Kayaking is a fun and exciting watersport activity primarily involving paddling with the use of a double-bladed oar and a small boat popularly known as kayak. These kayaks come in various sizes and types and most of them have enclosed decks for 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. Today, kayaks are made of rotomolded plastic, fiberglass, Kevlar or wood which are primarily designed for recreational purposes to sustain various water environments such as seas, lakes and whitewater rivers.
For beginners, there are a lot of things you need to learn before going on kayaking such as kayaking techniques and 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 huge distinction between canoeing and kayaking is the paddle, wherein kayaks use two-bladed paddles and it is important to 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.
For you to stay safe while kayaking, it is essential to invest in a good quality personal floatation device or life vest even though you’re certain that the waters are calm. Because they are comfortable and lightweight, it is best to use personal flotation devices with U.S. Coast Guard Type III. The U.S. Coast Guard Type III life vest has short waist length for comfort and has large arm openings for wider arm rotations. 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. If you want yourself and your belongings to stay dry, you can use a sprayskirt, which is used in covering the cockpit opening. You can also use dry bags to keep your personal belongings dry and safe most especially if you’ll be bringings a camera with you. It is best to find a certified kayaking instructor by the American Canoe Association to learn the safety techniques and basic paddling.