Lightweight kayaks now give us a wonderful way to enjoy this sport far more easily. From kayaks made of incredibly light, resilient PVC to inflatable models with their own carry bags, there are some great kayaks that you can use with no fuss.
This means that more people than ever before are now attracted to kayaking. What are some of the main tricks that you need to know when you first set out on a lightweight kayak? The following are 5 things you won’t want to miss.
Get the Right Clothes and Gear
After you have chosen the actual best lightweight kayak for your needs, you will be keen to get out on the water as soon as possible. However, before you do this you will need to get hold of the right clothes and gear for the adventures ahead.
In terms of clothing, a wetsuit is only really necessary in cold weather or when you are going to be in cold water. On a warmer day, it makes more sense to put on swimwear and a t-shirt or top. It is a good idea to take away a jacket in case the temperature drops later in the day. A hat should be used to protect you from the sun.
We will look at safety gear in a moment, so that leaves us with a paddle that suits your kayak and a bilge pump that can be used to clear excess water out of the craft. Lots of drinking water, some snacks and sunscreen are also essential. Put everything that you want to keep dry in sealable bags.
Take the Appropriate Safety Precautions
Kayaking isn’t a particularly dangerous sport if you stick to calm waters close to the shore, and it certainly isn’t on the list of the most extreme sports you could try. However, as with any sport it makes sense to take the correct safety precautions before you set out.
Among the items you need to take with you are the following; first-aid kit, whistle, lamp and personal flotation device. You will probably never have to use any of these things, but you certainly don’t want to be without them in the case of an emergency.
Another good tip is to not go kayaking alone, particularly when you are first learning how to control it. Going with a friend turns it into a more enjoyable social occasion and also means that help is at hand if either of you gets into trouble out on the water.
Get Comfortably Seated
You might think that that a lightweight kayak is going to be uncomfortable and possibly even unstable. Fortunately, the best models are extremely comfortable and they offer a stable sitting position.
The secret is in settling into the seat snugly and adjusting anything that can be tweaked to your needs. You may be able to adjust the seat and footpegs, while your knees should be bent, with both of them firmly touching the sides of the cockpit area.
If you feel awkward and unstable then something isn’t right. Even the lightest kayak will have been designed for you to feel completely safe in it.
Start Off Gently
For many people, getting hold of a kayak that is light and portable is the start of a new lifestyle filled with more outdoor adventures. Yet, you will want to be careful not to get carried away and plan long, arduous trips on your first few times using it.
Start off with relatively short trips where the emphasis is on having fun while getting used to paddling. Since it is so easy to transport these kayaks by car, it makes sense to drive around and look for a calm spot in a lake or river where you can start to enjoy this sport safely.
Learn the Different Strokes
The most basic kayaking stroke is the forward stroke that propels you directly forwards in a straight line. This is what you will use most, with the lightweight aspect of a good kayak making it easy to glide through the water once you get the hang of it.
However, you will also want to know how to stop and how to turn around. All of the main kayaking strokes are simple enough, but you don’t want to get out on the water before you realise that you aren’t sure how to do something.
By sticking to these tips and tricks, you will have an enjoyable kayaking trip that leaves you keen to get out again. This is when your purchase of a lightweight kayak becomes something that can truly enhance your life.