Kayaking is an increasingly popular water sport that has been around for centuries. Kayaking also offers a great alternative to canoeing, which can be less stable. Kayaks come in all shapes and sizes, making it easy to find one that fits your needs and budget. Kayakers are always looking for ways to make the kayak easier to use, more comfortable, or just outfitting it with the latest gadgets! Kayaks have become very diverse in design and function over the last few years – some even have motors attached so you can go farther faster! In this article, we will discuss all there is to know about kayaking gear and safety.
What is kayaking?
Kayaking is a sport of paddling and maneuvering kayaks using paddle strokes.
– Kayaking was first used in the Pacific Northwest coastline by First Nations communities with dugout kayaks and canoes made from hollowed-out tree trunks.
– Kayakers use either single-person or tandem type boats, which are sometimes called “dualies” because they have two hulls (or bodies) for stability on the water.
– Kayaks come in many different shapes and sizes to accommodate their users’ needs – some may be shorter so you don’t get your feet wet when exiting it while others might offer more storage space underneath where you sit.
Types of kayaking
There are many types of kayaking to suit various tastes and preferences. These types include
-Sea kayaking-this activity takes place on large water bodies such as lakes and seas. Its done by those whose aim is to cover a large distance.
-Whitewater kayaking- mostly done by adrenaline junkies. Takes place on rivers with fast moving water as well as rapids and whitewater. It is not recommended for beginners.
–Recreational kayaking– This is mostly done on calm waters such as lakes and rivers and its main aim is relaxation. It is the most common type as beginners as well as children can also participate.
Is kayaking easy for beginners?
Kayaking is easy for beginners to pick up and people of all ages can enjoy it. Many resorts offer kayak lessons as well as day trips where you can go out with a guide or take an intro tour.
For those who want more instruction before they hit the water, there are many books on how to kayak available from libraries and bookstores that serve as great starting points.
Kayaks are also very affordable starter boats compared to other water sports like sailing, so if you’re looking for something new without spending too much money this might be your best bet!
What should a beginner wear for kayaking?
For those who are new to kayaking, it is often best to wear wet suits that cover the entire body or spray jackets with a high SPF. Kayakers should also make sure they have sunglasses and hats on hand in order for their skin and eyes not get sunburned while out on the water. You should also have sports shoes on to ensure your feet are well covered.
Is kayaking safe for non-swimmers?
The risk of a kayak overturning is very real and so it is always good to plan for that. However, this doesn’t normally happen as mostly the activity is done on calm waters and so the risk is minimized. You don’t have to be a swimming pro to kayak. You should, however, be comfortable in water. A life jacket also comes in handy as it can help you incase the kayak capsizes.
It is always advisable to do this activity with a friend who is experienced in kayaking, especially if you are a beginner.
Is kayaking a good workout?
The health benefits of kayaking include:
- Improved muscle strength- This is mainly the chest, back, arms and shoulders as the activity intensively engages those body parts.
- Since the activity is low impact, the risk of wear and tear of tissues and joints is very minimal.
- Improved coordination- Kayaking requires balance skills, which improves your ability to focus as well as memory recall.
- It benefits mental health by reducing stress levels.
- The activity is known for increasing flexibility since it stretches all major muscles including hamstrings, calves, pecs and lower back. Kayak paddling can even help with circulation problems such as Reynaud’s Disease or Osgood Schlatter disease since blood flow would improve due to increased movement of arms and legs while kayaking.”
Safety precautions for kayaking
- Stay sober- drinking is not only unsafe when driving but also when kayaking.
- Have a lifejacket on- always wear a life jacket as accidents can happen and its better to be safe than sorry.
- Choose your location wisely- it is advisable to choose a paddling location based on your skill level and expertise. Do not paddle in areas you cannot swim comfortably on. Always choose a location that is protected from waves and wind.
- Have the necessary safety gear with you-these include PFDs (personal floatation devices), headlamps, a spare paddle, a whistle, a water proof communication device as well as a towline.
- Dress for immersion- the water temperature is a very important factor to consider. You need to know the temperature of the water and dress accordingly.