Water sports, especially kayaking, have become more popular in recent years. Some try kayaking for recreational purposes (be it for a fun holiday getaway or as a cool down summer activity) while some get into it in the hopes of eventually competing. Regardless of your reason to finally start kayaking, there are a couple of things you should know first about this water activity. As with any other sport (and a water sport, at that), it is important to have a clear idea of what to expect when you first try this out. This will help you prepare better, as well as prevent any untoward accidents.
That said, here is a list of things you should know before kayaking:
You will inevitably get wet so dress and prepare accordingly
It does not matter whether you have a really good sense of balance or you took several kayaking lessons beforehand. The thing is, you will definitely get wet. You will get splashed with water, you might get into some tricky part of the trail, or your kayak might capsize altogether. That said, it is extremely important for you to get dressed for the temperature of the water. Also, always remember to bring a change of clothes with you.
2. Your kayak will likely capsize at least once
Even with more experienced kayakers, having a kayak capsize is not at all that uncommon. That said, it is better to be prepared for when it happens. Make sure that you know how to swim before you go kayaking. Take a life vest or any flotation device with you regardless of how good you think you are at swimming. Finally, before you head out, make sure that you get your kayaking instructor to teach you what to do in case your kayak capsizes.
3. You have to be very aware of your surroundings
Being in nature is certainly one of the perks of kayaking, but it can also be one of its pitfalls. Remember that your trail is also the natural habitat of other creatures, so it is important to pay attention to your surroundings. Also, being aware of your surroundings will help you navigate tricky trails.
4.Rapids are not for beginners
When you think of kayaking, you probably also think of thrilling rapids. However, it is best to go on safer and calmer waters for your first kayaking venture. You have significantly less balance and control in fast moving waters, so it is better to nail down your basic balancing and paddling skills first. Once you are more confident in your kayaking abilities, that is the only time you should try rapids.
5. It is better to kayak with friends
This is especially true for beginners. Always bear in mind that no matter how careful you are, mishaps may still happen. In that eventuality, it is better to be around people who will be able to help you and render immediate assistance. Also, kayaking with friends will help you pick up better tips and techniques from your company, as well as learn from their mistakes. Think of it as a real-life learning experience. Also, there is less chances of you losing your way if you are kayaking with a group. Finally, in case some mishaps happen along the way, at least you will have great company to make the event a bit better.
6. It is a workout
Being in the water may sound chill, but kayaking is in fact a workout. Some trails can take up to several hours to navigate, so it is extremely important to know your itinerary before you set out. Even if you consider yourself physically active, you might still find paddling for several hours quite challenging. That said, it is better to go on shorter trails during your first kayaking adventure. Once you get a feel of how tiring kayaking is, then you can properly assess how long and how challenging of a trail you can take in the future. The last thing you want to happen is to find yourself in the middle of an unfamiliar trail dead-tired.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of everything you should know before kayaking. However, this is a good place to start. If you are looking for information about buying a Kayak you can read about the best Kayaks over at kayakroom.com Understanding these six crucial facets of kayaking will help you in preparing for kayaking and in identifying whether you have specific needs which must be addressed before you start riding your kayak. Always remember: being prepared is the best way to stay safe and have fun.