Kayaking is a fun watersport activity that involves paddling with the use of a double-bladed oar and a small boat called kayak. Kayaks come in different types and sizes and most have enclosed decks covering the legs. The first kayaks were made from stitched seal over a whalebone’s frame by the Inuits in North America and were used for hunting. Today, kayaks are made of rotomolded plastic, fiberglass, Kevlar or wood which 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 are usually used for recreational purposes and they have different types depending on the materials which include surf kayaks, whitewater kayaks, racing kayaks, touring or sea kayaks, and hybrids. 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 big difference between canoeing and kayaking is the paddle used, wherein a kayak uses two bladed paddles, and you must consider your stature, stroking preferences and the size of the kayak because taller and wider kayaks would need longer paddles. For those who have a small stature, it is best to use a shorter and lighter paddle to avoid overexertion. Wider blades provide more acceleration but with more resistance, whereas narrower blades require lesser effort but more strokes.
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. The best life vest used for kayaking used are U.S. Coast Guard Type III because they are comfortable and lightweight. The U.S. Coast Guard Type III life vest has short waist length for comfort and has large arm openings for wider arm rotations. 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, safety must be the priority, so don’t hesitate 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. It is best to find a certified kayaking instructor by the American Canoe Association to learn the safety techniques and basic paddling.