If you have never completed a sea kayaking trip before but want to do that in near future, the 10 tips contained in this article will help you complete your first kayaking trip safely:
- Tip #1: Master the basic skills associated with sea kayaking
- Tip #2: Choose a simple route and prepare well
- Tip #3: Do not start exploring water alone
- Tip #4: Think progressive improvements
- Tip #5: Trust only a boat that seems right for you
- Tip #6: Dress according to the temperature near water
- Tip #7: Carry lots of different foods
- Tip #8: Keep the barometer close
- Tip #9: Have a rough idea regarding how far you can paddle
- Tip #10: Never leave the house without safety gears
Tip #1: Master the basic skills associated with sea kayaking
Even though kayaking is not a very dangerous hobby, it has the potential to be very risky.
So, at the very least, you must master the following aspects before you even think of going on a kayaking trip:
- Controlling the motion of your kayak by holding the paddle lightly, in an attempt to help yourself maintain much needed flexibility while paddling, as well as to decrease body muscle strain
- Having some knowledge about range and pace, and about different paddling styles to use them comfortably and naturally
- Understanding deep-forward, rhythmic, and swift paddling to cover the required amount of distance
- Mastering how to do sweep strokes to maneuver with gentleness and ease, along with having a good grip of how to do forward strokes
Tip #2: Choose a simple route and prepare well
As a first-timer, make sure that you choose a sheltered sea spot that does not get exposed to strong winds or contain choppier water.
Also, make sure that you avoid wavy waters and foggy conditions.
Other than that, check the weather forecast before leaving your house to get a basic understanding of what you can expect.
Plus, learn how to understand compass readings and nautical charts before leaving for your trip.
Tip #3: Do not start exploring water alone
While the idea of going on an adventure alone seems a bit tempting because of the ego boost attached, you must avoid leaving the house alone while kayaking for the first time.
On your first trip, be sure to go with a friend or a group of friends. If you do not have kayaking friends, you can always go with a group of experts.
Going with other people is important because, as a beginner, you will not understand what the sea is telling you, and hence, will not be able to spot or avoid any possible dangers and abnormalities.
Also, one thing to keep in mind is that you want to choose people who have similar kayaking goals to you.
For example, if you want to open a kayak, then choosing a team that loves kayaking in open spaces is your best bet.
If you end up choosing people who love caves but you do not, for example, you will be frustrated.
Tip #4: Think progressive improvements
Whenever you want to improve some skills, start with small steps. Never try to take huge jumps, because that is not safe.
For example, if you want to be able to complete really long trips, then improve gradually by completing a short length the first day, a bit longer the second day, and even longer the third day, and so on.
Tip #5: Trust only a boat that seems right for you
There are many different kinds of kayaking boats, and what boat will suit your individual case will depend on your kayaking style and kayaking spot.
So, before starting your journey, consult an expert kayaker friend or relative to know what boat will serve your needs best.
Also, you may want to make sure that your boat is in optimum condition and has good storage capacity.
Tip #6: Dress according to the temperature near water
When it comes to clothing, you have to take into account the temperature near water, instead of considering the temperature on land.
Also, you must avoid wearing warm clothes when kayaking in the middle of the sea, even if following the advice may mean exposing your body to cold and uncomfortable conditions.
You can always change to dry and warm clothes after reaching the shore, of course.
Tip #7: Carry lots of different foods
During your kayaking trips, you must always be prepared for the possibility of having to set up a camp somewhere.
And camping is never complete without great food! Even if you do not have to camp, still you need food during your tips.
So, be sure to take lots of dry fruits, boiled eggs, and other food items that do not spoil easily. Take varieties of foods and more than you think you will need.
Also, if cooking is your thing, make sure that you have enough fuel and water for your stove.
Tip #8: Keep the barometer close
Along with taking other important things, it is necessary that you keep a barometer with you during your trips.
That is because a barometer will tell you if there is a sudden change of pressure, indicating that you can expect strong winds.
Tip #9: Have a rough idea regarding how far you can paddle
Before taking your boat to embark on an adventure, you must determine how far you are comfortable padding in a single day.
On average, a kayaker can kayak 15 miles in a day. However, as a beginner, you must keep your aspiration a bit lower than that.
Note that you must also account for all the time you will spend waiting for the weather to clear or involving in sightseeing.
Normally, kayakers take about 12 hours for weather clearance and sightseeing for every 3 hours paddling.
Tip #10: Never leave the house without safety gears
Kayakers do not go out if the sea seems angry. They embrace kayaking trips only when the sea seems calm and gentle.
However, even if you go out when everything seems safe, there is no guarantee that the situation will remain the same once you are in the middle of the sea.
That is why, it is important that you take all your safety gear, like inflatable floats, safety jackets, pumps, and other things with you every single time you go kayaking.
That applies even if going out for a very small duration or length.
Undertaking your first kayaking trip may seem somewhat overwhelming due to the many aspects involved, but as long as you remember the tips given above well, there is no reason for you to worry.