Kayaking For Beginners
Want to get into kayaking, but not sure how to choose a kayak for beginners? Just look for these key features and you will have years of fun!
Imagine this – your back is aching, your bum is numb, you have blisters on your hands, you’re wet from falling in the water and even though your arms and shoulders are super tired with the effort of paddling, you don’t seem to be getting anywhere!
Sadly, this is how most beginners experience kayaking, because they don’t have the right kayak. This is such a shame because they lose interest in what might have become a passion.
Kayaking should be a wonderful experience right from the start, not a struggle, so if you are a beginner, let me help you get the right kayak!
Here are the most important features to look for when choosing a kayak for beginners:
- Easy to paddle straight – you might think all kayaks are designed to go straight, but believe me, that’s not the case! Some kayaks are specifically designed to turn easily, such as whitewater kayaks, and this makes them no good at going in a straight line. Some kayaks are just poorly designed and spin in circles with each stroke and it is VERY annoying, even for an experienced paddler.
- Durable – as a beginner, you won’t necessarily have total control over your kayak, so you need something durable enough to withstand a few bumps (without knocking you out).
- Stable – It takes time and practice to balance on a narrow beam kayak. It’s best to start out with a stable kayak so you can relax and enjoy the experience without falling in the water.
- Comfortable – when you first start out, you are going to be waking up some muscles that have been sleeping for a while, so it is important to take lots of breaks. A nice cushy seat with a supportive back will allow you to relax properly during your breaks and take in the beauty of your surroundings.
- Versatile – So what is your favourite type of paddling? Lakes? Mild rivers? Estuaries? Coastal bays? Kayak Fishing? Open ocean? You probably don’t know yet, do you? A versatile kayak will be suitable for a wide variety of paddling experiences so you can try them all!
- Quick and easy to get going – as a beginner, you might start out with some short trips until you know what you are capable of, so you don’t want a kayak that is a lot of hassle to get out on the water. If you are only going to be paddling for 30 minutes you want to be able to just throw the kayak in the car, then have it out of the car and ready to paddle in 5 minutes.
- Inexpensive – you might not be sure if kayaking is going to be your next passion, so you probably don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an expensive kayak (plus roof racks) initially.