Our Best Advice for Beginning Kayakers

kayakers in the mist

Millions of people entered the kayaking world in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. If you’re one of these beginning kayakers, we’ve collected 11 our most popular and important kayaking articles to help you out:

1. Kayak Paddle Sizing Guide

One of the main reasons why kayaking isn’t a pleasant experience for beginners is because they use the wrong sized paddle. If your paddle is too long or too short, your experience will be awkward and maybe even painful over time.

A few different factors help you determine the right length for your kayak paddle: the type of kayaking you do, the width of your boat and your height.

Go to our Kayak Paddle Sizing Guide to find out more.

2. Kayak Paddles: High-Angle vs. Low-Angle

The next thing that determines which type of kayak paddle to buy is the blade size and shape: high-angle or low-angle.

These terms refer to the style of paddling you’ll do most of the time. High-angle paddling is aggressive, used for speed or for pulling more weight in your kayak (say for fishing, or multi-day expeditions). Low-angle paddling is more relaxed and easy to maintain over several hours.

Go to Kayak Paddles: High-Angle vs. Low-Angle to find out more.

3. Bent vs. Straight Shaft Kayak Paddles

If you deal with any kind of elbow or wrist pain that might keep you from kayaking as much as you’d like, consider a bent shaft kayak paddle. The bends in the shaft offer a less fatiguing experience, especially over several hours. There’s less strain on your joints, too.

Both bent and straight shafts have their advantages. Go to Bent vs. Straight Shaft Kayak Paddles for learn more.


4. One of the Biggest Mistakes Beginning Kayakers Make

Kayaking is a whole-body exercise. One of the mistakes we see most beginners make is using just their arms and shoulders when they paddle. That’s a recipe for soreness and even injury over the long term.

Instead, your entire core should be involved in each stroke. You’ll not only have less soreness and strain, you’ll have more power in your paddle strokes.

Go to Are You Making this Common Paddling Mistake? for more details.

5. Kayak Paddle Feathering

One of the most common questions we get is: “What’s paddle feathering?” Feathering your kayak paddle means you adjust the angle of the blades by adjusting the ferrule (the system that connects the two pieces of your kayak paddle together).

Many people find it easier to kayak in windy conditions with their blades feathered. Others find it eases wrist soreness over several hours of paddling.

Go to Kayak Paddle Feathering: What Is It and Why Does it Matter? to find out more.

6. Your Best Options for Paddling Shoes

Having the right footwear is important when you kayak, especially on shore where most of the kayaking injuries happen!

While lots of beginners simply wear shoes they already have (that they don’t mind getting wet), there are several types of shoes made specifically for paddling. If you plan to continue kayaking, they’re well worth looking into.

Go to Your Best Options for Paddling Shoes to learn more.

woman kayaking

7. Kayaking Technique vs. Power

Simply relying on muscle power will leave beginning kayakers sore and overtired—and even injured, if they’re the weekend-warrior type. Instead, learn basic kayak strokes and techniques. Start with the forward stroke—the one you’ll use most often. Then learn both the high and low brace to prepare you for emergency situations.

Here’s another one: 3 Techniques All Kayakers Should Know

8. Launch Etiquette for Kayakers

With more people on the water in all types of boats than ever before, getting out and in the boat launch area can be an adventure in itself! Learn proper launch etiquette to help make this a cooperative effort between all of you.

Read Launch Etiquette for Kayakers, SUPers and Packrafters for all the details.

9. Kayaking with Your Kids

Paddling with young children requires some extra forethought and safety measures. Lots of families have entered the kayaking world recently, and we whole-heartedly support that! There are ways to make it fun for everyone, as well as safe.

We have a couple options for you: How to Paddle with Young Children and When to Teach Kids to Kayak & Paddleboard.

sea kayakers by the rocks

10. Kayaking with Your Dog

Kayaking with your dog takes even more forethought than kayaking with your kids! Especially if your dog isn’t as keen on the idea as you are.

Lots of Aqua Bound customers take their pooch along on their kayak. Some of them offered some fantastic advice on how to do this to make it fun for both you and your 4-legged pal.

Go to How to Kayak & SUP with Your Dog for their great advice.

11. Kayak Safety Essentials

Kayaking is, for the most part, a very safe outdoor recreational activity. But you are dealing with water, some uncontrollable factors like weather and other boaters, and possible hazards when you’re on the water.

Be smart and educate yourself on best practices for kayaking safely so you’ll still be doing it years from now.

Start by reading Kayak & SUP Paddling Safety Essentials.

We want to help you find the paddle that’s right for you! Contact our friendly Customer Service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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