Kayaking Tips

When it comes to Kayaking, we've been there, done that, now serving 42 tips in 7 categories ranging from General Kayaking Tips to Random Thoughts.

Proper Rotation During the Forward Stroke

The proper way to take the forward stroke is to rotate the torso rather than pushing and pulling the paddle with the arms. So rather than the arms having a pedaling motion the paddle stroke is powered by rotating of hips.

One way to ensure that the torso is driving the kayak rather than the arms is to watch the top hand of each stroke. While you rotate your hips to power the paddle blade through the water your top hand should remain level as it moves across your line of sight.

Keeping a level top hand while rotating the hips will ensure that you are getting the most efficient forward stroke motion while enabling you to paddle for longer before fatiguing.


The Boating "Law of Gross Tonnage"

There is an unwritten rule in the world of boating that very aptly applies to kayaking. It is known as the "Law of Gross Tonnage." More simply put, this can also be called the "law of common sense."

The Law of Gross Tonnage is quite simply the idea that on the water the larger boat wins. Larger boats are often less manueverable and have reduced visibility than smaller boats. And, of course, much more damage and danger will come to the smaller boat should a collision arise.

So, kayakers, be sure to steer clear of larger boats. It is up to you to stay safe and out of the way of larger boats, even if you have the right of way.


The Length of the Kayak Forward Stroke

The Forward Stroke in kayaking is the main stroke that moves the kayak forward and in a straight line. Over the years there has been some discussion over how long the forward stroke should be. Some say as long as possible, maximizing the time the paddle is in the water. Others like short strokes, claiming that is the best way to keep the boat moving straight. The truth of the matter is that the kayak forward stroke should be somewhere between the two. The best way to describe it is "tip to hip." Place the paddle in as far forward as is comfortable and bring it back to about your hip, before starting the recovery phase of the stroke.


5 Things New Kayakers Never Knew they Needed to Learn

Of course, anyone getting into kayaking knows they need to learn some things. They need to learn how to use the paddle, stay balanced in the kayak, and how to turn. These things are obvious. There are a number of things, however, that most kayakers never think about until they are faced with having to do them. Here is a list of five such things:

  1. How to get into the kayak

  2. How to get out of the kayak

  3. How to carry a kayak

  4. How to tie a kayak to a roof rack

  5. Where to put their kayak at their home


Sit-On-Top Kayaks

When many people think of kayaks, they think of sit-on-top kayaks. This is because sit-on-tops are the types of kayaks that are most frequently rented. They are stable, easy to get in and out of, and have no risk of getting stuck in them if they are flipped over.

Besides being used for beginners, sit-on-top kayaks have some very functional purposes. They are often used by fisherman and scuba divers and can be quite extensively rigged for such activities. Sit-on-tops are also used by experienced kayakers who simply need the ease of getting in and out of the boat as well as by kayak instructors who find it easier to work with clients in a sit-on-top.

All in all, sit-on-top kayaks are the most versatile of the lot and make a great addition to any kayak collection, beginner or not.


When to Start Kayaking With Children

Have you ever wondered what age is too young to kayak with your child?

Well, I can tell you that I've had my son in the kayak with me as early as the age of 2. So, no age is really too young.

There are three keys to beginning to take a child kayaking.

1) Make sure you are a competitant kayaker and are comfortable in the kayak by yourself. If you are unstable solo in the boat it will only get worse once you have a child in there with you.

2) Make sure your child is wearing a PFD (lifejacket). This is not negotiable. Safety must be maintained at all times.

3) Make sure your child is having a good time. Stay close to shore in case they want to get out. Help them enjoy the sport without pressuring them. Let them touch the water and hold the paddle.

Start them young and in no time at all you'll have a paddling buddy to go kayaking with.

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George Sayour