What Every Beginning Kayaker Should Know


When you think about it, kayaking is one of the most accessible sports in the world. You don't need any fancy equipment or special training - just a basic set of knowledge and skills. So why do so many beginners have trouble? The answer is simple: they don't understand what being safe on the water really means. In this article we'll discuss some of those things that every beginner must know before beginning a kayaking trip.


You need to put on a personal flotation device (PFD or life jacket).


Your first step in kayaking is getting a PFD, which stands for personal flotation device. A PFD is a vest or jacket that has foam inside of it and straps to secure it on your body. It's designed to keep you afloat if you fall out of your kayak or capsize (turn upside down).

When you're ready to get into the water, put on your PFD before putting your spray skirt on. You can wear the life jacket under or over the spray skirt; whichever way works best for you will be fine, as long as it's secured with at least two buckles so that when you fall out, the life jacket will stay with you instead of floating away from where it belongs—on top of your head!

You should check every time that all straps are secure and tight enough so they don't loosen themselves while paddling around in rough conditions—this could really hurt if something happens mid-ride! Also make sure that kids who'll be paddling alongside adults have their own life jackets fitted properly before hitting any waves together."


Don't assume that because you're a good swimmer, you can take care of yourself on the water.


Don't assume that because you're a good swimmer, you can take care of yourself on the water. It's true that kayakers have an advantage over their canoeing counterparts because they are lower to the water and don't tip as easily, but it's still possible to find yourself in trouble if your boat capsizes. If this happens, try to stay calm and remember these tips:

  • Don't panic. Panicking will only make things worse and make it harder for you to think clearly about what steps need to be taken next. Try taking deep breaths and focus on getting back into your boat or finding another way out of the water (if possible).

  • Don’t swim unless necessary—the water is cold and can cause hypothermia or exhaustion much faster than land-based activities do! Most importantly, remember not all bodies of water are safe for swimming; some lakes may contain dangerous animals like snakes or gators!


You should always wear water shoes with good traction when kayaking.


Water shoes are an essential piece of any kayaker's gear. They protect your feet from sharp rocks, and they provide good traction when both entering and exiting the boat. However, there are many different types of water shoes on the market today. To make sure you end up with the best pair for your needs, it's important to know what to look for in a pair of water shoes. First, make sure that they have good traction—ideally one with a tread pattern similar to hiking boots or sneakers. This will help keep your footing steady when climbing in or out of the boat or walking around at camp after a long day on the water. Next second thing is comfort: You don't want them too tight so that they feel constricting; however, you also don't want them too loose because then you'll slip off while paddling around! Thirdly (and lastly), make sure these things can be easily stored away when not needed: having something bulky lying around all day isn't fun at all!


A whistle can attract attention if you need help.


You should always carry a whistle. It's a good way to attract attention if you need help, especially when it is wet and cold outside.

When you are in the water and can't yell, but still need people to pay attention to you, the whistle will be more effective than yelling.

It's also a good idea to carry one with you because it can be used when you are in the water and can't see other people around whom may hear your calls for help.


Your balance will improve over time - but it's always going to take some work.


In the beginning, your balance will be a work in progress. You may feel unsteady on the water and occasionally slide off of your board, but don't worry—that's expected! It takes time to develop this skill.

Most experienced kayakers have a lifetime of practice under their belts, so they've become masters at not falling off their boards in rough water conditions. If they fall, it's usually because they made an error (like paddling too fast) or were injured by something else (like hitting an underwater rock). So don't worry about making mistakes as you learn how to paddle; just keep practicing until you get good enough that falling isn't even possible!

One way of improving your balance is by strengthening certain muscles through exercise like yoga or pilates. Another option would be taking lessons from someone who knows what they're doing! Once you've nailed down some basic skills such as turning around 180 degrees without tipping over backwards then try going out onto open water where there aren't any obstacles around so that if anything goes wrong then nobody else gets hurt either."


Make sure your kayak is designed for your height and weight.


You should also make sure that your kayak is designed for your height and weight. If you have long legs, an inflatable kayak may not be the best choice for you. Likewise, if you have a heavier build or are taller than average, then an open-hulled design may not be ideal.

If possible, demo the kayaks before purchasing one to ensure that it fits comfortably on your body type and size so that it won't cause injuries during use (i.e., if the edges of the cockpit cut into your thighs when sitting in it).


Take lessons from an experienced kayaker before you go on your own.


You'll also want to take lessons from an experienced kayaker before you go on your own. If you're taking lessons at a local shop, they may have several options for instructors. You should ask the shop owner or manager to recommend someone who has experience teaching beginners. It's also good to get recommendations from people who have taken lessons with the instructor themselves.

If you're taking private lessons, consider hiring someone who has experience in the same type of kayak as yours and knows how to teach it in your area's waterway conditions (e.g., if you plan on paddling only rivers and lakes).


Practice paddling in pools or in small bodies of water before taking your kayak out in the river.


  • Practice paddling in pools or small bodies of water.

  • Practice paddling with a friend.

  • Practice paddling on a straight line.

  • Practice paddling in circles and figure 8s.


When you reach shore, pull forward into land; don't allow the stern (rear) to swing in first.


When you reach shore, pull forward into land; don't allow the stern (rear) to swing in first. This is a common mistake among new kayakers. When you bring your kayak's stern into the mud or sand, it can get stuck and trap you inside.

It's also important to note that if you're not careful when landing your boat on shore, you could overturn it. This can be dangerous as well because now instead of being safely inside your vessel, everything that was inside is exposed—including yourself!


Being safe while kayaking is more important than anything else.


The most important thing to remember when kayaking is to keep yourself safe. Safety is more important than anything else.

  • Fun: Safety should always take priority over fun, especially because the only way to have fun when kayaking is by being safe! It’s impossible for you to have fun without your safety harness firmly attached, so make sure it’s on before you do anything else—even if it means delaying your paddling plans for a few minutes while you attach the harness manually.

  • Speed: You may want to go faster than others in order to get somewhere first, but there are other ways of doing that besides putting yourself at risk of capsizing and drowning due to lack of proper equipment during fast-moving water conditions! Furthermore, if one person speeds ahead while another stays behind because they want their own speed limit respected then no one wins when both arrive at their destination too late because they were worried about getting wet or cold along the way rather than just enjoying themselves together as friends out on an adventure trying something new together as equals (or maybe even better).

  • Getting wet/dirtier than usual: If we're talking about dirtiness here then yes I suppose there would be some people who wouldn't mind getting dirty regardless what type this might mean."


Conclusion


The bottom line is that you should enjoy your time out on the water. The more comfortable and confident you are, the more fun you’ll have. The best way to get started is by taking lessons from an experienced kayaker who knows how to teach safety techniques and can help keep them in mind while they go through their paces on the water. Join us for our guided kayak tour, a great experience for those looking to get out on the water for the first time.