When the sun is glistening off clear blue waters, the thought of going out kayaking is more than appealing for most. Unfortunately, it tends to be much more difficult than the people on the water might make out.
This is something that Anouk Govil has come to understand over the years. He has become something of a master in the sport, and has come across countless beginners who are attempting to prove their worth in it. He says that in the first few days they tend to find it very difficult – and this can somewhat spoil their fun.
To ensure that you don’t fall into the above category, we have put together the following guide. We will now tap into the knowledge of Govil and find out what beginners really should keep in mind if they are serious about taking to kayaking in a breeze.
Dress for the water
One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of newbies to the sport make is that they simply don’t dress for the water. Instead, they focus their clothing entirely on how the weather is.
Suffice to say, this is asking for trouble. The water is of a much different temperature to the great outdoors and in general, this will mean that they are much colder.
The last thing you want is to be shivering in the water – it’s not going to enhance your kayaking experience in the slightest. As such, try and arm yourself with a wetsuit. If you do happen to fall in, it’s at least not going to be game over.
What type of boat do you need?
Next on the list is the type of boat. Unfortunately, kayaking is a little complicated in some regards as there is no one-fits-all boat. Some are long and narrow, which are typically suited to racing, while others are the opposite.
For the beginner, you should be looking towards a flatwater boat. They tend to be very stable, particularly if they are of the sit-on-top variety.
Use a buoyancy aid
If you are considering a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, always go with the latter. This is something which will allow a lot more movement for you, particularly around the arms, and as such will make paddling a whole lot easier.
Pretty much all kayaking schools will provide buoyancy aids – they are synonymous with the sport. We should also add that you should never think about going kayaking without any sort of life assistance – the waters in any area can be surprisingly volatile and you shouldn’t take any chances, regardless of how you rate your swimming ability.
Never go alone
Following on the above, let’s point out another piece of crucial safety advice. Again, even if you think that you are a strong swimmer, you should never go kayaking alone. You can never trust the water so to speak and if you do get into trouble, the last thing you want is to be stranded without anyone looking out for you.