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The Eco Trek

Kayaking Techniques For Beginners

Kayaking creates a beautiful image of outdoor exploration. The gliding movement of kayak across a glassy area of water, its wake glistening in the reflected light, and its bow knifing through the mist is a beautiful experience you will enjoy. As a beginner paddler, we have some helpful kayaking techniques for beginners that you need to get started with your kayaking.

Though buying a boat of your own might be a good option, but chances are you might not buy a ship immediately. Below are other options you can try.

  • Borrow a kayak: If you have a friend who is experienced in kayaking and a good paddler, you can borrow a kayak from him. You can also learn the basics of your friend.
  • Rent a kayak: You can rent a boat from a canoe outfitter, so you don’t encounter problems while transporting the boat.
  • Register for a class: If you find time to sign up for a kayaking class, you will get in-depth instruction and knowledge than a tour. An introductory course is a great option to start with before embarking on your kayaking activity.
  • Sign Up for Tour: When you sign up for a tour, you will get the fundamentals, gear, and boat in one package. You can contact the parks department at your local lake or an adventure-touring company.

Beginner kayaking tips for first-time Paddlers

As a beginner paddler, make things easy on yourself when planning your first non-guided kayaking outing.

  • Select a small, relaxed, calm body of water: The perfect places for you should be ponds or lakes with little powerboat traffic.
  • Look for a sandy beach that is sloppy to launch your kayak: As a beginner paddler, avoid going for steep, rocky, or murky shorelines, which will pose a challenge to you.
  • Leave on a sunny and windless day: Maintain a high comfort and reduced complications.
  • On a breezy day, begin by paddling into the wind: Paddle with a tailwind which is breezy, rather than paddling your way back, which is a struggle.
  • Planning on an outing is ideal: Planning for an outing and not expedition is suitable for enjoying your experience.

Gears and Clothing You Need for Kayak

We assume you have already gotten a classic kayak that has a cockpit, a hatch, or two for stowing gear. Otherwise, your guide should put you in a large and stable boat with no cockpit if the weather and water are warm.

Basic and Essential Kayaking gear: Your canoe outfitters should provide you with the following items:

  • Paddle (Ensure to check that it’s the proper size for you)
  • Bilge pump
  • Approved Coastguard. PFD (Personal Flotation Device)
  • Spray skirt (This item is optional. Ideal on warm, calm days.)

Proper Clothing for an outing:

For warm weather and warm water, you should bring the following:

  • Swimwear (Non-cotton and nonbinding shorts are okay)
  • Rash guard top (Either short-sleeve or long-sleeve non-cotton top)
  • Sun shielding hat
  • Neoprene footwear
  • A wet suit (if conditions are colder than 60F in water)
  • Rain jacket, spray jacket and pants
  • A vest or Lightweight fleece jacket

Essential Personal Items:

  • Bring plenty of water
  • For more extended tours, snacks are better
  • Sunglasses, lip balm, and Sunscreen
  • Watch
  • Headlamp (To keep you visible to other paddlers in case you are slowly getting back)

Personal items: If you know your Ten Essentials, then many of these should be familiar:

  • Plenty of water PSA
  • Snacks for energy, plus lunch for more extended tours
  • Sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses (with a retainer)
  • First-aid kit
  • Signal whistle
  • You need a watch (so you can give yourself plenty of time to get back)
  • Get one headlamp (in case you’re too slow getting back)
  • Some dry bags to put things that might get wet
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