Learn How to Kayak Safely and Enjoy the Water

Connie McKinneyStarred Page By Connie McKinney, 22nd Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/mrozokj9/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Outdoor>Boating

Float down the river. Watch eagles soaring overhead. See otters swim past. You can experience all this and more when you climb into a kayak.

Kayaking: Get Closer to Nature


Kayaking is a fun way to explore a river, lake or ocean. You can hear the cries of sea gulls and other birds overhead as you paddle past them. Depending on where you kayak, you may see otters, fishers and maybe even a seal. No wonder this sport is so popular.
Kayaking is easy to learn. Paddling takes a little practice but the actual movement isn't hard to do.
Because kayaking is done sitting down, it can be enjoyed by people with disabilities and even children. However, children should always be accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult. Or take your child in a tandem kayak and paddle together.

Getting Into and Out of a Kayak


Getting into and out of a kayak can be tricky. Sometimes people end up in the water while getting on or off a kayak. That's why you should always wear a life jacket.
There are two ways to get on and off a kayak: in shallow water or from a dock. Starting from the water is easier. Here's how to do it:

Or you can start to kayak from a dock. Let's see how this is done:

Basic Tips For Kayaking


The number one rule for kayaking is to sit up straight and practice good posture. Kayaks are easy to tip over unless you keep your body straight and balanced at all times. If you've ever done horseback riding or taken dance lessons, you already know how to sit up straight and keep your balance. If you haven't, just pretend like you have a string pulling your head and body up tall. Or pretend you want to touch the sky with the top of your head. The rest of your body will follow.
Another rule is to keep your arms straight and your hands in front of your body while paddling. Your goal is to use the power and strength of your arms not your hands, according to the American Canoe Association.
When you paddle, first grab the paddle with both hands and put it on top of your head. Make sure you have approximately 6 inches free on both sides. Put the paddle in the water. Then, reach and pull with one hand and push out with your other hand. About three-quarters of the paddle should be in the water as you kayak, according to the American Canoe Association.
Let's take a closer look at how to paddle:

Kayaking Safety Tips


Kayaking is fun but can be dangerous if you're not careful. To stay safe, always wear your life jacket even if you are a strong swimmer. The water may be cold or rough but the vest will keep you afloat should you accidentally fall in.
Don't kayak alone unless you're an experienced paddler who's been kayaking for many years. If you have at least one other person with you, one of you can help the other or go for help in the event of an emergency.
Before kayaking, take a safety course. You can find one near you online at www.americancanoe.org or at the Coast Guard site at www.uscgboating.org
Take a guided tour with an experienced guide before trying a solo trip. The guide can help you master the basics of paddling.
Never drink alcohol before getting into a kayak. Even one beer could seriously impair your judgment and lead to tragedy.
If you learn the basics and follow these safety tips, you will enjoy a lazy float down the river, lake or ocean. Just watch out for the birds flying overhead.

Here's another outdoor article I did on mountain climbing:

Attribution


The videos came from You Tube.
The pictures came from Morguefile.com except for the cover shot which was taken with the author's camera by a kayaking guide.
This article used some information from the National Canoe Association
For more information, visit the Coast Guard Web site at:

Tags

Boat, Boating, Boating Tips, Boats, Kayak, Kayaking

Meet the author

author avatar Connie McKinney
I enjoy exercising, pets, and volunteering as well as writing about these topics and others.

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Comments

author avatar Mason
22nd Aug 2013 (#)

Great article, i love spending time outdoors and kayaking is a lot of fun. Thanks for the read.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
22nd Aug 2013 (#)

I'll try it out, Thanks Connie for teh tips very simple and informative as well
Fern Mc Costigan

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author avatar Connie McKinney
22nd Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks, Mason. It was fun writing about it, too.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
22nd Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks, Fern. i think you will love kayaking. Feel free to write about your experience on here. I'd love to read about it.

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author avatar Mariah
23rd Aug 2013 (#)

You are one fit lady Connie..
I truly admire your knowledge and energy. Great page
Mariah

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author avatar Retired
23rd Aug 2013 (#)

It's beautiful.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
23rd Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks, Mariah. I do like to exercise and be outdoors a lot.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
23rd Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks, Maslacak.

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author avatar Carol
25th Aug 2013 (#)

Some interesting facs I didn't know about, thanks Connie

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author avatar Connie McKinney
25th Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks, Carol. It is fun if you ever want to try it.

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