These days, more and more people are getting interested in learning aquatic sports, especially kayaking, since they can release their stress and feel comfortable after nervous time at work. Therefore, knowing how to kayak properly will be important because you can enjoy the most of this sport with your beloved people. As a result, do not hesitate anymore and start reading my article for detailed guidance.
How to Get in and Out of The Kayak
Get in a kayak
When it comes to kayaking, it will be easy to get in if you have a good spot to launch your landing. According to my experience, the best spot is the nice sandy beaches where you can hop on the boat at the edge of the water and then push yourself out with your hands when you are ready.
If you do not want to slide along the sand, you can get in while your boat floats in a few inches of water. The trick here is to straddle your floating kayak with your foot on either side and then drop your butt quickly into the seat to sit down. After that, you can put your legs in, and you are ready to go.
In case you need to get into your kayak from a dock, you have to make sure that you will not use the lowest point. The reason is that the higher the dock is, the more difficult getting in your boat will be. You can start by positioning your kayak parallel to the dock, and then sit down on the dock beside the kayak seat with your feet on the kayak.
Next, you can turn your body towards the seat and get a good grip with both hands on the dock. After that, you can lower yourself decisively into the seat. The main point is to keep your butt in the seat as quickly as possible. Moreover, you have to make sure that you have kept your paddle close enough so that it is within easy reach once you are in the kayak.
On the rocky shorelines, it is quite difficult to get in your kayak since the kayak tends to slide into the water. In this case, the best way to get in involves floating your kayak in the water parallel to the shore. At this time, you can use your paddle as the base to support you.
Particularly, you can place your paddle 90 degrees to the kayak behind your seat. You should put one of the blades on the shore, and then grab the paddle with the kayak. Next, you can gradually step onto your boat, but it may be difficult if there are any waves during your action.
Get out of the kayak
On the other hand, to get out of the kayak, you can simply reverse these mentioned steps of getting in. If you have a nice gradual sandy beach, you can actually run the kayak right up onto it. At the dock will be a lot easier if you have your friends, they can hold your kayak still while you prepare to step out. Nevertheless, it will be perfect to find a completely sheltered spot for landing.
Sit In vs. Sit on Kayak
Going to the next point, we are going to talk about the great debate related to sit inside and sit on top kayak. There are some distinct features that you need to identify so that you can choose the right one for you. However, when you need to make decisions between these two, you do not need to worry about the design, the speed, the stability as well as the tracking.
The key point is your personal preference, where you are going to paddle, the water temperature together with the air temperature. All of these elements will go into deciding if you want to choose either the sit on top or the sit inside.
Sit on top kayak
With the sit on top kayak, it has a wide-open deck so that you can sit on top of the boat as it says in the name. Furthermore, your legs will not be included inside the kayak so that you will have foot braces on top.
In my opinion, the nice thing about this is that they are quite popular for being the good paddling boat in warm weather. Besides, you can get off and on very easily if you want to go for a swim. As a result, you can jump off, swim around, and then crawl right back onto the kayak with ease.
However, you can get wet when using the sit on top kayak since the water can splash up over the deck. Therefore, this boat is well-equipped with scupper holes which can make the water that comes into drain back out.
Sit inside kayak
About the sit inside kayak, you can sit inside the boat, which is designed with a cockpit opening and your legs go underneath the cockpit. You will be sitting lower in the boat. Contrary to the previous one, sit inside kayak has earned its reputation for cold and windy weather areas.
Also, these kayaks usually have spray skirts that you can put over the cockpit, and it will go around you, which can prevent the water from getting inside. As a consequence, if you are looking to paddle three or four seasons, you will need a boat that can keep you a little bit warmer and block the wind. In this situation, a sit inside kayak is what is going to work well for you.
Nevertheless, getting out of the sit inside while you are in the water is almost impossible. Even if you try to get out, your boat will be full of water so that you have to drag it back to the shore, flip it over and drain the water out.
Some Kayaking Tips
Last but not least, I am going to introduce some techniques and useful tips which can maximize your satisfaction when taking part in kayaking. By identifying all of these factors, you can eventually learn how to kayak in the right way.
Hold the kayak
First of all, you need to focus on the length of the paddle, which will depend on the width of the kayak. For instance, if you have a recreational kayak, your paddle will be between 26 to 32 inches wide. In my book, the longer paddle will enable you to get from side to side.
Next, you need to figure out the best way to hold the paddle. To handle it properly, you need to find the center seam of the paddle, and then put it on your head. After that, you can walk out your arms until they can just make the right angle with your arms. You need to make sure that your upper set of knuckles, as well as the last set of knuckles, are lined up with the top edge of the blade.
Whenever you enter for kayaking, I highly recommend that you should use the torso rotation, which means that you need to relax your elbows and keep the shaft of the paddle a little away from your body. And of course, when you rotate, you need to use your whole body instead of only your arms. Moreover, to totally enjoy your kayaking, you need to know as many strokes as possible.
At first, I am going to mention the forward stroke, which requires that you have to form the shaft angle which is about 45 degrees from the surface of the water. Then, you can unwind to the hip for a short stroke by using good torso rotation.
The second stroke that I am going to mention is the forward and reverse sweep, which is useful when turning the cut. With this stroke, you can use the power of the paddle’s face and keep the low shaft angle parallel to the surface of the water at the same time.
For the reverse sweep, you can take advantage of the back face of the paddle by torso rotating toward the stern of the kayak, dip the back face flat, keep the low shaft angle and gradually slide the paddle on the surface of the water all the way to the front of you.
Lastly, you can have an overview of the reverse stroke, which can help you to back out of an area. When doing the torso rotation, you should look over your shoulder to see where you are going each time.
Stop the kayak
Knowing how to kayak will be meaningless if you do not learn how to stop it when needed. You can use the back face of the paddle when you are going forward. In particular, you can simply dip the paddle back and forth on each side at a time.