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 small boats or kayaks come in various 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. Kayaks have different types depending on the material, most can carry one to three paddlers and these include surf kayaks, whitewater kayaks, racing kayaks, touring or sea kayaks, and hybrids which are usually called recreational kayaks. Sea kayaks are made with longer bodies for covering longer distance, while whitewater kayaks are usually made of high-impact and high-quality plastic that can bounce off the rocks for lesser damage. 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 who have a small stature, it is best to use a shorter and lighter paddle to avoid 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 your safety while kayaking it is best to invest in superior quality life vest or personal flotation device 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. Kayaking experts highly recommend bringing maps with your such as Delaware Water Gap Map in digital and in print to avoid being lost, and they also recommend reading reviews about kayaking routes, white water rafting tours, and canoe rentals.
Safety is a priority in water sports activities like kayaking, 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. To protect your smartphone, camera and other belonging, you can use a dry bag to also keep them safe. It is best to find a certified kayaking instructor by the American Canoe Association to learn the safety techniques and basic paddling.