There’s never a bad time to start a new hobby. With so many options out there, it can be hard to decide which to choose. Well, you can stop your search because do I have the perfect hobby for you! Often overlooked, kayaking offers an exciting alternative to most tamer hobbies. With a multitude of obvious benefits such as improving your health and fitness, there are also a bunch of other useful skills you’ll learn as you develop. Plus, how cool would it be to slip the fact you kayak you’re your conversations from time to time? Whether you’re looking for adventure, to improve your fitness or you’re just hoping to try something new, here is everything you need to know to get started in kayaking.
What is Kayaking?
Well, Kemosabe, kayaking is a popular watersport, most often in lakes and rivers. For the more advanced kayakers, there is also the option of kayaking in the ocean or rivers with very fast streams. But, considering how risky that can be, even for professionals, it’s probably best to start off simple and safely in a relatively shallow lake or a calm river. Different from canoeing, kayaking involves sitting in a slim boat with a closed deck to prevent the boat from filling with water as it involved a lot more whole-body movement than canoeing. Kayakers propel themselves across the water with double-ended paddles.
What are the Benefits?
Well, first and foremost, kayaking offers an excellent opportunity for exercise. Most people probably don’t realize this, but kayaking is a sport that really engages your whole body. As you’ll probably be spending most of your time trying to keep your balance in the boat, it’s an excellent exercise for toning and building muscle in your core. Plus, you’ll really be toning and building so much strength in your arms from constantly having to paddle, you’ll be ripped in no time!
As previously mentioned, another benefit of getting into kayaking is most definitely the bragging rights. Kayaking is such a cool hobby to start, you’ll find plenty of people interested in your hobby. Once you start to develop your skills and feel more confident on the water, the opportunities are endless. You can explore different waters and if you’re looking for something more relaxing to do, you can even fish on a kayak! Kayaking is also a great way to meet new people as the sport already has a massive community of people who love being on the water. You can share tips and improve your own abilities along the way.
How to Stay Safe
Considering kayaking is a water sport, it only makes sense that the most important thing you should do before getting into your boat is to make sure you know how to swim. Even if you follow our advice and start off in a relatively shallow lake or river, if you capsize (which will be likely in your first few tries, as you try to get accustomed to keeping your balance), you may still need to swim back to the edge to get yourself back into your boat. Plus, it’s a useful life skill to have so win-win.
Whether you’re renting or buying your own, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right equipment for you. You should make sure you get a kayak that’s the right size for you. As part of the design is to ensure that as little water as possible will get into your boat, you should make sure the gap around your waist isn’t too large as it could run the risk of allowing too much water to enter your boat. It would also make it more difficult to control as you’re supposed to use your body to keep your balance. On the opposite side of that, make sure the gap is still large enough for you to get in and out of the kayak comfortably – you don’t want to get trapped.
Naturally, with kayaking being a watersport, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a decent quality wetsuit. This will ensure your body is kept well insulated and will help with buoyancy and your ability to swim in the water. Another beneficial purchase would be a pair of water shoes. While it may be tempting to go barefoot to become one with nature, the reality is that lakes and rivers are unpredictable and so it’s probably a good idea to have something there to protect your feet. You never know what you might end up stepping on. Plus, it would also help with grip if you’re trying to pull yourself out of the water. As kayaking most often takes place outside, you’ll find yourself exposed to the weather. Whilst it’s a bad idea to go kayaking during a storm, on calmer, sunnier days make sure to keep yourself hydrated and topped up on sunscreen.
Most importantly, stay safe and happy kayaking!