Kayaking is an exciting way to explore nature and spend quality time with loved ones. Some people like this water sport but fear trying it out because of the misconception that it is strenuous and requires a lot of strength.
Moreover, most beginners fear that they will experience grave danger if the boat tips over.
Is Kayaking Hard?
Whether kayaking is hard or not depends on a person’s skills and how they approach the sport. For instance, it will be hard if you hope to go on a kayaking expedition in the ocean the second time you enter a kayak.
The truth is that kayaking is not as hard as people assume. You only need to learn a few primary skills to paddle safely and smoothly.
Is Kayaking Hard for Beginners?
Yes, this water sport might seem challenging in different ways for beginner paddlers. However, you will not believe how easy and enjoyable it becomes once you acquire the right skills.
For example, knowing that you are relying on yourself and the paddle to take you back to the shore may seem scary, but the fear fades away with more practice.
For this reason, first-time kayakers should learn primary skills and techniques. They should also spend more time kayaking to familiarize themselves with it and gain more experience.
Is Kayaking More Challenging than Paddle Boarding?
Generally, paddle boarding is easier. Kayaking may be harder or more physically and mentally demanding because it requires a high degree of coordination and navigation. This is especially when you are paddling through choppy water or against a strong current.
Tips to Make Kayaking Easier
Your kayaking skills greatly influence your kayaking experience. If you are a first-time paddler, here are some tips to help you perfect your skills in this water sport.
Take a Kayaking Lesson
Paddling is not rocket science. However, you might find yourself moving around in circles and wasting time and energy if you fail to implement proper paddling techniques. Therefore, ensure that you book kayaking lessons and get coaching from an experienced instructor.
The expert will teach you how to hold the paddle, make safe and efficient paddling strokes, and maintain stability on the water. You will also learn how to launch your kayak and recover it when it capsizes or tips over.
Choose the Right Kayak
Today, different kayaks are built for different skill levels, environments, and kayaking types. For example, a kayak meant for touring is different from a kayak told for surfing and racing.
To have an enjoyable first experience, ensure that you choose a kayak with the right size, shape, and design. It should be lightweight, wide, and stable enough to allow you to get in and out of it as quickly as possible.
The suitable types of kayaks for beginners are recreational kayaks. It is better to start with the sit-on-top kayaks because they quickly get in and out. The sit-inside types are more suitable for advanced paddlers who can easily navigate challenging water environments.
Choose the Right Paddle
Knowing that the type, design, and size of the paddle you are using will affect your kayaking experience is crucial.
For instance, the wrong paddle will leave you exhausted, cause blisters, and make the kayaking trip uncomfortable.
For this reason, you should consider the following factors when selecting the paddle.
• Your paddling style
• Your height
• Your torso length
• Type of kayaking you intend to do
• The width of the kayak
Start with Recreational Kayaking
If you are a first-time paddler, you should start with recreational kayaking in calm rivers and lakes. It allows you to practice different paddling skills as you familiarize yourself with this sport.
You can then switch to various specialized forms of kayaking, such as whitewater kayaking and ocean kayaking, once you reach a higher skill level.
Another tip to make kayaking easier and safer is to dress for the water rather than the weather. Wearing shorts and a light shirt is tempting if you are kayaking on a hot sunny afternoon. However, the water might be icy cold.
Therefore, kayakers should wear clothes that are suitable for the water temperature. For example, wear a wetsuit and waterproof cagoule.
Your clothes should support the easy movement, especially around your neck and arms. Moreover, remember to bring a spare set of clothes, just in case you fall in the water.
Wear Safety Equipment and Accessories
For your safety, ensure that you wear various kayaking essentials, such as a life vest, helmet, and spray skirt, before you hit the waters.
Additionally, you should have a dry bag to store and keep your items dry. If you are paddling for a long distance, consider wearing paddle gloves to prevent blisters.
Kayakers should also carry a first aid kit because an accident can happen. Ensure that you store the medical supplies in a dry and easy-to-reach spot.
Do Kayaks Tip Over Easily?
This question is common among beginners who want to learn how to kayak or who have just started kayaking.
The chances of experiencing this issue are relatively small when you learn how to implement different paddling skills. However, various factors may cause your kayak to trip over.
These factors include:
• River currents
• Undercut rocks and other obstacles
• Strong wind
To avoid being involved in such a situation, beginners should stick to calm waters and only paddle in calm weather.
Additionally, your chosen kayaking location should match your experience and skill level. It would help if you also remembered to carry safety equipment in case the kayak capsizes.
In summary, kayaking is a fun, exciting, and accessible water sport that gets easier with more learning and practice. First-time kayakers are likely to find it hard because they lack primary techniques.
They can become better paddlers by taking kayaking lessons, choosing the right kayak and paddles, wearing safety gear, and paddling in calm weather.