Kayaking is a fun watersport activity that involves 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. Kayaks were first built in North America by the Inuits and they were used for hunting. 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 more things to learn aside from paddling such as kayaking techniques and kayaking 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. Sea kayaks are made with longer bodies for covering longer distance, while whitewater kayaks are usually made of high-impact and high-quality plastic that can bounce off the rocks for lesser damage. 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. When it comes to the paddle blade, narrower blades require lesser effort but more strokes, whereas wider blades provide more acceleration but with more resistance.
For your safety while kayaking it is best to invest in superior quality life vest or personal flotation device 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. The U.S. Coast Guard Type III life vest has short waist length for comfort and has large arm openings for wider arm rotations. Kayaking experts highly recommend bringing maps with your such as Delaware Water Gap Map in digital and in print to avoid being lost, and they also recommend reading reviews about kayaking routes, white water rafting tours, and canoe rentals.
Safety is a priority in water sports activities like kayaking, so don’t hesitate to wear a helmet especially if you will be kayaking in rocky waters. If you want to stay dry, you can use a sprayskirt, which is used in covering the cockpit opening to protect your lower body and belongings from getting wet. You can also use dry bags to keep your personal belongings dry and safe most especially if you’ll be bringings a camera with you. To learn the safety techniques and basic paddling, it is best to find a certified kayaking instructor by the American Canoe Association.