When most people hear kayaking, they immediately think of awful memories on year 5 camp, capsizing on the dirty lake with their friends. Not the best image, right? Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way! Kayaking can actually be a really enjoyable, fun activity to do with your mates, or with your family! Fun fact: you don’t have to capsize every time you go on the water, who would have thought it! If you’ve never done it before, you probably don’t have any of the right equipment – which is fine as there are heaps of websites out there that sell the products, including fishing and camping stores like MOTackle (click here for their range). Once you’ve done that, continue reading for a perfect beginner’s guide to kayaking!
Safety FirstIt’s really important to think of safety before you do anything related to water. Drowning is always a present concern, and while it’s certainly avoidable, precautions should always be taken. Life vests are available for purchase at any fishing or boating store.
How To PaddleKnowing how to paddle is the main criteria for kayaking. If you can’t paddle, you don’t go anywhere! To paddle, you need to sit comfortably in your seat and grip onto the paddle with your fingers on top and your thumbs underneath – your grip should be pretty relaxed. Remember to paddle from your torso, and not cause strain on your arms, back and shoulders.
Learn SafelyWhen you’re first beginning to learn to kayak, it’s probably best that you stay away from rapid waters. Learning in a calm environment like a flat lake is always a good idea. Once you tackle something like that, you can move on to more adventurous things like the beach and the rapids.
Dress For Water, Not WeatherIt sounds crazy but when getting dressed to go kayaking, you shouldn’t be looking outside to see what the weather is – you should be thinking about what it’s like in the water. The first time you capsize, you’ll realise how important this tip is. The ideal kayaking clothing is layers of quick-dry material. Also think about your footwear – water shoes are always the safest.
Have An Emergency PlanIt sounds kind of morbid, but it’s really important to have an emergency plan in case something goes really wrong. Whenever you’re kayaking, on calm waters and especially in rapids, you should always know how to rescue someone if need be. You should keep inflatable paddles on board, along with your life jackets and rescue rope – and always know how to use them!
Kayaking can be so much fun, if and when you know how to do it properly! As long as you follow this simple beginner’s guide to kayaking, you’ll be totally fine once you’re out on the water. Before you know it you’ll be battling the rough water rapids with all your best mates! Remember to have fun, but also to stay safe as water can be very dangerous if you don’t take all the right precautions. Happy kayaking!
(Photo not mine)