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If you are considering kayaking for the first time, there are several tips that can make your experience more enjoyable. And while there are numerous suggestions you could consider, there are five tips that should be at the top of those considerations. Let’s take a look.
Understand Safety Precautions and Procedures
You must wear a life jacket. There is no exception to this rule. Water flow and rapids can quickly change. If your kayak overturns, you must be prepared.
You need to also be aware of the weather forecast. Weather can quickly change, too. Know what you would do should a storm develop. And always be on the lookout for rocks or tree limbs that can quickly appear.
One of our most important kayaking tips: If kayaking alone, communicate to family and friends where you will be kayaking. Preferably you should avoid kayaking alone.
If kayaking in a group, be sure to discuss meet up locations and talk through safety measures.
And finally, do not use alcohol or drugs while kayaking.
If your new to the area try to avoid going out too far from your original location, it may be easy to get caught up in the fun and lose your bearings becoming lost in diverse lake systems. It may be helpful to get a kayaker guide to introduce you to the area or peruse through some topographical maps to make sure you know where you are going.
Pay Attention to Your Positioning and Posture
Your kayak will either come with foot guides or pegs. Make sure you place your feet into these areas. Point your toes outward and heels inward. You also will want to bend your knees up and outward. This will help you stay afloat and navigate better.
It is important that you sit with your back straight to help your balance. You will paddle more effectively and again, you will be assisted with staying afloat. If you want your experience to be a good one, positioning, posture and focusing on technique is necessary.
Pace Your Yourself and Conserve Your Energy
It could be tempting to push yourself to move quickly through the water. If you do this, you run the risk of wearing yourself out too soon. Conserve your energy for rapids and unexpected currents. You will need to paddle harder and faster when rapids and currents are experienced.
Make sure to pace yourself and take time to sit back and relax more in slower moving water and areas with less rugged terrain. You will be glad that you saved that energy for the more challenging parts of the journey.
Related: Top Things to do in Ocala with Teens
Make Sure Your Experience Is Water-Proof
You likely will want to bring snacks (along with drinking water) to keep you nourished and energized while on the water. You will also want to bring sunscreen to protect your skin.
Other items you might consider bringing…a pair of water shoes for breaks along the route, a camera for capturing memories, duct tape should a crack develop and a towel. You should store all of these items – minus the waterproof footwear – in a plastic bag or some other type of waterproof storage solution.
Be Cognizant of Wildlife and Limit Your Footprint
As a novice kayaker, you will quickly notice the diverse wildlife that calls the water and surrounding area home. It is important to know you should not ever try to encroach upon wildlife in their habitat. While the experience of kayaking is very enriching, you must be sure to only admire the wildlife you encounter.
The types of wildlife that you could stumble upon will really depend on the region where you are kayaking. If you have purchased your kayak, ask the local retailer for insight into area wildlife. If you have rented your kayak, the rental provider should be an information source, too.
You should also be sure to not leave behind any waste or anything else that could hurt the natural wildlife or the water on which you kayak. Limit your footprint to preserve the wildlife and the water.
What do you think? Can you put these kayaking tips to use? Let me know your best tips.