Kayaking Skills You Need to Know [Video]
Our friends at Paddle TV go over the basic essential skills you need for kayaking in this short video…
In and Out of Your Kayak on a Beach
Getting in and out of your kayak on a good launching spot is the easiest:
Pull your kayak into a few inches of water (you can keep one end on the sand to help with stability if you want to). Straddle the cockpit and lower yourself into the seat. Pull your legs in, push off with your hands or paddle and you’re good to go.
To exit, paddle your kayak onto the beach. Brace the cockpit with both hands for balance, and step out one foot at a time.
Get In and Out on an Uneven Shoreline
When the shoreline is uneven, use your paddle to help you balance:
Line up your kayak parallel to the shoreline. Lay your paddle across the back of the cockpit so half your paddle is across the boat and the other half is on the shore.
Sit just in front of the paddle with both hands grasping it on either side of you for balance. Bring your feet into the cockpit, then lower yourself onto the seat. Keep maintaining an even weight distribution across your paddle.
To get out, use the same technique in reverse.
Sit in Your Kayak Properly
While you want to be relaxed, you’re not sitting in a lounge chair! The backrest is designed to keep you from leaning back. Adjust your seat so it helps you sit straight upright. This places less strain on your shoulders and back as you paddle.
Place the balls of your feet firmly onto the foot braces, and allow your knees to relax on either side.
If you have a sore back after kayaking, check your posture—be sure you’re not slouching back. If you end up with tight hamstrings and hips, stretching well before and after will help with that.
Put on Your Spray Skirt
If you use a spray skirt when kayaking, you’ll attach it once you’re seated. Lean back so you can attach the back of it first, then work it under the lip around to the front.
Be sure the pull cord is on the outside and within easy reach directly in front of you.
The Wet Exit
If you kayak without thigh braces and a spray skirt, you don’t have to practice the wet exit—you’ll fall out of your kayak automatically should it capsize!
With braces and a skirt, you’ll want to practice the wet exit so you’re comfortable should it happen unexpectedly. Gravity will help you as you release your spray skirt using the pull cord, lean forward and pull yourself out.
Contact our Wisconsin-based Customer Service team with your paddle questions today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]
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