Tips for First Time Kayak Users

It is probably not going too far to say that the invention of the kayak among the indigenous tribes of the far north had the same impact that wheel had on civilizations with less water and more hard surfaces. Kayaking today is not just a utilitarian means of transport for those who cannot easily get from one place to another. Kayaking provides terrific aerobic conditioning. The kayak is also a versatile invention that can be taken to the lake, river or even the ocean.

Many first time kayakers have trouble getting into the cockpit, especially if they are used to stepping into the larger sitting area of a canoe. Before you become adept enough to handle getting into a kayak with ease, start by placing the kayak next to the shore. Make sure it is also parallel to the bank. Place your paddle across the kayak and to the rear of the cockpit. Make sure a blade lies flat on the surface to give you support and balance. Grasp the junction of the kayak paddle and the cockpit so that you can keep the kayak steady. Lean your weight toward the shore and place the leg closest to the kayak to the front of the seat before carefully following with the other leg. All that is required from this point is to lower yourself into the seat.

The wet exit is a much smoother way to get out of a kayak than a dry exit. It also looks cool to onlookers. You must capsize your kayak completely to accomplish this. After turning the boat upside-down, you should remove the skirt from the cockpit by using a firm pulling motion. Carefully remove your hips and legs from the boat.

It is very easy to get fatigued when paddling a kayak. A good way to delay the inevitable onset of fatigue and tiredness is to make sure back is pressed firmly against the backrest. Twisting the body with each stroke will soon quickly create discomfort in your stomach muscles. Train yourself to let your arm and shoulder muscles do all the work because they are the muscles that are designed to do the job at hand and should therefore give in to fatigue less easily.

Avoid paddling deeply into the water. You may see this done in a racing atmosphere and think it is acceptable for pleasurable pursuits, but deep paddling will tire you out very quickly. The reason it is done in a race is to allow for a quick change of direction. You can accomplish this task by dragging the blade on the side of the turn and in the process save yourself from getting worn out too quickly.