Skip to main content

Kayaking Basics for Beginners

There’s more to kayaking than meets the eye. Aside from getting the best kayak, these are the best kayaks I’ve seen that you can check out; there are some techniques you’d do well to keep in mind.

How to Get into a Kayak

  • Position your kayak in an area where water is shallow and calm. This area should also be free from rocks and other materials that might damage your kayak’s bottom when you are getting in. You can also get in from a dock.
  • Prepare yourself by keeping your weight low and centered. When entering through shallow water, use your paddle to stabilize yourself and slowly slide yourself towards the kayak whilst your free hand is holding the boat. It also helps to know how to transfer your weight using your hips. If you are getting in through a dock, hold on to the edge of the dock while lowering both feet into the kayak’s cockpit. Stabilize yourself by holding on to the dock while slowly lowering yourself into the kayak. Having a partner also helps to get in easier. Note that your paddle should always be stationed nearby if you are not using it to get in.
  • When pushing yourself into the water from a shallow area, place your paddle vertically on the ground on one side, on the other side position your hand over the paddle holding it so that it forms a fist, then push. The same kayaking basics are applied when pushing yourself from a dock, the difference being there will be no ground to push the paddle with.

How to Get out of a Kayak

  • Just like getting into a kayak, getting out of it requires you to be near a dock or on shallow water. If you are getting out on shallow water, push your kayak using your paddles towards the shoreline, to a possible shallow area.
  • Once you reach the shallowest part of the shoreline, use either your paddles or your hands to balance yourself. You can either use your paddle as support while you are sliding yourself out of the kayak, or you may use both hands to push the kayak thus lifting yourself up in the process. Maintain balance while sliding yourself off from the kayak. When getting off from a dock, remember how you got in in the first place. However, this time it’s in reverse. Place one hand on the dock to steady yourself while lifting yourself up from the kayak, pull yourself up on the dock and pull your knees out of the kayak.
  • Lastly, if you thought getting in and out of a kayak is the hardest part then you’ve got it all wrong. Paddling a kayak can be tricky, especially if you don’t have the slightest bit of knowledge about kayaks.

Here is one common paddling technique for beginners like you:

The Paddler’s Box

The paddler’s box technique refers to the position of a paddler’s hands in respect to his shoulders. Holding both hands on the paddle, a box is formed from one hand leading up to his shoulder then down to the next. One common misconception is that the paddler’s box maintains in one area, which is the front. Unbeknownst to most, the paddler box moves in accordance to the paddler’s movements. It rotates along with the body, allowing momentum and avoids injury. Knowing how to properly maneuver this paddling technique will prevent the risk of injury on your shoulders.

Knowing this three kayaking basics is all you need to know as a beginner. Just follow these steps, and your good to go.