Tips for Beginners
Before you get started, you must acquaint yourself with the types of kayaking, and the types of kayaks as well. Begin with finding a guide for yourself, who can teach you how to go about the sport initially. The guide will also help you monitor the tides, weather, and the currents. If you plan to kayak without a guide, make sure you have at least one experienced person with you. Familiarize yourself with the gear, before you start. If you are a beginner, the best option would be to get yourself enrolled at a kayaking school, that will train you with the basics.
Following are some essential tips that should be always followed. These tips are all-inclusive of sea, river, whitewater, and ocean kayaking.
It is very important that you stretch yourself well each time before you start kayaking. This is essential to maintain your stamina and vitality, and it also helps make your muscles ready for the strain they are going to be subjected to. You can also follow this when you are indulging in any other water sports, like surfing, river rafting, sailing, sport fishing, etc.
Choosing the Kayak
This is the most important aspect, as everything depends on the kayak that you choose from the various types that are available. Make sure that you buy a kayak that best suits your requirement. Also, consider the type of waters that you will kayaking in, as the kayak should be able to withstand the currents and waves. A sea kayak is different from a whitewater kayak, and the former cannot be used for whitewater kayaking.
Choosing the Paddle
This is yet another important aspect. While choosing a paddle, consider the paddle length, shape, and design of the paddle blade, material of the paddle, etc. You can also carry a spare paddle with you.
Another important gear that you will need is the ‘Personal Flotation Device’, that will keep you above the water in case your boat capsizes. You can buy either a type II or a type V personal flotation device, as these are lightweight, efficient, and comfortable. Other gear will include the appropriate navigation tools, clothing, helmet, and equipment related to the boat.
The next important thing that you need to do is to learn how to get in and out of the kayak properly. This needs a lot of persistence and practice, but you will need to master the correct technique first, in order to be perfect at it.
Do not attempt to learn kayaking all by yourself. Always make sure you have an experienced person with you, or at least around you, to guide you through the sport.
Make sure you purchase good quality boats, paddles, and gear. Do not compromise on the quality of equipment for saving a few bucks.
Make sure you have the appropriate safety gear, like a helmet and a life jacket on, before you get into the water.
Check the water and weather conditions of your current location, as well as your destination, before you leave.
Wear bright-colored clothing, a helmet and life jacket, so that you can be spotted easily in case of any danger.
Always carry a whistle with you, to call for help in case you are alone, and get stuck on the way to your destination. Also, carry a spare paddle, a repair kit, and a first aid kit with you.