10 Tips Kayaking For Beginners
One of the most popular activities while aboard our yacht charter is kayaking. It gets you out on the water up close with nature.
It can be intimidating though if you've never done it before. Don't worry! It's very easy once you have a better understanding of what you're doing. Use these handy tips to help you get started and be ready to get out there paddling when you get here.
1. You're Joining an Activity That Is a Part of History
Kayaks were first built 4,000 years ago by the Inuits of North America. The first kayaks were built from seal and other animal hides being stretched over whalebone. Then seal bladders would be filled with air to create buoyancy,
Today we have more advanced technology for our kayaks. They are typically wood, fiberglass, or molded plastic. The different materials work best for different environments and uses.
2. Get a Lesson
Don't worry, we aren't talking about paying for extra lessons. You don't need to hire a trainer or join a class. All you need to do is listen to some pointers from our charter crew before you get started. This will save you a lot of frustration as you are getting started.
3. Dress for the Alaskan Water, and Not the Weather
You might find it to be one of our warmer sunny days here in Alaska. You need to dress for the water temperatures though. Even in the height summer the waters are only in the 40s and 50s.
It's unlikely that you'll fall in, but you'll be happy you dressed for warmth if you do. Even if you don't fall in, sitting in a kayak surrounded by cold water and incidental splashing take their toll. Having a few layers on will help keep you warm and comfortable.
4. Choose the Right Kayak
Don't worry, we have this one taken care of for you. There are many different style kayaks from short sit in ones to super long racing ones. The kayaks we use and provide you with are best suited for the Alaskan waters you'll be cruising.
5. Always Wear Safety gear
No matter if you are a beginner or expert kayaker you should always wear a safety flotation device. This could be any type of life jacket or buoyancy aid, but we provide kayak-specific vests that offer better flexibility and floatation.
Don't think that because you are a strong swimmer that you don't need one. Currents can easily get stronger than your ability to swim and cold water ensures that your dexterity and abilities will be limited very quickly.
6. Sit the Right Way in your Kayak
If you take the time to learn how to sit the right way in your kayak, things will be a lot easier on you. You also reduce the amount of strain on your body. The less strain, the less likely you are to injure yourself.
Even if your kayak has a comfy backrest, don't slouch. You want to create a 90 degree angle at your hips. This way your back is straight up and your legs are out in front of you.
Rest your feet on the foot pegs so that your toes point outward and your heels are pointing towards the center of the kayak. You want your knees to be slightly bent and pointing outward.
7. Hold the Paddle Correctly
Now that you are sitting the right way in the kayak, you need to hold the paddle correctly. This is something that many people get wrong when they first start out.
Hold the paddle with both of your hands. Make sure your hands are just wider than your shoulder width. Now look at the blades. You want the concave side to be facing you.
You will dip the paddle into the water, and the concave part will sweep backwards through the water. This will make for easier and more effective paddling than if the concave part was facing away from you.
For an even more refined paddle stroke, make sure that your knuckles are in line with the blade.
8. Prepare to Change Your Clothes
Even if you are careful and you don't think you are going to get wet, you probably will. This isn't a big deal, just be prepared to change your clothes.
9. Stay With the Boat
This is a safety point that you most likely won't need, but it is good to know just in case. Always, always, always stay with the boat if you happen to get flipped over. This will help someone come rescue you by creating a larger target and also give you additional buoyancy.
To this same point, people are always more important than kayaks. We want to make sure that you have a fun and safe adventure while on vacation.
10. How to Exit Your Kayak
Don't make the mistake of thinking your kayaking adventure is over before you exit the kayak. If done improperly, you can end up in the water.
You'll want to make sure the kayak stays steady as you exit. The easiest thing to do is get someone to help you keep the kayak steady as you exit. Our crew will be there to provide you with a helping hand.
Come Kayak With Us
So what are you waiting for? Now is the time to book your Alaskan yacht charter. We are ready and waiting to help you try out kayaking for the first time. Or if you're an old pro, we're excited for you to test your skills in our Alaskan coastal waters.
There are plenty of other activities you can do on your Alaskan cruise. Curious? Be sure to check out our gallery!
Then when you're ready, reserve your week today.