Get on the water with our tips and tricks!
Kayaking is a popular water sport, and when you see the benefits of effortlessly weaving around obstacles and cutting your way through the water with ease, you understand why. With the right paddling techniques, you can cover great distances and explore distant areas of rivers and lakes adventure breaks.
However, if you are kayaking for the first time, it is best to start slowly. Try renting a kayak to see if you enjoy the sport or take a beginner class. Learning the basics will make you enjoy the sport more from the start and gives you a better idea if you are willing to invest.
Is kayaking difficult?
No! Kayaking is a good sport for beginners because once you have the basics, you can start right away. Of course, if you kayak through difficult waters or in bad weather, it can be dangerous. But this is also not recommended for people with years of experience.
Here are some items to bring for your first kayak adventure:
- Kayak and paddle (unless you rent them).
- Dry bag: A small waterproof bag that you can store things in and place in the hatch of the kayak.
- Water bottle: You will need to stay hydrated. Place it in the kayak hatch or between your feet.
- Life Jacket – You always need to have a life jacket while paddling, no exceptions.
- Extra clothing: Always bring extra layers in case the weather turns bad.
- Kayak Car Carrier: If you have your own kayak, you will need to transport it to your destination with ease. We have a guide to help you choose the best kayak carrier for your car.
What to wear when kayaking?
Wearing layers is essential to keep you warm. Here’s how you should wear your clothing and what the best materials are:
- Base layer: If it’s hot, choose a short-sleeved t-shirt, but always carry a long-sleeved t-shirt just in case. Use synthetic materials such as polyester and polypropylene, they will keep you warm even if they get wet.
- Middle Layer: Wool or a thicker polyester will work perfectly.
- Waterproof Jacket: Bring the most waterproof jacket you have. You need one that will keep your bottom layers dry.
- Leggings and shorts: If it’s cold, choose polyester leggings and waterproof shorts. If it’s hot, bring your leggings just in case.
Neoprene suit or dry suit? Kayak experts are often asked what wetsuit should be used for kayaking and the appropriate answer is: none! Wetsuits are designed to keep you warm when you go into the water. But since kayaking is done out of the water, the wetsuit is cold and makes it difficult for you to move around. Additionally, when you sweat, the suit creates a sticky environment inside your clothes.
The best option is a dry suit. It is best to wear any clothing that is waterproof. A dry suit is ideal for kayaking, but if you’re a beginner, you can find the right outfit in your closet.
Dress for the water, not the weather, and keep in mind that the temperature can change. You should dress to stay warm if you fall into the water. Hypothermia is a real threat, the water can be freezing even on warm days. Also, always carry extra clothing or extra layers in the kayak hatch in case the weather changes.
The names of the different parts of a kayak can seem overwhelming to people who don’t usually sail. However, the basic names are very simple:
- Bow: The front part of the boat.
- Stern: the rear part of the boat.
- Platform: The top of the boat (maybe you’ve never heard of it).
- Deck Hatch – The compartments found in the deck of the kayak. Here you can store food, extra clothing or equipment that you want to keep dry during the trip.
- Keel: A fin-like blade at the end of the boat that dips into the water and helps the kayak go in the right direction.
- Bungee Cords – Sometimes called bungee cords or deck cords, these are cords on the deck that you can store more items on.
- Cabin: the place where you sit.
- Footrest: sometimes also called footrest, these are pedals where you place your feet. They can be adjusted according to your height.
- Thigh Supports: Curved plastic pieces in the cockpit that stick out from the sides of the kayak and should fit snugly over your thighs.