Kayaking is ideal for a beginner if the water is calm and it’s easy to get started with. When kayaking on a windy sea, you will probably need training to get anything out of the experience – it’s harder than it looks. Kayaking can range from a peaceful and easy-going experience to an exciting adventure that challenges your strength – all based on weather and location.
It’s a calm summer morning. Your bag is packed with snacks and a bottle of water and you are wearing clothes you don’t mind getting wet. You get a life west and a phone bag made of plastic so that you can take photos and call for help if necessary, without your phone breaking down. You slowly sit down in the hole of the kayak and try to keep your balance. As you paddle you remember the instructor saying how important it is to use your whole body, not to tire your arms too fast. You paddle through an amazing river with beautiful nature and since you chose the kayak that is slower but also more balanced you are able to take photos as memory. Since it it feels fairly easy you take the opportunity to practice techniques you were thaught earlier.
It’s a bit windy, nothing serious but just enough to cause waves on the water. You are in a small group with an experienced instructor. You have been advised to wear a wind resistant jacket and of course your life west. Your kayak is packed with plenty of water and lunch and your instructor let’s everyone try to navigate with a map and a compass. Although you are going along the coastline, paddling against the wind really takes on your energy and you know you will have sore muscles in the morning. All of a sudden one in the group falls in the water with the kayak upside down. You quickly help him tilt the boat and get the water out of his kayak, then you make a raft out of your and his kayak to get him back up. Once you make it to the camping ground for lunch, you are all pretty exhausted but also thrilled that you made it.
I could do that!
Yes, you certainly can. Kayaking is a fairly cheap experience and one that is quite easy to try (and not even particularly scary). Usually you can go without an instructor and only get some tips just before you step into the kayak. Kayak rentals can be found almost anywhere where there is water. There are some limitations to keep in mind when renting:
- Kayaks always has a weight limit that includes you and your packing, so if you are on the heavier side you should check what your nearest kayak rental offers.
- If you are renting, there will probably be an age limit as well.
Can you give me some tips on how to start?
If you decided to buy your own kayak without prior experience or the kayak rental did not give you any instructions, I’ll let you in on some basics:
- Always wear a lifejacket, comfortable shoes, clothes depending on weather (but definitely the kind you don’t mind getting wet), a sun hat and sunglasses in summer.
- Pack snacks, a lot of water and put your phone in a waterproof bag. When packing the boat, think about balancing out the weight.
- Step into the kayak carefully and again remember to balance the weight. Your paddle might be of use if you are stepping in from a dock, you can put it across the dock and the kayak for balance.
- Use your whole body when paddling. Rotate your whole upper body with each stroke and push with your feet against the foot rest, right foot when your right hand goes forward and vice versa.
- Check some videos on how to get up in the kayak if you fall in the water. Preferably try them out at shallow water as well.
If you want more out of the experience, there are courses available to enhance your skills and get you to less calm water. Who knows, maybe you become the instructor one day!
Kayaking is truly one of those easy, affordable and low commitment adventures. You get a lot out of it without necessarily making too much of an effort. Perfect when starting out on your adventurous life!
Have you ever tried kayaking and would you do it again?