Kayaking is a fun watersport activity that involves paddling with the use of a double-bladed oar and a small boat called kayak. These small boats or kayaks come in various 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. 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 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. Whitewater kayaks are usually made of high-impact and high-quality plastic that can bounce off the rocks for lesser damage, while sea kayaks can cover more distance because of their longer bodies. 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 people with small stature, they need a shorter and lighter paddle to prevent overexertion. 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.
It is essential to invest in superior quality life vest or personal flotation device for your safety even though you’re certain that you’ll be kayaking in calm waters. Because they are comfortable and lightweight, it is best to use personal flotation devices with U.S. Coast Guard Type III. The arm openings of this type of personal floatation device are large for wider arm rotations and it has shorter waist length for added comfort. It is also recommended reading reviews about kayaking routes, white water rafting tours, and canoe rentals and don’t forget to bring maps with you such as Delaware Water Gap Map in digital and in print to prevent being lost.
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 protect your smartphone, camera and other belonging, you can use a dry bag to also keep them safe. To learn the safety techniques and basic paddling, it is best to find a certified kayaking instructor by the American Canoe Association.