Essential Equipment for Beginner Kayakers

kayaker with lifejacket & paddleStarting a new sport or hobby can be an exciting adventure, but also confusing a one if you are truly are a beginner. Many first-time kayakers wonder exactly what equipment and accessories they will need. Here we’ve put together a list of essential gear every kayaker should have.

Essential Kayaking Equipment

Before you hit the water, this is a list of must have kayaking accessories and gear to make sure you stay safe on your trip on the water.

  1. Kayak: Kind of a no-brainer, if you want to start kayaking you will need a kayak. But do your research because there are many different types of kayaks and the type of kayak you choose will depend on what you plan to do with your kayak and at what level. Having the right kayak is important to making sure you get the most out of your new hobby as well as your safety.
  2. Paddle: Each type of kayaking requires a different type of paddle. Once you decide on a kayak, you can figure out what type of paddle to go with it. The nicer the paddle you choose, the more enjoyable your outings will be. Find a light-weight one that will be easier to swing back and forth and make sure it’s the right size. You don’t want one that’s too long for you. Place the paddle vertically and reach up. You should be able to comfortably wrap your fingers around the top of the paddle without stretching.
  3. Kayaking-Specific PFD: Kayaking personal floatation devices or life vests differ from others in a few ways. First, the back is higher so it doesn’t interfere with a kayak seat. They fit snug so not to rub when you paddle and are designed to allow movement. Some also have tow belt attachments, multiple pockets and places to lash on a knife, whistle and light.
  4. Spray Skirt: A spray skirt will help keep water out of the kayak. It is important that the skirt fits both you and your boat as you wear it around your waist and seal the cockpit opening with it. They are a necessity for whitewater and sea kayaking and nice if paddling recreationally in anything but perfect sunny weather.
  5. Helmet: Depending on the type of kayaking you will be doing a helmet might be required.
  6. Kayak Rack: Although not essential to you getting in the water, you will want to make sure you protect your investment. You’ll need someplace to safely store your kayak and protected it when it’s not in use. There are lots of different kayak storage and rack systems out there. We offer free standing and wall mounted kayak racks that are beautifully handcrafted out of cedar. If you are interested in learning more about our kayak storage racks, view our kayak storage systems online or contact us at 715-543-2006. We’d be happy to help you find the perfect storage solution for your new kayak.