Kayaking is a fantastic outdoor experience that has been described as both a high impact and a low impact activity depending on where you choose to kayak from. You can either have a serene experience when kayaking on calm waters or an extreme adventure kayaking on raggedy waters.
For the ultimate kayaking experience, assuming that you’ve had your fair share of grinding the grit out of your teeth on several occasions, it’s important to consider working on your kayaking skills. You, of course, need to be physically fit, but you might as well work your way to improving your physique while kayaking.
To help you get started, below are tips on how to enhance your skills and become an enthusiast with ocean kayaking.
1. Invest In Kayaking Lessons or Course
Before you dip your paddle in the open sea waters, it’s imperative to pick up the fundamental skills of sea kayaking. As with any other physical activity, you’ll gradually improve your kayaking skills the more you train for it. While it may initially seem easy, becoming a paddling pro takes time and a great deal of patience. The idea, as you’ll find out more here, is to continually improve your maneuvering capabilities while perfecting your forward and reverse sweeps, reverse paddling, draws, and side slips. This means having a training schedule that will not interfere with your daily routines.
There are various ways to enhance your kayaking skills, in the gym and on the water. Weight training is a great start, considering that you need to build your core muscles, arms, and lower body strength as you also improve your balance and endurance. However, you may need to find a gym that offers kayaking-oriented training.
2. Learning the Basics of Freestyle Kayaking
When kayaking, you don’t want to spend all your energy paddling in places you’d otherwise allow the currents to carry you. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to completely switch off into autopilot. You’ll still need your paddle in case you want to turn your kayak. It’s therefore important that you work on your kayaking balance because, without balance and stability, capsizing will come naturally. You also need a strong core to make impossible moves with your kayak without using a lot of energy paddling.
3. Plan a Kayaking Trip
It always seems easier said than done, right? Well, taking a kayaking trip will put your skills to the test. Unlike kayaking in raging rivers, kayaking on the open sea has a different experience. On a calm sea, it will require constant paddling to move your kayak to the direction you want. In addition to this, you’ll also need to learn a few steering and maneuvering techniques. The best thing about learning from experience is that you can scream at the sky, howl, or give your partner a high five for a job well done. Basically, it provides you the chance to learn from your own mistakes as well as from others.
Additionally, spending your time in a kayak will provide you with lessons that you’d not find in books or some practical kayaking courses. Every day brings its own challenges. Today the sea may be calm and tomorrow, raging with waves. This is the only place you can refine already learned techniques and the best place to polish rusty skills. Unlike most rivers, the sea is deeper and will provide you with the buoyancy you need. However, it’s crucial to also work on your fears as they can get in your way. Going on a boat ride and experiencing the sea first-hand will help you to fight the fear of marine life and the depth of the sea.
4. Rely On a Paddling Buddy
If you go on a kayaking trip, consider taking a paddling buddy who is better at kayaking than you are. Knowing that you have someone around to help you and to push you makes all the difference. In addition to this, they’ll help you better your skills, offer support, and help you to stay on track.
5. Invest in the Right Equipment
You can use whatever equipment and achieve results, but then again, having the right kayaking gear and equipment gives you pride and pushes you harder. When it comes to kayaking gear and equipment, you want to choose the appropriate kayaking clothes, a kayak that is proportional to your body height and weight, and a light paddle. Having a kayak that can withstand a rocky shoreline will encourage you to learn maneuvering techniques without having to fear for your kayak’s safety and integrity.
Finally, practice makes perfect. However cliché it might sound, working towards improving your kayaking skills every day will help you to build upon what you already know. It also doesn’t hurt if you test your limits from time to time on small waves. This way, when it’s time to face the real thing, it will be easier.