So, can you teach yourself how to kayak? Yes. However, you will need some of the best guides to set the tone in the right direction. If this is what you are looking for, then you are in luck. I am going to give you some of the best tips on kayaking.
In this how to kayak beginners guide, I will look at what you should do to have safe kayaking experience and also to progress in your kayaking faster but safely. This guide is simple, and you won’t require any help understanding any part of it.
The guide is ideal for the beginners but can also come in handy for a pro that wants to polish their kayaking. Could you take a look at what I have for you?
Types of Kayak
Before you start kayaking, the first thing that a beginner must learn is the types of kayaks. It is by learning this that a beginner will realize which kayak is ideal for them, their skill, and what they want from kayaking. Thankfully, there are very limited types of kayaks. They include the following.
- Sit-on-top Kayaks: Ideal for climates that are warmer. But are heavier
- Sit-in Kayaks: Best for storage of accessories. Ideal for recreational purposes
- Inflatable Kayaks: Must be inflated to use. It can be deflated when you want to store it.
- Folding Kayaks: Designed for people with small spaces such as apartments
- Fishing Kayaks: Kayaks made for anglers. Ideal storage room for fishing accessories.
- Tandem Kayaks: Designed for pairs. Ideal for couples or parent and child.
These are the main types of kayaks that you will find. That’s why I have included them in my ultimate guide for kayaking.
How to Kayak Beginners Guide
Kayaking may not come out so much as an art, but it is. Nonetheless, learning how to kayak is a very important practice before you get into the water. Here is a smart guide for any newbie who wants to learn how to kayak.
Step I: Get a Kayak
The first thing that you must-do if you want a great kayaking experience is to get a kayak. This is the main equipment when it comes here. Make sure that you get a reliable model. It is the main reason why I started with the main types of kayaks that you can go for depending on your needs.
Here are ways that you can get a kayak:
- Buy a kayak
- Sign up for a kayaking class
- Borrow a kayak from a pal
- Rent a kayak from the rental shops (ideal when on a trip)
- Sign up for a kayaking tour
Any of these options will leave you with a kayak in your hands. One that you can use to practice or ride.
Step II: Get the Right Gear
Like any other sport, kayaking also comes with its gears. The gears ensure that you get the best kayaking experience. Some of the most essential gears include the following:
Those that come with the kayak.
- Personal floating device
- Bilge pump
- Spray kit (on a warm day)
Those safety gear that you come with.
- Neoprene footwear
- Light fleece jacket
- Rain jacket
- Sun-shielding hat
NOTE: There are many other personal items that you should carry along. These items include the following:
- First aid kit
- Dry bags
With these items, you’ll be ready to hit the road. Make sure that you don’t exceed the weight limit of your kayak.
Step III: Adjust Your Kayak
There is a need to have a perfect fit kayak. This means having a proper adjustment to your kayak for a comfortable paddle. The adjustment should be made while the kayak is on dry land first.
- Sit firmly against the seatback
- Make sure you are comfortable
- Put your heels on the foot pedal
- Bend your knees to determine if you are in firm contact with the cockpit
You are going for a snug-fit. Do not be too jammed that you cannot get out in case your kayak turns upside down.
Step IV: Launch Your Kayak
Finally, with your kayak already setup, you can now launch it. This means setting your kayak in the water for the ultimate kayaking experience. Here is how you launch your kayak.
- Get a pal to help you carry your kayak to the water
- Put one paddle blades under your kayaks deck line
- Set the paddle blade in front of your cockpit
- Stand over your kayak (make sure you are straddling the cockpit)
- Grab your cockpit and sit
- Lift your legs to slide in your feet
- Scoot firmly back onto the seat
- Make sure you are comfortable
- Grab your paddle and start paddling
NOTE: Most kayaking trips are often launched from slopping shorelines. However, if you don’t have this type of advantage or if you are looking for a better launching, you can follow the guide above.
How to Tie a Square Knot
With that said, there is the one who knows that a kayaker user most of the time. This knot is called the square knot. This knot is used to join two ends of one line so that it binds around an object. In this section, I will show you how to tie a square knot.
- Tie two over the hand knots
- Start with right over left, then twist
- Follow with leftover right then twist
- Make sure that both ends of the knot exit together
NOTE: The Square Knot is easy to tie. It’s ideal for securing non-critical things and is commonly used on shoelaces. Please don’t use it to join two ropes since it can easily come out or loosen up.
In this how to kayak beginners guide, I have shown you the types of kayak, how to kayak, and the commonly used knot. These are some of the most critical areas that a newbie kayaker should learn. Pay close attention and ensure that you’ve got the best results.