Whether you want a relaxing weekend afternoon on water or time to explore remote areas on a tour, Kayaking is a great choice to embrace nature. Originated by ancient Eskimos for the purpose of hunting and fishing, Kayaking is now one of most popular outdoor sports/activities worldwide. And it’s always a good idea to take some classes with a licensed instructor to learn the basics before you set out on a Kayaking adventure.
The fundamentals in paddling include how to launch, how to paddle (forward stroke, turning stroke, stroke for stopping…), and what to do in case of flipping over. As an example, forward stroke, the most fundamental stroke in paddling, is about a continuous push-and-pull motion, a push with the upper hand, and a pull with the lower.
There are three essential pieces of equipment in Kayaking: a Kayak, a Paddle, and a PFD (life jacket). A recreational Kayak is recommended for beginners. It’s made for flat water (e.g., placid rivers or lakes), offers easy handling, and initial stability. Lightweight paddles with feathered blades (offset at an angle to each other) are commonly used to ease the paddling effort. Your paddles are longer in length if you are taller and your boat is wider. The rentals for this type of equipment are readily available for beginners.
For your first Kayak outing, here’s the ideal for starting:
- Calm protected water
- Low wind conditions
- Short period of time
Gear yourself up with proper clothing (layer with wicking fabric inside and water protection fabric outside), hat, sunscreen, water…and most importantly, bring your paddle partner, especially when you’re a beginner. They can help you get in and out of the boat, and can help you out in an emergency. Besides, it’s more fun Kayaking with friends.