The First Time Kayaker: Essential Items for Kayaking

You might have done all the necessary physical preparations for it. At last, you’re ready for your first kayaking trip. Are you sure you have everything that you need for it, however?

Everyone needs a sort of starter kit—something to pick up from. Here is what a kayaker would need if he or she is serious in his or her craft:

Starter Kit: Kayak

Obviously, you’re going to choose a kayak for your trip. There are different types of kayaks but you should go after the beginner kayaks if you’re starting out. These kayaks are shorter than the slalom or sit-on-tip ones, with a comfortable support for your back and a foot pedal for the rudder.

Starter Kit: Paddles

There’s something different about kayak paddles for other paddles. Aside from having blades on both ends, it length is also somewhere between 210cm and 260cm. A good advice would be to pick a paddle that’s taller than you are; it’s also a good practice to keep spares for when you need it.

Starter Kit: Buoyancy

Even if you somehow know how to swim, you should have a buoyancy aid with you. These look like life jackets but with more freedom and the same buoyancy that they offer. Most kayak rentals or stores offer these types of jackets. These should be carried on trips especially if you’re alone.

 

Starter Kit: Equipment

Equipments include paddles, jackets, but more importantly, helmets. You never know what will happen if you capsize. You should be ready, especially if you’re kayaking on rough water.

Starter Kit: Dry/Rope bag

These bags are used for different purposes. A rope bag is something an instructor would most certainly have, but you should have one if you’re kayaking alone. It’s something you use when a colleague or you are in trouble. The dry bag, meanwhile, is something that would keep your change of clothes dry while you paddle on the water.

These are only a few equipment you will need; these, though, will make sure that you’ll be ready to set on the watery path whenever, wherever.

Kayaking Basics: Know These Before you Go

Kayaking may look simple at first glance—after all, it’s you, the water, a boat and a paddle. However, there is more to it than just you and the water—there’s the safety to consider, and of course, the paths you would take.

Simple as these may be, you should still take the time to review them and keep them in mind while on the water:

  • Get a lesson before getting in the water. It’s good practice to keep safe and be safe. One way of doing that is to make sure you know the basics of kayaking before you get into the water. It’s not just you that’ll benefit, but also other people kayaking with you.
  • Know Paddling Basics. Another thing you should study on is how to travel on the water through paddling. It might be simple to paddle, but there are techniques to travel faster or slower depending on your stroke. There are also techniques to turn the boat around using the paddle or to avoid capsizing.
  • Practice kayaking. The greatest place to practice what you learned will be through canals or any undisturbed body of water. It’s still a good thing to keep a professional nearby, though.
  • Practice on different bodies of water. Once you’re confident in your skills, you can try out different bodies of water. It’s a good way to see whether the open sea or lakes and rivers suit you. Don’t forget your safety gear no matter which body of water you choose, though.

Even if you’re confident already, don’t be a daredevil. No one likes a braggart, and it’s also true in sports. Knowing the difference between bodies of water and practicing safety will make you a true kayaker and not just a hobbyist. Who knows? You might also end up a master teaching other aspiring hobbyists!

Keep Safe Kayaking: 5 Safety Tips on the Water

A trip on a kayak on the water can be viewed as peaceful. There’s nothing like the experience of yourself taking a trip on a seemingly peaceful lake surface. However, there are still precautions you should consider.

Before Kayaking

As with any hobby that involves possibly risking yourself, you should be prepared.

Keep Safe.
With the knowledge that you’ll be on the water, you should be prepared for emergencies on the water. A personal flotation device (PFD) is a great investment; aside from that, other devices like whistles and flashlights are good things to buy.

Take Courses on Safety in the Water.

You shouldn’t leave it to flotation devices to keep you safe in the water. Being a pro-active kayaker means you should take on-water courses to keep you and your kayak friends safe. This will also benefit you in the long run as you go on repeated kayaking trips.

Be aware of your limits.

It’s a good thing to know what you’re going to expect once in the water, but it’s better to know what you can and can’t do. Search yourself and take notes of what you’re capable of and not when in the water. It’s your life—and your partners’—that are on the line here.

Check the Weather.

Itching to take that kayak on a spin today? Before you do that, you should know what the condition of the water is. Even in rivers, it can unexpectedly rise. It’s good practice to check the weather before going into the water.

Be aware of the water traffic.

There might be ships that also pass through the route you plan to go kayaking on. Knowing the time of their travels and the sizes of these vessels may keep you safe from capsizing.

Now, you can go Kayaking

Once you’ve become aware of all these, it’s a simple matter to keep yourself aware on the waterways. Awareness coupled with safety will help a lot especially if you’re with friends.