Getting in a kayak and having a paddle is such a fun way to spend the day, and it’s a great way to discover a new destination. While it looks very easy to do, there are a few ways you can prepare for a kayak adventure to make it the best possible day out. If you are a beginner and not quite sure where to start, read on to get a beginner’s guide to kayaking trips.
Just let yourself do it
It can be so easy to put off doing new things, especially when you have to go out of your way to do them as much as kayaking necessitates. With that said, kayaking has so much to offer as a way to experience nature, and it’s more than worth the work that goes into starting out. So, just go for it! Once you’re out on the water, you’ll be sure to thank yourself for taking that chance.
With that said, there are still a few things that you’ll need to decide on prior to getting in the water…
Find yourself the right kayak
Kayaks aren’t one-size-fits-all, and there are going to be different styles that work for different needs and experience levels. For example, there are recreational kayaks that work as excellent all-rounders, while touring kayaks are better for those that are looking to explore on long trips. As you become more invested in kayaking, you’ll hopefully have the chance to try out various different styles and find the style that is best suited to your preferences, but make sure that you find out what variety you’re buying.
Choose a place
There are so, so many places that you can get in a kayak, so your first order of business is to choose where you want to do it so that you can narrow down the providers who hire them out. There are dedicated kayaking holiday destinations and there are also going to be places in your local community, so make a decision and start researching your chosen area. Once you choose a hire company they will give you the rundown of the area and will recommend where you should head in the kayak and what you can do.
Once you’ve got some experience at your chosen spot, don’t forget to branch out and explore your options. There are chances to kayak in places all across the state, country, and world, so don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to your locale.
Get a crew together
You can kayak as a solo, or you can kayak with another person in your boat – both options are a lot of fun! By getting a crew together and hiring a few kayaks, you can explore new destinations together and will want to stay out on the water longer having fun, chatting, racing and looking for a spot to pull up and have a bite to eat. Oftentimes, businesses are geared toward group trips making the price of the hire more affordable as a group. So, whether you’re getting a group of friends together or want to take your team building exercises to the next level, kayaking is a fantastic group activity.
Even if you can swim well, you need to be wearing a life vest at all times. Calm water can feed into rougher waters and even rapids or rips as a moment’s notice. Your life vest is going to provide you with the buoyancy you need if you get into trouble. You always want to do some research on the water you are paddling in, especially if you have chosen this area on your own. Crocodiles and other dangerous land and sea animals might call these waters home and put you at risk if you happen to capsize.
Check the weather
As with any outdoor activity, the weather forecast can make or break a trip, so make sure that you plan ahead with your weather preparations and find yourself a day with low wind to avoid a frustrating first time out on the water. Strong winds can make it difficult for even the most experienced kayakers to get anywhere, so avoid any stormy, windy days, or days with generally difficult conditions, especially if you’re just getting started.
Sunscreen is recommended every day, but when you are on the water you are going to be in a position where sunburn is inevitable due to the way the sun reflects on the water. Grab a hat and some water-resistant sunscreen and cover your exposed skin so that you don’t have a painful reminder of this fun day out. In fact, while you are packing supplies it might also be an idea to get some insect repellent as mosquitos and flies are known to hang out on the water and in mangrove environments which can really put a dampener on a great day out.
Always remember to bring more supplies than you think you’ll need, as you never know when an emergency may arise. Whether that means extra bottles of water or a whole second sunscreen bottle, it pays to be careful.
The right clothing
As you’d likely expect, you don’t want to be wearing a new outfit or anything of value when you kayak. Even if you do happen to stay in the kayak for the whole day, the oars tend to flick water and getting wet is pretty likely out there on the water. Old clothes and shoes are going to be your best bet as they are comfortable and not too precious so that you can still get amongst the fun and not be worried about getting to a dry cleaner.
In terms of staying active, kayaking is a really great way to be social and fit at the same time. Be sure to cover the basics here on your first kayak, and then you can start planning your next trip out with a little more confidence. Good luck & happy kayaking!