Kayaking is known watersport activity involving paddling with the use of a double-bladed oar and a small boat called kayak. Kayaks come in different 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. At present, kayaks are made of fiberglass, rotomolded plastic, wood or Kevlar and are generally designed for recreation used in various water environments such as seas, lakes and whitewater rivers.
There are more to learn aside from paddling and beginners need to learn more about them as well as kayaking equipment to ensure a safe and enjoyable kayaking adventure. Recreational kayaks have different types such as surf kayaks, whitewater kayaks, racing kayaks, touring or sea kayaks, and hybrids, and they can carry one to three paddlers. 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 who have a small stature, it is best to use a shorter and lighter paddle to avoid overexertion. Narrower blades require lesser effort but more strokes, while 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. It is best to use personal flotation devices with U.S. Coast Guard Type III because they are comfortable and lightweight. 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 to stay dry, you can use a sprayskirt, which is used in covering the cockpit opening to protect your lower body and belongings from getting wet. To keep your gadgets such as camera and smartphone safe, you can use dry bags. It is best to find a certified kayaking instructor by the American Canoe Association to learn the safety techniques and basic paddling.