As you may have guessed we are big fans of kayaking here at outsidefit.com. We especially like to try and help people get started with our kayaking for beginners tips. It’s a great activity that many people don’t even consider taking part in as they don’t really understand what’s involved. If you live near a river, lake or even the ocean kayaking is something you can enjoy on a regular basis. It’s great for your health, both body and mind and once you buy a kayak there is really no other cost involved. That makes it a great all round outdoor fitness option if you’re on a budget.
It’s great for your health, both body and mind and once you buy a kayak there is really no other cost involved. That makes it a great all round option if you’re on a budget.
Let’s get started with our top 10 tips on getting started with kayaking
Kayaking for Beginners
1. It’s a watersport, you will get wet
Even though you are in the kayak you will get splashed and you may even fall in so be prepared to get wet and dress accordingly. If you are planning to take to the water in a cold area make sure you have a suitably warm wetsuit or other garment to keep you from getting to cold. The last thing you want it to end up with any side effects from cool temperatures.
Similarly if you plan to go out in a warm climate take care to apply sun block, wear and hat and keep some fresh water to hand to avoid dehydration especially if you are on the ocean. Remember what they say: water water everywhere but not a drop to drink.
2. As a beginner it beats a canoe
If you’re just starting out and trying to decide which one is for you, we recommend you try a kayak before a canoe. It’s much easier to manoeuvre and use as a beginner. They also tend to be lighter which make them easier to transport and carry to the water.
3. Contingency plan
If you’re setting out to paddle a route, make sure you know where you are going. How long will it take? Do you have emergency supplies? Have we notified someone of where we are going? Don’t go rushing into unknown water with no plan. This could be challenging or even dangerous. Take your time and get to know the surroundings.
4. Back to nature
From your kayak you get the see the world from a different view. Take the time to soak in your new surroundings and enjoy it. You might be amazed by how different an area is from the water even if you are familiar with it in your everyday life. There can also be some great photography opportunities if you want to bring along your camera. p.s. make sure its waterproof.
5. Safety first
A life jacket could save your life. Do yourself a favor and wear one. This one is not just a tip. Be smart and take care.
6. Enjoy the tranquillity
These days it’s not often we get to enjoy a peaceful environment. It’s a great way to blow off stress. There is nothing better than listening to the sounds of the ocean or the trickle of a stream as you paddle down river. No hustle and bustle just you, the water and your kayak.
7. Do your research
If you’re not familiar with the area ask someone who is. There could be dangerous wildlife or other hazards in the area. You shouldn’t be embarrassed if you have to ask for help. The kayaking community are a friendly bunch and will be more than happy to help. You will probably even make new friends along the way.
8. Stay within your abilities
Don’t take on white-water rapids on your first day. Gain some experience first. Your inner dare devil might want to go for it but stick to level and in time you will get there.
9. Kayak with friends
Ideally, you should never kayak alone. Not only is kayaking with friends safer, it’s more fun too. Just google kayaking clubs in your area you will probably find there are plenty right near your home. Maybe you and a friend could try it together or simply get in touch with the local club. They will help you get started.
10. Get outside fit
You might get a muscle shock after your first trail. Even a short paddle can be a great workout. Most beginners don’t realize how much upper body strength goes into paddling a kayak. Also you can have stiff legs or hips after sitting for long periods. Take it as it comes and your body will adjust to your new-found hobby.
Above all have fun, stay safe and explore the outdoors
See you on the water