Snow Kayaking: How To

We've all heard of snow boarding and snow skiing, but snow kayaking: how to? Yes, the small water craft has found its way to the snow hills, and adventure seekers are riding the mountains in a whole new way. Learning snow kayaking is a rewarding and fun activity but should not be taken lightly.

  1. Get the right equipment. Traditional water kayaking requires water gear. Snow kayaking requires snow gear. Acquire a well fitting helmet and goggles such as those used for downhill or extreme skiing sports. A snow suit or thermal pants and a well fitting jacket are needed for the cold conditions. Thermal, but not bulky, gloves are needed to keep the hands warm, but usable. Snow boots which are warm and well-fitting, but not overly large, are the best choice for the sport. Invest in a new, sturdy paddle for the kayak. This paddle will be used to navigate the hills and needs to be reliable. The kayak itself should be new, or in very good condition. Be sure there are no cracks or scars on the bottom which will affect the kayak as it travels in the snow. Some kayaks have openings which are too small to accommodate snow gear worn for the land version of the sport. Put on all your outerwear and get into the kayak before taking it to the mountain.
  2. Find the right spot. You cannot learn snow kayaking just anywhere. The sport requires a wide, open hill with little or no obstructions. The control of the kayak is less accurate than other downhill sporting gear and obstacles such as trees become highly hazardous. Not all resorts allow snow kayaking on their hills. Inquire before going.
  3. Start small and get going. Choose an easy rated hill and get ready to give snow kayaking a try. Use your paddle to gently push off and go slow at first, steering the craft down the hill with the assistance of the paddle. Dig the paddle into the snow to stop. Be prepared for a few spills before getting the sport down pat.
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