Learning how to start kayaking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, experience nature first hand, and exercise all at the same time. Kayaking does not necessarily have to be a difficult activity, but you can make the exercise as strenuous as you want. Safety is always important, but in kayaking it is essential due to the possible danger of accidents that can lead to serious injury and even death. However, the experience of kayaking can be rewarding physically, mentally, and spiritually if approached with the right mind set.
- You can learn to start kayaking by taking classes which will many times be offered at local pools at YMCA’s or other similar venues. You should take these lessons before attempting to kayak on your own because the instructors will teach you the basics such as paddling, steering, and stopping in a kayak that you will either be allowed to borrow or that you can rent for a day. Instructors will also teach you the precautions and maneuvers necessary to kayak safely through different environments. Kayaking in a pool is a relatively safe way to learn how to do this sport, and having an instructor there will further ensure your safety in the case that something does go wrong.
- In order to start kayaking you will need a kayak, paddles, and gear such as a life vest and a helmet. Purchasing these can be expensive, and they also take up a large amount of space so you will need a big area to store them like a garage or a shed. For beginners it is probably best to rent the gear due to its costliness. However, if you decide to incorporate kayaking as a regular activity in your life, then purchasing all of the equipment will be much more cost efficient in the long run.
- Choose a location at which you know you will enjoy the kayaking experience. Rivers, whether slow or fast flowing, are much more difficult to kayak through than a lake or a pond. Beginners should always start off slow and work up to the river kayaking experience. After you feel you have mastered the basics of paddling through a lake and have built up some endurance, you can move on to a slow flowing river or creek as long as it is deep enough to hold your kayak.
- Bring friends along for the trip. Kayaking alone is dangerous and considered to be unwise. Bringing friends will both enrich the experience and help ensure everyone’s safety. You can learn from each other’s mistakes and teach each other new tricks as you figure them out.