As mentioned in the introduction to this article, there are numerous ways in which one can learn how to kayak. However, the best way to start is by actually trying out the sport. This way one gets a feel for the various movements involved and is a good opportunity to get familiar with all the equipment and systems that go into making a Kayak. If possible join a water sports club or a class that teaches how to kayak. Then go out and buy your own. At the very least, buy a durable second hand model which you will be able to hire if you find the process too challenging.
From there, kayaking as you know it now evolved into a very popular activity. Indeed, it is an Olympic sport, but in addition it has become a popular recreational activity for people from all walks of life. And as such, with so many varieties of kayaks and styles of kayaking, one could argue that it offers something to everyone. It is now possible to find specialized PFDs (or Personal Flotation Devices) which have taken on very advanced technology. These devices are especially useful for more experienced kayakers as they help reduce the drag of the paddle through water.
PFDs are also available which incorporate electronics and other mechanisms in order to offer more power as well as increased stability. Some of these electronics include an Electronic Directional Pump, or Eddy Current System. This is a form of constant current which provides the necessary power for you to paddle against the current. You can then use the generated power to either propel yourself or to help propel the other person in the kayak. Some of these systems incorporate a rudder as well. This means that instead of using your paddle to steer the boat, the rudder allows you to actually turn the kayak and direct its movement in either direction.
The next part of learning how to kayak is making sure that you are correctly equipped with the right equipment. Most people who are just starting out will want to purchase a simple paddle, something which is fairly small and light enough to easily carry. The most commonly used paddle style is the round disk paddle, which fits neatly into the disk of the kayak. Other paddles are available in other shapes and sizes, and it is often a good idea to purchase a paddle which matches the shape of the boat and is comfortable for you to paddle with.
Next, you need to familiarize yourself with the stroke you should be using. Most people will use their paddle to move forward and cast off, although it may be possible to use the backstroke if you wish. The backstroke is used to propel yourself forward, although this isn’t always possible. In windy conditions, it is often possible to use the reverse stroke, which is a simpler and more direct method of moving about in the water. This is often the preferred method of moving about in calm and clear water in calm weather conditions. Regardless of which way you wish to go, it is important to be aware of how your kayak is rated for handling different weather conditions.
The next area of interest when learning how to kayak is maneuvering around an inboard boat or one mounted on a ski. It is vital to have good coordination skills when using these kinds of boats in strong winds and in potentially strong or fast currents. Kayaking can also be performed effectively in choppy water and on flat water. Many experienced kayakers will advise beginners to purchase a smaller, lighter, inflatable kayak to start out with, until they are sure that they can cope with stronger or larger vessels.
In addition to the ability to move efficiently and effectively around the water, you will also need to learn how to maneuver and fight your kayak through tough weather conditions. Good positioning and some effective rigging options will allow you to stay safe and dry during strong winds and ice storms. Kayaking equipment must be reliable, lightweight, durable, and solid. In terms of weather conditions, your boat should be built to stand up against the harsh conditions encountered in rivers and lakes as well as rough seas and hurricanes. Some of the main attributes to look for include sturdy foot pegs that do not move around and robust flotation devices.
Finally, all kayakers should invest in good paddle tools. Kayak paddle tools are designed to grip the water in order to make it easier to move around in your kayak and to perform a variety of common kayak maneuvers. It is important that you buy paddle equipment that fits your individual style of paddling as well as the type of conditions you intend to use the kayak for. Paddle brands include Abu Garcia, Oceanic, and Wilderness Systems.