Thinking of going kayaking? Not sure what is needed. This information will help you get started with your kayaking joiurney. Different people go kayaking for different reasons. There are those, for instance, who go for leisure and others for the adventure.
Whatever your reasons may be, there are important safety tips to learn to make your day fun and full of experiences you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Launching a Kayak is First of the Quick Guide to Getting Started with Kayaking
Most adventures get started by launching the kayaks from a shoreline that has a gradually slopped dock or area. Depending on the area, you need to be careful to avoid hull dragging, especially in sandy, rocky or cement places.
If possible, get help from a friend to place the kayak in at the put-in point. The yak should be set down perpendicular to a shoreline, in the shallow water. For those who plan to launch alone, consider parallel launching, this can be the best thing for you.
There is no easy way to get into the kayak. You will need to straddle the kayak near the cockpit and sit down. One at a time, bring your feet into the cockpit area. Then slide your legs forward onto the seat.
If you have a sit-on-top kayak, this will be different. All you need to do is climb on, sit down and swing your legs over and enjoy the ride.
If starting from a dock and you are alone lower your kayak parallel to the dock, get it lowest and closest to the water as you can. Then sit down next to your kayak on the dock, put your feet in the cockpit, and rotate your body toward the bow of the boat all the you are sitting while still on the dock. Then lower yourself into the kayak.
Using the skegs and rudders quick guide with kayaking
Some kayaks are equipped with rudders, they are usually placed at the backside of the yak. Your foot pedals will be used to control everything, whether the kayak makes a movement to the right or left. Wherever the foot peg is pushed right, the boat will make a right turn, and if it’s left, it will do so to the left.
This is the yaks steering mechanism fastened outside the hull at the stern. The rudder can help keep your kayak going in a straight direction.
This is a fin that has been designed to drop from the hull bottom down. The skegs main purpose is to ensure the boat keeps moving straight, especially when the weather turns windy.
You will find most beginner kayakers misusing both the skegs and rudders. They end up forgetting them when they arrive at shallow waters, which causes a pulling and can lead to a large amount of damages.
So, to avoid such instances, it’s even better they are left un-deployed until you become more experienced.
Choosing a Paddle
There are two different types of kayak paddles the feathered and the un-feathered. The feathered paddles are with blades on different plans and are measured by the feather’s degrees. For instance, 30,45 or 90 degrees. The un-feathered paddles have a blade on the same plane.
Paddles used for kayaking are longer than canoe paddles and typically have a blade on each end. Since kayak paddles are not attached to the yak in any way, they are lighter in weight than a canoe paddle. They are usually under two pounds.
When kayakers are on the water with limited lighting a good practice would be to wear a headlamp or to have some other form of light. This way other larger motorized boat can see you.
Also when you think about safety don’t forget a compass. You never know when you might get turned around and need it.
Conclusion To Quick guide to getting started with kayaking
These are just a few quick guidance notes to get you started with your beginner kayaking experiences. Once you get the right paddle and learn how to properly get in the kayak you will be on the water and paddling your way out of the beginner stage in no time.
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