Kayaking is known watersport activity involving paddling with the use of a double-bladed oar and a small boat called kayak. These kayaks come in various sizes and types and most of them have enclosed decks for covering the legs. The first kayaks were built in North America by the Inuits which were used to hunt. Kayaks made today are made of fiberglass, rotomolded plastic, wood or Kevlar and are primarily designed for recreational purposes to sustain various water environments such as seas, lakes and whitewater rivers.
For beginners, there are a lot of things you need to learn before going on kayaking such as kayaking techniques and equipment for a safer and more enjoyable kayaking adventure. Kayaks have different types depending on the material, most can carry one to three paddlers and these include surf kayaks, whitewater kayaks, racing kayaks, touring or sea kayaks, and hybrids which are usually called recreational kayaks. The make and material dictates the performance of a kayak such as whitewater kayaks are usually made of high-impact and high-quality plastic that can bounce off the rocks for lesser damage, while sea kayaks are made with longer bodies for covering longer distance. A huge distinction between canoeing and kayaking is the paddle, wherein kayaks use two-bladed paddles and it is important to consider your stature, stroking preferences and the size of the kayak because taller and wider kayaks would need longer paddles. If your stature is small, you’ll need a shorter and lighter paddle to prevent too much exertion. Wider blades provide more acceleration but with more resistance, whereas narrower blades require lesser effort but more strokes.
For you to stay safe while kayaking, it is essential to invest in a good quality personal floatation device or life vest even though you’re certain that the waters are calm. Because they are comfortable and lightweight, it is best to use personal flotation devices with U.S. Coast Guard Type III. These life vests have large arm openings for wider arm rotations and they have shorter waist lengths for added comfort. Experts also recommend bringing maps with your such as Delaware Water Gap Map in digital and in print to prevent being lost, and they also recommend reading reviews about kayaking routes, white water rafting tours, and canoe rentals.
In any watersports activity, your safety is very important and it should be prioritized, so don’t forget to wear a helmet especially if you will be kayaking in rocky waters. To protect your lower body from getting wet, you can use a sprayskirt to cover the opening of the cockpit. To keep your gadgets such as camera and smartphone safe, you can use dry bags. To learn the safety techniques and basic paddling, it is best to find a certified kayaking instructor by the American Canoe Association.