Kayaking is a fun and versatile water sport that makes for a great way to spend time with friends and family. If you’re new to the pastime, there are some key kayaking tips you should know before you push off. Jet Dock has created this how-to kayak guide for those new to the sport. We’re going over everything from paddling techniques to how our kayak docks can make getting in and out of the water a breeze.
Kayaking has been growing in popularity over the past few years and it’s not hard to see why. The popular water sport provides a high-energy workout with low impact on your knees and joints. It can even strengthen your core, arm, shoulder, back and chest muscles while increasing your overall cardiovascular fitness.
In addition to being a great workout, kayaking is one of the most versatile water sports there is. The portability of a kayak allows you to launch from any shore or kayak dock with ease. You can even kayak on pretty much any body of water, which opens you up to diverse environments and scenery not always accessible by land.
When learning how to kayak, there are a few basic safety rules you should know prior to venturing out. No matter how long or adventurous your journey, you should follow these rules every time.
In order to go kayaking, there’s some equipment you’ll need and some equipment you may want. It’ll all depend on the length of trip you’re going on. As you begin to get more comfortable with kayaking, you may opt to purchase your own equipment and floating dock system.
The following items are things you’ll definitely need on each and every kayaking excursion.
Even if you know how to kayak and feel like you're pretty experienced, the following are suggested items you’ll want to wear and/or bring, especially if you’re going on an extended kayaking trip.
If you’ve never ridden in a kayak before, it can be tricky to get in and out. But with a little bit of practice, you’ll have it mastered in no time. There are two methods of entering a kayak: on land (or in shallow water) and from a kayak dock.
If you’re getting into the kayak from the shore, you’ll want to move the craft as close to the shoreline as possible. Then, sit in the kayak and simply push yourself into the water with your arms until you begin to float.
If you’re ever entering from floating kayak docks into deeper water, there’s a little more work involved. Begin by lowering your kayak from the dock onto the surface of the water, keeping your kayak parallel to the dock. Sit on the edge of the dock and lower your feet into the kayak first. Then, quickly turn your body toward the front of the kayak and lower yourself in.
When it comes time to exit your kayak, you’ll want to just follow the previous steps in reverse, making sure you’re as close to the shore or dock as possible. When exiting on land or shallow waters, swing your legs out, gain stable footing and stand. If you’re using a kayak dock, turn your body to face the dock and pull yourself out.
Getting a feel for the paddle-stroke is crucial when learning how to kayak. This starts with knowing how to hold the paddle. The section of the paddle that you hold is called the shaft. You’ll want to place your hands around the shaft slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, keeping your knuckles pointed upward. The concave side of the blade should always be facing you.
To practice, start by sitting in an armless chair while holding a paddle or a broom. Slice the paddle’s blade vertically down, all the while maintaining a relaxed grip on the shaft. Imagine yourself paddling from side to side and you’ll start to get a better idea of your paddle style.
Once you have the basic motion of paddling down, you can begin to learn and practice the various strokes you’ll need to navigate the waters.
With a little bit of practice and the right equipment, you’ll know how to kayak in no time. At Jet Dock, we want to help make the experience even more enjoyable. Floating boat lifts like our shallow water boat lifts provide a safe and stable platform for getting in and out of your kayak. Thanks to the innovative slide-on and slide-off design, launching and recovering your kayak has never been more effortless.
Constructed of high-density polyethylene modules, our floating kayak docks are modular, changeable and expandable. They can even be configured to match any dock configuration you already have in place. Plus, the systems work in all types of aquatic conditions, from shallow shores to deep water, in which case, you'd need a deep water dock. Reach out to one of our Jet Dock boat lift dealers today for more information.
By answering a few quick questions we will be able to tell you which dock or boat lift is the perfect fit for you.Start Now! ▶