks

(Photograph Credit score: Sue Davies / Journey For Life Now)

What Are The Advantages Of A Sit-On-High Kayak?

With a sit-on-top kayak, you sit on prime of the kayak. Your legs are uncovered to the solar (be sure to placed on sunscreen) and the weather. They’re very simple to get on and greatest for hotter climates since you are likely to get moist. Sit-on-top kayaks are usually wider and simpler to get again on if you happen to ought to capsize. They’re good for learners.

What Are The Benefits Of A Sit-In Kayak?

Sit-in kayaks provide extra safety from the weather because you sit inside. They are often tougher to get into for a newbie, and also you’ll must be sure you really feel comfy with the scale of the kayak. Sit-ins have a decrease middle of gravity, so they’re very secure and higher for management. Most sit-ins have compartments for dry luggage and cup holders for drinks.

Both approach, be sure that the kayak offers you sufficient again help otherwise you’ll find yourself with a sore again.

What About Folding Kayaks?

There are just a few corporations that make folding kayaks. We’ve kayaking buddies that love them. They’ll match right into a trunk and might be a lot simpler for metropolis dwellers to retailer.

Reggie with Kayak Paddles

Regina with Kayak Paddles

(Photograph Credit score: Sue Davies / Journey For Life Now)

12. Shopping for Your Paddles

Paddles additionally are available in a big selection. We’ve paddles that come aside and are adjustable for dimension. They’re not very costly and are simple to retailer. Be sure that to pick out the suitable size paddle on your kayak and your peak.

13. The Significance Of A Skirt

A twig skirt is a water-resistant cloth that matches round your waist and covers the opening on a sit-in kayak. It retains you from getting moist from the spray and is essential if you happen to’re kayaking within the chilly, reminiscent of in Alaska or Antarctica.

Sue Kayaking in Fall with wet suit

Sue in her sit-in kayak and moist swimsuit in the course of the fall

(Photograph Credit score: Regina Ang / Journey For Life Now)

14. You Can Kayak In The Chilly… With The Proper Gear

You may kayak in chilly climate, but it surely’s important that you’ve got the fitting tools if you’re contemplating it. We advise investing in a high quality dry swimsuit and a skirt. A moist swimsuit will hold you heat, however a dry swimsuit retains you dry. In Antarctica, we kayaked with thermals beneath a dry swimsuit. Within the fall in New Jersey, we use moist fits to maintain us heat. You additionally must pay shut consideration to your fingers not getting moist. Massive dishwashing gloves over heat gloves might be very efficient.

We’ve spent a whole bunch of hours in our kayaks, having fun with wildlife, sundown, or simply floating. We hope the following pointers are useful for you as you get out on the water. Glad kayaking!

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