Kayaking can be a great way to explore the natural world and get some exercise at the same time, but it’s important to make sure you’re as prepared and aware of potential dangers as possible. To that end, TheWaveMagazine.com has created this list of 11 things everyone should know before they go kayaking.
1. Know Your Gear
A kayak is a bit like a car—it is useless without some basic knowledge of its mechanics and maintenance. You need to know how to use each piece of equipment, from the paddle to the spray skirt, so that you can make adjustments when something goes wrong during your trip. In addition to this, it’s also helpful if you have some basic tools at hand such as pliers or Allen keys in case there is an emergency situation where parts need repairing or replacing (for example, losing a screw on your rudder could result in serious problems).
2. Checking The Weather Forecast
- Check the weather forecast before you go.
- Make sure you have the right gear for the conditions.
- Check the weather forecast for the next few days, as well.
- Be prepared for the unexpected—if it’s going to rain, bring a poncho or waterproof jacket just in case!
3. Kayaking in Groups
One of the most important kayaking tips is to always paddle in a group. No matter how experienced you are, safety in numbers should be your guiding principle when heading out on the water.
If you’re going out on your own, it’s best to stick close to shore and travel during daylight hours so that you can easily spot obstacles and avoid getting lost. If there’s one thing we’ve learned while researching our guide, though: no matter how careful you are with planning out your trip and making sure that everything is going smoothly (or trying not to), Murphy’s Law will kick in at some point during your outing. This means that unexpected things like losing an oar or breaking an ankle can happen at any time—and it’s best if these things don’t happen when there aren’t other people around who could help you deal with them!
As such, if possible try joining up with another group of kayakers before heading out onto open waters where nobody would be able to hear screams from someone drowning in their boat or needing help because they got stuck under some rocks after being washed off course by a wave.”
4. Wearing a Life Jacket Is a Must
Wearing a life jacket is a must. While the water in which you’re paddling is calm and the sun is shining, it’s easy to forget that we are in fact on top of liquid that can take us down without warning. Life jackets are designed to keep you afloat in case you fall out of your kayak and are unable to get back aboard. They will also keep you safe from sharp objects as well as prevent hypothermia when wet for extended periods of time. Lastly, they provide added support for those who may have weak upper body strength or balance issues that could lead to an accident while paddling their kayaks on open waters.
5. Stay Hydrated
It’s important to stay hydrated when kayaking, especially on longer journeys. The best way to do this is by carrying a water bottle or two with you on your trip so that you can keep drinking throughout the journey. While it may not seem like much at first, this simple act will help ensure that you don’t become dehydrated and get sick from over exertion.
Sipping water every few minutes will help prevent dehydration because it allows your body time to absorb the fluid without becoming overfull or nauseous as a result of gulping down too much too quickly – which could lead to vomiting and other unwanted inconveniences!
6. Use Your Leg Power To Turn Your Kayak
If you have a foot peg or some other rigging system, this will be easier for you. If not, as long as you have foot straps on your shoes and a paddle that can be held close to the boat (so you’re not reaching out into the water), then it’s still possible! Just use your feet to push against the floor of the kayak and steer it in whatever direction you want. As always: make sure to stay balanced in front of and behind where these points are located so that it doesn’t tip over!
If that doesn’t work for whatever reason (such as being too weak), then using both legs/feet together like this might be more effective.
7. Don’t Overthink Staying Dry
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea of staying dry, but if you do fall in, don’t worry. The best thing you can do is stay calm, scoop out the water with your paddle and get back in your kayak as quickly as possible. If you need to bail out, use your paddle to push yourself back towards shore. And if you find yourself having trouble getting back into your kayak or simply want to get out farther than what your paddle will allow for (the water may be too deep), use it like a walkie-talkie: Point one end at the shoreline and push it away from you until it hits the bottom before pulling yourself onto land!
8. Always Have A Plan B For Windy Days
The wind can be a great ally or a dangerous enemy. If you’re kayaking on a day when the wind picks up, it is important to have a plan B. You might need to change your route or turn back all together. If the wind is too strong, even the most experienced kayakers will have difficulty paddling against it.
If you have a kayak with a rudder, use it! A rudder will allow you to steer much more easily in high winds and heavy currents than one without one.
9. Stay Close to Shore and Avoid Rocky Outcrops Between You and The Shore
Keep close to shore, if possible. If there are large rocks near the shore, you want to avoid those as well. This might require you staying further out in the water than you normally would, but it can help in a few different ways:
- By staying further away from rocky areas, your chances of hitting one are reduced;
- It lets you see where other kayakers are going so that they don’t accidentally run into each other;
- It’s never fun having someone else run into your kayak when they’re just trying their best not hit any rocks!
10. Stay Within Your Skill Level and Avoid Getting Into Trouble
Above all else—whether or not this is your first time kayaking or if you’ve been doing it for decades—it’s important that everyone stays within their own skill level so that they don’t put themselves in danger by paddling too far out into open water (or even worse yet…into rocks!). If anything goes wrong while on vacation like this then all bets are off–but even before then, there’s no need risk getting hurt! As long as everyone follows these simple guidelines then hopefully everyone can enjoy themselves safely with no worries about accidents happening along the way.
11. Always Carry Enough Food and Water to Last Two Hours Longer Than Expected
If you’re planning to kayak for longer than two hours, it is a good idea to carry extra food and water with you. While it’s a given that people should always bring enough supplies for their own needs, many kayakers are unaware of how much exertion they need to put into their paddling in order to make it through an entire trip.
The best way to prepare is by bringing supplies that will last longer than usual so that there aren’t any surprises or emergencies while out on the water. It may be helpful to consider sharing these supplies with other members of your group if necessary, especially if they are inexperienced or new at kayaking altogether!
Make sure that any rations you pack include something healthy as well as something more indulgent so there are options for everyone in your party (and don’t forget about yourself!). And remember: always carry a water bottle!
With these tips, you’ll be on the water in no time!
Now that you have a better understanding of the basics, here are 10 advanced tips to help you improve your kayaking experience:
- Don’t forget your sunscreen!
- Practice at home before going out on the water.
- Always keep a first aid kit handy and know how to use it in an emergency situation.
- Try to avoid emergency situations by making sure all of your equipment is in good condition prior to each use (e.g., straps and safety gear). Also check for any tears or leaks in your vessel; these can be costly repairs!
- Don’t overload yourself with too much gear—the more stuff weighs down the boat, the harder it will be to maneuver through rapids or other whitewater conditions
Kayaking is a sport that is best learned by doing and developing the skills you need to plan, be safe and have fun along the way. With these tips, you should have enough knowledge to get you started and head towards shore.