Summer time is a fabulous time to try some of those new outdoor activities that you have always thought about but never seem to get around to it. Kayaking is a great one because it requires very little skill or previous experience in order to experience immediate success! It is wonderful getting out on the water and keeping cool on these hot days.
Kayaking is also a great sport for just about anyone to start since most towns or cities with lakes or rivers nearby have kayak rental facilities to start off with before you invest in a kayak of your own.
Kayaks are a very lightweight watercraft, usually made of molded plastic or fiberglass. They generally turn and maneuver much faster than canoes and are also easier to get in and out of. The best kayaks for beginners are the sit on top model due to their stability and durability. When you rent a kayak, pay attention to the different types and try a few before you decide to purchase one.
There are different classes of kayaks such as white water kayaks, ocean kayaks, hybrid kayaks, surf kayaks, touring kayaks, and sit-on-top recreational kayaks. Check out this article for more detailed descriptions of the different types and to help you decide the direction you may want to go.
Kayak paddles differ from canoe paddles in that they are double bladed, one on either end of the paddle. This increases the speed at which you can stroke. The wider the blades, the more power and acceleration. Narrow blades are easier to stroke, but provide less resistance and require more strokes to get the same force and speed.
Regardless of what type of kayak or paddles you choose, it is imperative to have the proper safety gear such as a personal floatation device, even if you are paddling in quiet, calm waters of a small lake. If you do whitewater kayaking, you will need a helmet, as well.
If you have never kayaked, consider finding an American Canoe Association certified kayak instructor to get you started off with the right technique. A good quality instructor will also pass along some great tips and help you to determine other gear that can keep you more comfortable such as spray skirts and dry bags.
Make sure your first time kayaking is a calm day with good water conditions. You may feel unstable at first and battling wind and rain will not improve your chances of enjoying the sport. When you first start paddling, you may find yourself having a hard time paddling in a straight line until you get a feel for the pull of the blades and good turning technique.
Don’t let all the gear possibilities and options out there overwhelm you, just get out in the boat and try it and enjoy the new experience and peace on the water during these lovely summer days and evenings. Once you have a few paddles under your belt, you will have a better idea of what type of kayaking and gear is right for you.
Do you have some kayaking stories to share? Or preferred gear that you recommend? We would love to hear from you!
Featured photo source: Pixabay.com