Exploring the great outdoors is a dream for many, and if you are the adventurous type, you are probably looking for new ways to pass the time in the open air. Camping is the first thing that crosses most people’s minds when they think about outdoor activities. However, not everyone is a fan of fending off mosquitos and tossing and turning all night, trying to get comfortable in their tiny tents. So, what about taking an unorthodox approach to enjoying nature and give kayaking a try? It does not matter whether you are a couch potato or a pro athlete, you will find kayaking highly rewarding either way. Want to get into kayaking but do not how? Follow our beginner-friendly guide for more details.
Learn More About Kayaking
You cannot get to really enjoy any activity unless you know more about it. Kayaking, in particular, has many misconceptions surrounding it simply because it is quite similar to a few other water sports. There is especially a lot of confusion about the difference between canoeing and kayaking because some people use the two terms interchangeably. Nonetheless, both are very different sports. For example, canoes are open boats that can take more than one person. Canoers also use one long paddle to propel their boats forward. On the other hand, kayaks are closed-top boats and can seat only one person, so they are more appropriate for people who are looking for a solo water sport. The paddle used is different as well because it has two blades, which makes kayaking a lot less physically taxing, not to mention that it allows the kayaks themselves to move faster.
Buy the Gear You Need
Now that you are sure that kayaking is for you, you must prepare yourself for your first kayaking trip by purchasing all the gear you need. Of course, you will need to buy a kayak, but we recommend that you rent one first if you are not willing to make a long-term commitment right away. When you are ready to buy your own, it is best to get a wide model. While wide kayaks are not as fast as their narrow counterparts, they are generally more stable, which is why they are a good choice for beginners. As for storage, you can get braces to hang your kayak on any wall in your house. If you cannot think of a place to store your kayak, you may want to go for an inflatable one instead. To stay safe, you should also get a flotation device and a spray skirt. No garments are specially made for kayaking, but you should still steer away from cotton clothes to stay as dry as possible.
Practice Different Strokes
After you get your kayak and other gear, it is time to practice different strokes. First, adjust your grip on the paddle by making sure that you are holding it parallel to your body. Hold the paddle by both hands, taking extra care not to touch the blades. There is also no need to grip it too tightly, so relax your hold. Once you hold your paddle properly, you can try the forward stroke. To do so, simply twist your torso to the side where the blade is touching the water and use the paddle to move the water in the direction opposite to the one you are facing. To do a backward stroke, follow the same steps but make sure that you are paddling in the same direction you are facing. You can also sweep the paddle forward or backward to turn your kayak. By mastering these three basic strokes, you will be able to kayak safely on your own in no time!
Join a Kayaking Class
Reading through endless lists of instructions and tips is not always the best way to pick up a new skill. If you are one of those people who acquire motor skills by practice but are not too keen on kayaking alone right away, it might be a wise idea to sign up for a kayaking class. Your instruction will be better able to help you learn different strokes, not to mention that they will be there to monitor you and prevent any accidents. Joining a professional class can also be a great investment if you are on the lookout for kayaking buddies to head out on adventures with.
Although kayaking is not the most popular water sport out there, it is worth a try. Even if your interest was only piqued when you came across photos of professional kayakers in action, you will still have an easy time mastering this sport since it does not require much skill and involves no rules. So, get your kayak and gear, find the closest body of water near you, and embark on an unforgettable adventure!