Sunday, 24 January 2010

How to Get Into Kayaking

By: Maeve Rich, Staff Writer

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to get into kayaking, you’re probably an adventurous, outdoorsy person. This is a good start to getting into kayaking, whether you’re interested in ocean kayaking or you want to go kayak camping. Here are some tips on how to get into kayaking as well as planning kayaking trips.

Before you run out and purchase a kayak, you should determine how often you plan on using it. If you’ve never kayaked but think you’re going to like it, consider just renting a kayak for your first few trips. Not only will this allow you to experiment with different sizes, it will also save you a bundle of money if you decide that kayaking is not for you. In fact, renting can be a good idea if you only plan on kayaking a couple times of year, and you go somewhere which has a kayak rental facility nearby, or it is relatively easy for you to rent a kayak from an outdoorsy store. If you decide that you will be kayaking often or will frequently be taking kayaking trips where renting will be inconvenient, then consider purchasing your kayak.

Next you should decide what type of kayaking you will do. Do you want to simply paddle around in a little flat water? Take your kayak down some rapids? Head out to the open ocean? Different bodies of water necessitate different types of kayaks. Do your research and figure out which kayak is best for you.

Once you have your kayak or know where you’ll be renting one from, it’s time to take a class. A class or better yet, a multi-class course is ideal for many reasons: it will teach you about the intricacies of kayak navigation, it will open you up to different kayaking experiences, and, not least of all, it will teach you about safety. Don’t jump into a kayak without getting some sort of education. A lot can go wrong and the results can be disastrous.

You have your kayak, you’ve taken your lesson. Now all there is to do is practice. Start out on a relatively calm body of water, and make sure you always have somebody with you. Work through the frustrating parts and be aware that muscle soreness is probably going to be a pretty big part of kayaking until you’re used to it. The more you kayak, the better you will get at the technique involved as well as developing the strength necessary for the sport.

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