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Kayaking 101: Everything you Need to Know

Kayaking is a great way to spend more time outdoors in nature. It can encourage you to recenter yourself, meditate, or even reconnect with loved ones. This is a quick guide of everything you need to know in order to get the most out of your kayaking experience. The great thing about taking up kayaking is that it is completely customizable, you can take it up as a sport or more of a leisurely activity if you prefer. It can be a different way to get some sunlight and fresh air. 

The first thing you will need to do is purchase a kayak. If you aren’t sure if kayaking is for you, then you could always hire one for the day and make your decision afterward. Of course, there is other equipment that you will need in order to be as safe as possible, but those are covered later on. For more information on choosing a kayak that is the most suitable for you, check out the link. Affordable options include inflatable kayaks and more portable options. 

Safety

Another essential part of taking up kayaking is knowing how to stay safe. If you are afraid of the water or not the best swimmer, you might want to work on your swimming and paddling skills beforehand. Kayaks can flip over, which is why it’s important that you know how to use flotation devices and buoyancy aids. A life jacket is an essential addition if you are put off by the water, but the key is to not be scared of it, otherwise, you are more likely to have an accident. Another thing you can purchase to be safe is a helmet if you’re planning more extreme kayaking. Fast-moving streams or rapids can be where things might go wrong, so a helmet is essential if you’re going away from lakes or rivers. 

Where to go

If you know your local area well and are aware of regular weather conditions, you’re one step ahead. Check where it is permitted for you to kayak in local lakes and rivers. Generally, any large body of slow-moving water is a great place to start. For those wanting more of a challenge or a slightly different experience, you could head to the beach and see how sea kayaking feels. There are different areas for kayaks on the beach, so make sure you research ahead of time. 

Custom experience

Part of the appeal of kayaking to so many people is that it can be as athletic or leisurely as you want it to be. Whether you’re after a more intense sport to try or want a hobby that helps you switch your brain off, kayaking is a completely customizable experience.

Paddle

You may need to tell blade shapes apart on a paddle. There are several types of paddle blades, but the general rule is that the more concave side with a groove in the middle is the side that you use to push the water from front to back. If you’re unsure, you can always experiment with different stroke methods and see which movements take you forwards and backward. 

Practice

Kayaks are a unique shape and can take a little getting used to, especially when getting in and out. Once you have your kayak and equipment, you could try practicing on the ground and getting into a comfortable position. This builds up muscle memory and allows you to get in and out of the kayak in as few moves as possible. It can be very easy to panic when you flip over, so it’s a great idea to ensure that you can get in and out easily. 

To summarize, kayaking is a great way to spend more time outdoors and help you switch off. When the correct preparations are made, it can be a lifelong hobby that you can share with others. You could even make friends when you’re out paddling who have similar interests. Being around nature is a great way to practice mindfulness, deep breathing, and self-awareness. Follow the link above to find a perfect kayak for you and invest in a flotation device in order to stay safe. Make sure that you do your research on local areas and pay for any appropriate permits if needed. For those wanting more of a challenge who are adept swimmers and know what to do in an emergency, try researching river rapids, or waterfalls and make sure that you wear a reliable, secure helmet.


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