Kayaking Tips for Women – Simple and Easy to Follow

Do you want to explore a new sport? Or experience the thrill of kayaking in rushing waters and high waves? Then there are some kayaking tips for women you need to know beforehand!

Does the prospect of sports on water terrify you?

As intimidating and scary as it looks, kayaking is not really difficult. You don’t need extra training or special skills to learn this low-impact sport.

The interest in kayaking is rising every year because of the excitement and thrill of it.

The types of kayaking differ on the basis of calm and rushing waters. If you are a beginner, you would most likely start with the former because of the ease. And make sure you also read this comprehensive sea kayaking guide.

Kayaking Tips for Women – All You Need to Know

When looking to try kayaking as a beginner, there are several things females need to consider. From the right gear to the right technique and more.

Knowing all the correct instructions and tips, and having the correct gear will make the whole sport more comfortable, easier, and fun for you.

Let’s get right into the tips!

Kayak – Which One to Buy as a Beginner?

Depending on the water you’ll be paddling in, the comfort level, and your personal preference, you can select different kayaks for women.

The two major categories of kayaks are the sit-on-top and the sit-in.

The sitting-on-top kayak is the newer version that is designed for beginner kayakers, as it is more stable and gives the kayakers more contact with water on a fun day out.

Whereas, the sit-in kayaks are one that offer more coverage from the water, and provide more space to sit, as well as store more stuff.

Selecting one of these two types is totally based on your preferences.

What about the weights?

The heavier kayaks are made of plastic material, which is durable and cheaper than the kayaks that are made of ’Airlite’ material that, although is lighter, but is a bit pricier and more prone to damage.

Therefore, as a beginner woman, you will be better off buying a lighter kayak with the Airlite material. Because you won’t be doing the more difficult level of kayaking so it’s very unlikely for your kayak to suffer more damage, and it is vital that the weight of the kayak is light enough for you to carry around and handle.

However, if you feel like you’ll be able to handle a heavyweight kayak, and have enough strength for it, then you can always buy a plastic one.

Buy a Suitable Paddle:

The kayak paddle is as important as the kayak. Just like the kayak, the paddle is also available in different sizes, weights, materials, etc. What you have to know is whether the one you’re getting would be suitable for the conditions you want to paddle in.

But how do we determine that?

The kayak and paddle sellers themselves are really experienced in knowing which paddle would be perfect and in what conditions. Along with that, you really just have to test out which one would you be the most comfortable in using.

Gear Up!

The kayak gear is one of the most important things to get you in the mood, and to keep you safe during the paddling.

The kayaking gear available mostly in unisex and hence, does not really fit women that well.

You don’t have to adjust!

Look for the specific manufacturers that make the gear specifically and separately for women, so it’s better fitting.

Let’s look at the necessary gear one by one:

  • The PFD or Life Jacket:

This is a very important piece of gear for kayaking, especially for first-timers and beginners.

As women have different chest measurements and waist measurements, the unisex jackets are uncomfortable for women, as well as unflattering.

Look for the closest size you can find according to your measurements. And for parts where you can’t find your exact size, then make sure they have adjustable straps that could help you to tighten or loosen the jacket as per your comfort and fit.

The folks over at FloatingSomewhere.com explain that a PFD should be standard item on any vessel or sport that involves being near water.

  • Spray Skirt:

To keep your legs protected from the water, a spray skirt is designed with durable and water-repellent material. It also keeps the lower half of your body protected from the sun, or from the excessive cold during winters, while kayaking.

  • Footwear:

There isn’t any special footwear available for kayaking, you can wear any sandals that you are comfortable in, and those that dry easily. You can even paddle barefoot if you prefer it that way.

Though, in winters, you can wear water-shoes over woolen socks to keep your feet warm.

Planning – Keep it as Safe as Possible

When you plan a kayaking trip, you have to make sure everything goes smoothly and you have no distractions.

Keep in check the weather condition and the weather forecast before you leave for kayaking. Kayaking in bad weather is not an experience you want to have as a female beginner.

Keep the water condition in check. If you feel like the tide is high, then it’s better to come back some other day.

For the first time, bring a friend along. Whether or not they know how to paddle, emotional and physical support  from a friend would strengthen your confidence.

Speaking from experience:

Don’t have a bad first kayaking experience, because unfavorable conditions are very likely to turn off the excitement of a sport for you.

Thus, make sure all the conditions are good and in your favor.

Sitting – Do it Like the Professionals

When it’s your first time using a kayak, you might not figure out the proper way of sitting and positioning yourself at first.

Learn ahead of time!

The first thing you need to correct while sitting, is the posture. You have to straighten your back, but not so much as to make yourself uncomfortable. In front of you, bend your legs slightly and open them up a little so you have a proper space for moving the paddles.

For the foot positioning in the sit-in kayak, footpegs are attached to the front. What you need to do is place both of your feet in the pegs and extend them as per your comfort.

Make sure you don’t tense yourself out, try to stay in a comfortable position.

Begin the Paddling Motions!

After taking care of all the aforementioned things, you would be ready to learn the basic paddling motions, that is the forward motion and the backward motion.

Kayaking sport is similar to aerobics, as it engages several muscle groups in your body.

Once in the water, you need to take out your paddles and place them both inside of the water by engaging your core. Then you need to make the strokes by bringing the paddles from forward to backward. As a result, the kayak will move forward.

For the backward motion, you just have to perform the reverse of the forward stroke. That is, bring the paddle from the back to the front. This will move your kayak in the backwards direction.

Keep practicing these strokes to master the forward and backward motion before you move on to a higher difficulty level.

A helpful piece of info:

If you want to make a great motion, then with the help of your paddles, make a longer stroke. The longer the stroke, the greater your motion will be.


There you have it! All the necessary kayaking tips for women in one place.

Kayaking is not a very complex sport, it’s pretty easy to learn if you are willing to put in the time and a little effort. This is a low-impact exercise, but it is good for working your muscles.

You need to follow these tips and tricks, especially if you are unfamiliar with it and want to become good at this sport.