A Beginners Guide to Kayak Paddling

A Beginners Guide to Kayak Paddling Techniques

Kayaking is one of the relaxing activities when you’re bored, trying to get some fresh air, or simply trying to learn a new thing.

Also, exploring the rivers can be a great experience to gain with proper kayak paddling techniques.

We’re not going to make promises like you’ll be a pro after reading this article, but learning about kayaking is actually pretty simple and easy. Once you get proper guidance, you’ll effortlessly enjoy your ride.

Well, this write-up is going to provide you with a beginners guide to kayak paddling techniques so you can get a basic idea before diving into the water.

A Beginners Guide to Kayak Paddling Techniques

We mentioned earlier that it’s pretty simple to learn about kayak paddling techniques if you’re a beginner. Here’re some steps that you can follow while paddling.

Adjust your posture

When you’re just getting started, it’s best to keep your boat and body parts like chest, head, hips in place by placing them equally. It’s easier for the boat to shake if you keep your hips relaxed.

Use strong muscles

Rather than bicycling your hands out and back with each stroke, maintain your arms upright. Having a stronger chest, back, and stomach means that you’re more equipped for the work. Paddling with your arms a little stiff is a good way to acquire effective strokes.

Keep your shoulders protected

Paddlesports participants often suffer shoulder problems. Keep your hands forward to protect your shoulders. As you place a paddle blade behind you, rotate your shoulders into a safe posture by turning your head.

Get a handle

A death grip with white-knuckled fists may cause pain. Maintain an “OK” sign-like grip on the paddle shaft with your thumbs and forefingers creating rings. You no longer have to strain your wrists by orienting your blades and extending your reach.

Put the shaft’s center on top of your head, and then hold it such that your arms form right angles at the elbow to discover the proper hand position.

Properly use the blades

Asymmetrical kayak paddle blades are common. Each forward stroke of the spooned power face grabs water. However, certain strokes may also be performed on the back of the hand. Always place the long edge of the cloth on top.

Moving up and upward

Rotate your body without leaning forward while planting the blade as far forward as you can easily reach. Keeping your stroke path parallel to the boat is essential. For traveling, keep the shaft angle flexible (45-60 degrees), and for power, make it more vertical (near the boat).

How to Do Prep Work Before Kayaking Session

Prep work is always the key to the successful outcome of your task. The more you get prepared, the more easy your ride will be. So here are some instructions of prep work that may help you.

Gear Up

For the beginner level, try to purchase budget-friendly and mid-range products, so you can go for another one if they get damaged.

Well, at a minimum, you need:

Get Dressed

Getting dressed up, especially for Kayak paddling, should be taken very seriously. You won’t be paddling in calm and cool water always (the water situation can change anytime) so try to purchase essentials before you dive into the water. They are,

  • Swim trunks for your comfortable fit, which should be non-cotton
  • Waterproof shoes or sport sandals, whatever you prefer
  • Rash-guard top for the utmost sun protection
  • Polarized Sports Sunglass for eye safety
  • Sun protective hat (Optional)

Personal Stuff

You should carry some personal items with you for your security like,

  • Water for drinking
  • Light snacks for extra energy. You can also borrow some lunch if you’re planning a long tour by kayak
  • First Aid box (very important)
  • Lip balm and sunscreen just incase
  • An ENERGIZER LED Headlamp if you think you’ll be slow to get back
  • Whistle for emergency

How to Adjust Your Kayak

Once you adjust your kayak perfectly, the whole task will be easy and simple, and you can paddle without any hassle. These three things will help you get that.

Sit Comfortably

Try to fix your butt gently against the kayak seatback and sit upright. This helps in balancing your body and avoiding any unwanted circumstances.

Bend the Knees

You should check whether you can bend your knees restfully on the foot-pegs. If you can do it even slightly, it’ll be a lot easier for you once you try to get out of the boat after the session.

Solid Contact of Bent Knees

Try to get the right kayak size because once you get into it, your bent knees should be in solid contact. For the balancing purpose, your legs have to be close, but they shouldn’t be jammed. If that happens, you may lose your proper motion.

How to Launch Kayak?

Now let’s talk about the launching of your kayak. It should be smooth from the beginning. These steps are required to follow for a proper start,

  • Ask your friend to carry your kayak to the shallow water. Make sure your boat’s stern is near the waterside, and the bow is facing away from the shore, which will give you a perpendicular launch.
  • One of the paddle blades should be under the deck-line of your boat.
  • Always start the ride by standing over your Kayak by straddling the cockpit.
  • Sit down in your cockpit, lift the legs and slide your feet easily for an effortless ride.
  • Finally, take your paddle and use it for moving the boat with the past arriving waves. You can also attach the LoveinDIY Universal Kayak Spray Skirt if there’s one with you!

FAQs

Do I Need Experience for Kayaking?

Absolutely not. You can start as a beginner and pick it up very quickly, as kayaking isn’t complicated at all. However, it’s essential to know how to swim for any water activities.

Will I Get Wet During the Kayak Ride?

Well, there’s a 99% chance that you’ll get wet when you’re kayaking. Even your boat and paddles will get wet too. In addition, the people around you might also get a splash of water, so if you think you can catch cold, just bring an extra layer of cloth!

Is Kayaking Safe for Children?

If your child is four or above and can understand any instructions, it’s perfectly fine for them. Moreover, there’re boats where two persons can sit together so you can enjoy your ride with your child anytime!

Is Kayaking Safe If The Weather Is Bad?

Kayaking is actually an every weather activity. But summer time is the best according to the experts.

However, if you are a winter or rainy season person, you can still enjoy it. Ensure to avoid high-risk conditions of the water like high winds, high water levels, or any chance of high rainfall.

Final Words

Finally, summing up a beginners guide to Kayak Paddling Techniques with the necessary steps that will keep you updated and motivated while you’re kayaking.

There’s still lots of stuff you will learn when you become experienced, but these are enough for the beginner level!

Try to follow them, and you’ll surely get the most exciting journey ever; that’s a promise!

Greenkayak
Greenkayak
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