Last updated on March 16th, 2021
Kayaking is so popular around the world, as it suits people of all ages and fitness levels. You want to be a successful kayak paddler but anxious about learning how to paddle a kayak? Well, then I intend to show you the entire process of kayak paddling that will turn your anxiety to fun within a very short time.
There is a big distance between learning kayaking and trying out some strokes. However, go through this piece of writing, hopefully, you will get a clear and efficient idea and applying the steps mentioned below will make your job very easy.
Necessary Equipment for kayaking:
At least, you need a kayak, paddle, and buoyancy aid for kayaking.
Select The Best Kayak For You:
Selecting a perfect kayak depends on some factors like the place, you intend to paddle, sitting position, kayak weight, shape and size, and your budget, etc. So, considering all, find out your desired kayak for the best experience.
Choose The Right paddle
For kayaking comfortably and efficiently it is important to choose a better kayak paddle that you can get by considering four basic ideas:
To figure out the right length of the paddle is easy and clear. The boat width determines the length. If your boat is wider, you will need a longer paddle. Another key factor, especially for a narrow boat, is your height. Normally, a taller paddler will need longer paddles.
2.Materials And Prices
There are various types of paddles made of different materials at several prices. You should consciously pick your desired items.
Most of the paddle blades, nowadays, come in with asymmetrical dihedral shape which is comparatively narrow and shorter on one side. These paddles are useful for smooth water flow that makes it easy to track straight. You may feel comfortable to use these lighter and shorter blades that will be helpful for your long paddling. So, you can enjoy paddling on a full-day tour, even a multiday trip.
On the other hand, wider blades are really useful for quick powerful strokes. Using these blades, you can accelerate quickly. There are also some blades available in the market which are designed for fishing.
To choose the right paddle, you need to consider shaft design. You may select one which is suitable for you among the straight or bent shaft paddles.
Sit In The Kayak Properly
You may think that getting into a kayak correctly is very easy by using common sense. But in the term of the first experience, it is a little bit difficult for anyone. It requires some guidelines when you are in a boat for the first time. It’s better to practice sitting properly at home before starting your venture onto the water.
It’s very essential to find out the right body position. At first, you need to sit up straight and tall with a slight bend in the knees. Make sure, to keep your nose over your belly button and then you should adjust your seat and feet for sitting up straight.
Youtube Video Credit: PaddleTV
Hold The Paddle Correctly
Learning how to hold a kayak paddle is a very important step when you are trying to learn kayaking. It’s important to wide and loose grip and keeps both hands the same distance from the blades. Now, be sure of both the arms are properly straight.
Basic paddle strokes
At first, start your kayaking journey slowly and carefully. Hey, do you want to be faster? Well, then, don’t worry. Gradually, you will improve which will make you faster and efficient.
The forward stroke
The most common stroke is forward stoke. If you spend enough time to develop an efficient forward stroke, you will be able to go further and faster easily. Keeping the spot where you want to go in mind, anchor the blade in the water by your feet and pull the blade toward your hip.
Slice the blade out of the water till the time it reaches your hip. You have to repeat it on the other side. Until reaching the destination, you need to continue alternating.
The reverse stroke
It is similar to driving a car, sometimes we go backward that gets us our expected spot. It’s a good practice for improvement to paddle backward regularly because it supports us to balance the muscles which tend to get overused from forwarding paddling.
When you want to paddle backward, just look behind before start. Now, begin to anchor the blade behind your hip, keep sweeping the blade toward your hip and slice the blade out of the water at the hip. At this stage, repeat on the other side and continue as long as you need to reach your destination.
Stopping a kayak
Stop your kayak effectively using your paddle. Use powerful, short, choppy, strokes opposite the direction of travel for stopping the kayak. Go forward and do 3 or 4 powerful, short, choppy reverse strokes on alternate sides and then going backward do 3 or 4 powerful, short, choppy forward strokes on alternate sides.
The sweep stroke
To turn the kayak, you can use forward and reverse sweep strokes. The forward sweep will support you to keep forward momentum, while the reverse sweep will abate momentum that helps change the direction quickly. Focus on where you want to go for both of the strokes.
The draw stroke
It’s such a stroke that plays a versatile role to get closer to something. When you want to share snacks or other things, the draw strokes will make your job easy.
Considering the direction you want to go, reach out with your paddle.
Try to anchor the blade in the water effectively and make sure your top hand relaxed. Now, your job is to draw the lower blade toward your hip and push the top hand toward the front that will allow you to slice the blade out of the water. You may repeat it if it is necessary.
No matter, what you are doing, always safety first and when you deal with water, you need to be more careful. So, be sure of a good arrangement of safety.
Your learning will be fruitful when you apply those in action. So, apply the steps and techniques you have already learned from this article and enjoy your kayaking.