Kayaking is a great, relatively adaptable sport. It can be pretty easy to learn and most people can get the hang of things in a short amount of time. There are different types of kayaking from sea, to flatwater and whitewater. Regardless of what type you’re taking part in, there are some basic tips that every beginner should know before embarking on an adventure of their own. We wanted to share 6 important tips every kayaker should be aware of. 

TIP #1: Always wear your Personal Flotation Device (PFD) 

This is the most important tip for any kayaker whether you’re a pro or just starting out. Wearing your PFD at all times while on the water is absolutely necessary. You can purchase pfd’s in most sporting goods stores and other retail chains that sell sporting gear and you should never get in your kayak on the water without one.  

TIP #2: Dress for the water, not the weather

Air temperatures aren’t always the best indicator for water temperatures which can often fall well below the outside temps even on a hot, sunny day. Make sure your attire is appropriate. Wetsuits and drysuits are great options and in the event that you fall in the water, which may happen, they can prevent you from getting too cold. 

TIP #3: Choose the right kayak 

There are several different styles and lengths of kayaks, some are better suited to different environmental conditions and landscapes, so it’s important that you choose the right kayak for the type of water you’ll be in. Having the right kayak can greatly impact your safety on the water. 

TIP #4: Learn the correct ways to sit and hold the paddle 

If you’re a beginner, you want to make sure you know the right way to sit in your kayak. You should know how to get in and out of your kayak as well as the right way to hold and use the paddle. A great way to learn these things would be to get a lesson from an instructor to ensure you’re learning the safe, correct way to handle your kayak. 

TIP #5: Know how to rescue yourself 

Kayaking is a fun, easy sport. Like any water sport, it’s important to know how to safely maneuver and respond to unexpected events. There is a chance your kayak could capsize and in the event that it does, you need to know how to properly and safely recover. Make sure you and your instructor work on learning this skill. 

TIP #6: Don’t go kayaking alone 

This is a tip for every kayaker despite their level, but especially as a beginner you should not go out on the water alone. Making sure you have at least one other kayaker with you in case you need some help is a good idea. Group kayaking trips with kayakers of different skill levels are a great way to start out as a beginner because you’ll have experienced people there to guide you and help you if you need it. 

Heroes on the Water works to increase mental and physical wellness through group kayak fishing experiences. Learn more about our programs for veterans and first responders, and feel free to donate to support our community of heroes. Without your support, they struggle to heal. Give back to provide a little peace to those who serve us. 

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