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Kayaking Tips for Beginners


Nothing beats the feeling of gliding across the water in your kayak. If you’ve never kayaked before, you’re in for a great time. Lots of first-time kayakers become hooked and can’t wait to get back on the water.

If you’re reading this before you kayak for the first time, this will help you prepare for your first trip. If you’ve kayaked a couple of times but still consider yourself a beginner, then these tips will help you become a better kayaker and feel more comfortable on the water.

Follow these kayaking tips for beginners for a great first trip.

Kayak Gear and Clothing

When you’re getting dressed to kayak, a good rule of thumb is to dress for the water conditions, not the weather conditions. Wear comfortable clothing that can keep you warm in the water. Remember to protect your skin from the sun. Your legs are under your kayak, but your upper body will be exposed. Wear sunscreen or a long sleeve if the sun is shining.

Kayak Gear:

  • Life jacket
  • Paddle
  • Safety Whistle
  • Bilge pump
  • Waterproof bag

The waterproof bag can come in handy to store those items you want to bring with you that don’t want to get wet.

Kayak Safety

Whether you’re brand new to kayaking or have kayaked for years, always follow these kayak safety protocol.

  1. Check conditions
    Always double check the weather before heading out. When it doubt, reconsider your trip. Especially note if there are high winds or potential thunderstorms.
  2. Kayak with a buddy
    Always kayak with a buddy for more fun and safety. Keep your buddy within earshot and sight if either of your needs help.
  3. Know your limits
    Know how far you should kayak or how far from shore you should go. Be aware of the weather conditions.
  4. Practice falling out and getting back in
    Before your first trip, practice getting in and out of your kayak from the water. This practice will come in handy if you do ever tip.

Launching Your Kayak

Launching your kayak can be tricky. You must be able to get in and out without tipping your kayak and be able to propel yourself forward.

You and your buddy can bring each kayak down to the water and place them close to shore. One at a time, you’ll gently place your kayak in the water. If you go first, have your buddy hold your kayak steady in the water while you swing your leg over and place your butt down first. This keeps the boat from tipping while you bring your legs in. While you’re in your kayak, you can hold your buddy’s kayak in place for her to get in.

Basic Kayak Strokes

These are the three basic kayak strokes you need to know. While holding your paddle, always make sure the scooped sides are facing outward while you paddle.

Forward Paddle – Rotate your torso and dip the paddle in the water in front of you. When you bring the paddle back, it creates an arc in the water. Think of yourself slicing the water. You’ll have to switch sides depending on the wind or water conditions.

Reverse Paddle– This is the same motion as the forward paddle, but in reserve and propels your boat backward.

Sweep Stroke– This is an exaggerated forward stroke to turn and send your kayak in the opposite direction you are paddling.

Your Kayak Adventure Begins

We know you will fall in love with kayaking and want kayak as much as you can. You might even consider buying your own kayak. Once you have the nice, new kayak, you will need to properly store it.

Invest in a custom kayak rack that will store your kayak, so it lasts longer and requires less maintenance. For specific questions, inquiries or custom orders, contact Log Kayak Rack at 1-715-543-2006.