It’s really no wonder kayaking is so popular nowadays. This intricate dance of maneuvers, strokes and balance between boat, paddle and person are quite extraordinary. It’s also a sport that can easily be done by anyone with a little core and arm strength and, most importantly, a love of water.

Kayaking

Kayaking

There are a lot of people trying out kayaking for the first time, and it’s helpful to know a few basic things before entering the water. Beginners have a lot of resources which can help them get their feet wet and go on their first kayaking trip. Here are some great tips to get you started and enjoy this fantastic sport:

  1. Get appropriate clothing

Choosing the best clothing for kayaking comes first, even before trying out your first moves. When it comes to clothing choices in kayaking, there’s only a simple rule to follow: dress for the water, not the weather. This means that, no matter the air temperature, dress according to the water temperature. For instance, if you are out on a kayaking trip during summer on a mountain lake in Oregon, dress for the 50F cold water, and not for the 85F warm air temperature. Try to get as many warm, quick-dry layers of clothing, but also sunglasses and sunscreen, depending on local weather conditions. You can store these items in an Adventure Lion dry bag, that is light and easy to carry.

  1. Take a kayaking intro lesson

Everyone has to start somewhere. Kayaking lessons are the best ways to get you started. You will be guided by experts who will know how to teach you the basic moves, how to hold a paddle, keep your balance and you will get help on how to use your boat and accessories. There are a lot of kayaking experts who provide lessons, as well as kayaking schools near lakes or seaside resorts. They are fairly affordable and will only take a couple of hours.

  1. Learn the basics – and know them well

Even though it’s just “stick your paddle in the water and pull”, kayaking can be a little tricky for beginners. Experts point out that there are a lot of errors beginners make and there’s a lot to learn during your first days. Here’s a quick guide on the basic moves you’ll need to master before your first trip:

  • hold the paddle with a light-medium grip: you’ll need to be flexible and control your paddle with ease; this will also avoid muscle straining
  • make swift, powerful and deep forward moves – these will make your boat really go and gain speed
  • control sweep strokes to correct your turns – swirl your paddle to either left or right when you want to turn or correct your direction
  • get your own paddling rhythm – this is especially helpful for long trips, as you won’t get tired
  • stay upright – keep your body at a balanced center of gravity at all times; this way, you won’t tip over
  1. Pick a simple route for your first trip and check the weather

When planning your first kayaking trip, try to go to an area you are already familiar with. Ideally, it should be a small, calm-water lake or a bay protected from high waves and currents. Here, you can practice the basic moves without any additional risks. Also, check your local weather forecast and make sure there won’t be any storms in the area. Try to avoid foggy days as much as possible, as you will easily become distracted and you will lose focus. Similarly, avoid getting lost by staying close to the shoreline.

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