Are you interested in learning how to sit in a white water kayak? Do you want to experience the thrills of this watery ride? Armed with the right skills and knowledge, experience nature’s roller coaster! White water kayaking is a fantastically fun way to experience nature and get your adrenaline requirements met. It is not just for the elite triathletes who also regularly parachute from planes; people from all walks of life can become adept at white water kayaking, beginning with a few basic skills. Learn to sit properly in a white water kayak and half your battle is over.
- Before setting out, get fit. There is no need to be muscle-bound, but a certain amount of flexibility and core strength will make your experience that much better. The kayak is an extension of your body, and maneuvering the kayak is what your body will do. Practicing kayaking ergonomics is just as important to avoid injury, as is proper positioning of your body while you sit at your computer keyboard
- Learn in a calm body of water. While some indestructible types enjoy diving right into the rapids, so to speak, learning at a rapid life or death pace, this is extremely dangerous, potentially leading to no future kayaking trip.
- Take your kayak to a body of water and practice getting in and out of it. Choose water with challenging currents as well as calm portions to enter and exit the water. Practice entering and exiting your white water kayak in shallow water. Place one hand behind where you will be sitting to steady the boat, and get in, attempting to maintain balance. This is challenging, but will get easier as you sit in your white water kayak multiple times.
- Sit in your white water kayak with your back straight. Good posture is an essential detail in kayak balancing. It’s all in the details. Knees are slightly bent, and will lean comfortably against the side braces. Sit with your back straight and slightly forward as you enter the rapids. Your shoulders and chest will be open, allowing you to paddle efficiently.
- Use the braces for maneuverability. Use your knees, thighs, hips, butt, and lower back to maintain balance and control. There are various foot supports available, from movable blockheads, foam inserts, to movable pegs for better control of your boat in the rapids.
- Develop constant awareness of the water around you. Be aware of how the water is moving, in what direction, and how quickly. There are six classifications of water speed, from calm and placid, to waterfalls, and potentially dangerous currents. Be prepared with the right equipment and knowledge.
- Enter the current while already in your white water kayak. Attempt to match the speed of the water when entering it. Maintain your posture. Your body will naturally curve away from any angle you turn toward. Look in the direction you want to go and lift your knee to facilitate a turn. In other words, lift your right knee to turn right.
It is a good practice to always go with a buddy for safety. Wear proper safety equipment, as water and other conditions may be unpredictable. Learning to sit in a white water kayak is a basic skill leading to many adventurous rides on the rapids. For added confidence join a kayaking club and learn the ropes from others who have been newbies themselves, and share your love of nature and wild rides.