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How to Kayak for Beginners

Tips for Your First Time Kayaking

Thinking of taking up kayaking? It’s quite a popular aquatic activity these days and you will be hard-pressed not to find an opportunity to kayak in almost every country you visit. If you’re new to kayaking or just debating whether or not to pick it up as a sport, here are a few things to consider as you’re getting started.

Where to Kayak

There are many different types of places that are conducive to kayaking. Initially, you would want to find a suitable lake or pond located close to where you live. This would encourage you to practise more as you would have more convenient access to the water. As with all things, especially when you are just commencing with something new, it’s important to practise regularly and not lose touch. If you take big breaks in between, you may sadly find yourself having to begin from square one each time.

As you get more comfortable with the sport, you can move onto more exotic destinations where you can practise your craft. Some of the best spots in the world for kayaking include Greenland, the Maldives, Hawaii and Norway. Take your pick depending on whether you prefer cold or warm weather. If you have an affinity for tropical climates, try the Maldives for example. Many of the island resorts there such as Anantara Veli Maldives Resort to name just one, offer kayaks for the use of their in-house guests. Between spending glorious hours kayaking across the crystal clear waters and basking in the sun on the deck of one of the many over water bungalows in Maldives, you’ll enjoy a dream vacation unlike any other.

Get Comfortable in Your Kayak

If you’re new to kayaking, chances are you’ve rented out a kayak or have borrowed one from someone that you know. The first thing to do is to learn how to properly seat yourself inside the vessel before you push it into the water. Make sure that you are properly pressed-up against the back of your seat. If your kayak allows you to adjust the seat a little, do so and make yourself comfortable. Next, feel around with your feet to find the footrests. You’ll want to ensure that you are sitting in a way that allows you to keep your feet firmly on these while keeping your knees slightly bent. Finally, rest your knees firmly against the interior of the kayak on either side, so that you can exert some control over the balancing of the kayak as it bobs from left to right in the water. A point of caution – do be careful to check that you are not fit into the kayak tighter than it’s necessary, as you will need some room to manoeuver if the kayak topples over.

Learn the Strokes

After you learn how to properly hold your paddle blade, the next step is to teach yourself the various strokes. There are three main strokes: the forward stroke, sweep stroke and reverse stroke. The forward and reverse strokes help you glide forward and backwards in the water, as their names imply. The backward stroke also helps you stop your kayak. The sweep stroke is what you will require to be able to turn your kayak and steer it past any obstacles that might be in your way.

Launching into a new sport can be exciting, but don’t forget to take some safety precautions first! Always make sure you have a companion with you when you’re heading into the water initially. Also, remember to take along safety gear such as a distress whistle and to never paddle out further than you are confident you can swim back.

Safety First!

Launching into a new sport can be exciting, but don’t forget to take some safety precautions first! Always make sure you have a companion with you when you’re heading into the water initially. Also, remember to take along safety gear such as a distress whistle and to never paddle out further than you are confident you can swim back.

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