Water sports are fun, and there is a plethora of diversity in each. To change a bit from SUPing, I’ve decided to talk about the basics of kayaking on today’s review list. Because if you were thinking of trying it out while googling ‘kayaking near me,’ there are certainly other things to be aware of apart from ‘places to kayak near me.’
Things like how to paddle correctly, what to wear, how to hold the paddle, and when to go are equally as crucial as merely finding info like ‘canoeing near me.’
So, with that said, before we go onto the basics and I present you the map with all the kayaking places in the world, I’ll just drop some wisdom here, and I know kayak-lovers will agree:
“Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a kayak, and that’s kind of the same thing.”
As you picture yourself with a kayak, just gliding across the calm, glassy water with all the trees around you reflected in it, you will need some preparation if this would be your first time in one.
Luckily I’m here to help you prepare before you sit into the cockpit and create some waves.
First off, as a newbie, you should initially rent a boat or borrow from a friend just to test the waters. If you have someone to teach you first hand, even better! But most importantly, you should familiarize yourself with a boat before you go and buy just any on the internet.
Or if you don’t have anyone to show you or borrow you a kayak, then simply sign up for a guided tour. You will have many experienced paddlers around you who can tell you what to do and who you can follow when in the water.
Or, if you want something even more effective, then sign up for a class. It will provide you will all the basics plus the complete kayaking gear so you can start your adventure the right way.
Then, as you enter the wide world of kayaking, you will have more time and knowledge, and you will be able to think about…
Firstly, it’s essential to think about how many times a year you’ll be using your kayak. If it’s just while on vacation for a week or two during the summer days, then getting a cheaper one will be a good enough investment. But, if you live near a lake or river or another body of water and you can kayak almost every day, then making a more substantial investment and buying one more expensive would pay off in the long run.
These types of kayaks are great for shorter trips if you plan on kayaking only during the summer.
If you’ll be enjoying kayaking more often and you’ll be doing extended, overnight trips, then touring kayaks (a.k.a sea kayaks or ocean kayaks) will be the right purchase for you.
So while these 2 are the main categories, within them, there are many types of kayaks, such as:
For a more in-depth run-through of each type of kayak, I suggest reading my latest piece here. It will help you choose the best one for you.
Basically, the factors that will determine what you buy are the price and the weight. However, at the start, I would suggest you buy a kayak that’s good enough to learn with, and then as seasons go by, and you paddle more and more, you will feel when it’s the right time to upgrade and get a new more upscale kayak.
Of, if you already have a SUP board and you want to try kayaking recreationally, I have just the thing! Check out these paddle board kayak seats that can be easily installed on your stand up paddle board. This way, you can try kayaking with your paddle board without spending too much money on a kayak initially.
And now that you know a bit more about kayak types let’s talk kayak gear and clothing.
For more info on what to wear when kayaking check this article here
Kayaking isn’t limited to the summer season only, so if you are paddling with the weather temperature below 18-20 degrees C, then a wetsuit is also required. For more details, read about the wetsuit temperature guide and how does a wetsuit work.
When searching for ‘kayaking near me’ before getting to it, first, you need to know how to adjust your kayak based on your preferences. Once you do this right, paddling will be way more stable and comfortable. So, before you launch yourself into the water, adjust your kayak on dry land.
When launching your kayak into the water, the first thing you should avoid is dragging it through a rocky/sandy beach or cement surfaces. Especially the hull.
Apart from choosing the right paddle size for you, holding it right will enable you to make all the strokes correctly and paddle more efficiently without getting too tired.
Now that you know the basic strokes, if you have been wondering about ‘kayaking near me,’ I have just the thing. The map just below shows any place in the world that is marked OKAY for kayaking. You have many bodies of water on different levels anywhere on the globe.
So, depending on where you are, select the right place and kayak away!
Firstly, you should never forget a thing from the kayaking checklist above.
Also, on your first time, do not go far without a paddling buddy. Bring someone more experienced with you (unless you go on a kayaking tour).
Also, for the perfect kayaking ratio for tiredness and optimal energy, do not paddle for more than two hours the first few times. Paddlers often make this mistake when they paddle away initially because they have energy in the beginning, but then they realize that they are exhausted on their way back.
So, until you build up stamina, never paddle farther from shore than you’re easily able to swim. I mean, near-shore areas are more interesting and offer more places to see anyway!
Check the weather, the tides, and currents of the body of water you are paddling in. And know the temperature of the water. If it’s below 28 degrees Celsius or 60 degrees Fahrenheit, then a proper wetsuit is needed.
Also, if this is your first or even third time kayaking, go for a smaller, calmer body of water like a lake or pond that has no powerboat traffic. This will give you complete control over your kayak, and you will have lots of space to practice doing the strokes well and balancing over water.
Pick a windless, sunny day. And if you can’t, then simply start your paddling into the wind. Then, on your way back (when you’re already tired), you will have the wind in your back, pushing you in the right direction. And well, that’s a breeze!
“When in doubt, paddle out.”
Have you decided on your kayaking adventure yet? Let me know in the comments what is your pick and why. I’d love to hear about your experience. Also, don’t forget to visit my Facebook and Instagram account for more cool tips and recommendations on kayaking, paddle boards, and all sorts of accessories.
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