How to Kayak
Ever wanted to learn how to kayak? If you are reading this the guess is of course! First things first, before you learn how to kayak, you need to know how to get in a kayak!

There are as many possible ways to get in a kayak as there are kayak designs. Before attempting to enter the kayak for the first time look for shallow or calm water away from rocks. Then once a decent spot is located then you need to actually get in.

Slide your kayak in the water bow (front) first while making sure you are holding on to the stern (back) grab loop. Place the paddle across the kayak, just behind the seat; grab both the handle of the paddle and the rim of the cockpit. Then carefully put one foot in and sit on the edge of the cockpit. Steady yourself and then put your other leg in the cockpit. Once you have good balance, slide into the cockpit and fasten your spray skirt. Congratulations! You are now in your kayak! Now what?

Now that you are in the kayak it is very important to hold the paddle correctly! Don’t panic - this “How to Kayak” guide is here to point you in the right direction! The traditional paddle stroke is called the “forward stroke”. Most kayak paddles have blades that are slightly offset from one another. If you are right-handed you control the stroke with your right hand, and guess what? If you are left-handed you control the stroke with your left-hand!

With your hands about shoulder length apart place the right blade into the water near where your feet are and rotate your torso so you will pull the blade through the water. Do not pull the paddle with your arms, you will very quickly tire out, but make sure to retract your right arm while extending your left arm. Then dip the left blade into the water near your feet and rotate your body in the opposite way, pulling the blade through the water while retracting your left arm while extending your left arm. Repeat these steps and you are now moving through the water!

A few basic things that everyone learning to kayak should do include join a kayak club. It is not usually advisable to start kayaking on your own unless you have some experience. Besides the association with other kayak enthusiasts, you will be able to learn about techniques, sample different types of equipment, and find out what the best kayak for you is.

Don’t be afraid to take some lessons! Just remember you didn’t learn how to walk in one day so you won’t learn how to be a good kayaker on the first day. Finally now that you have a basic idea of how to kayak, get up and get started!


Read More in: General Boating