Kayaking is a recreational or fun-loving activity in which a narrow watercraft (known as kayak) is used to travel through the water and use a double bladed paddle for the movement. Earlier it was originated for the purpose of navigation or fishing, but now-a-days it has become popular all over the world as a great water sport to have fun and to get the experience of adventure. You may get scared as a beginner, but once you gain some skills in it, you’ll have a wonderful experience. Mostly all the water-bodies are open for kayaking except high-traffic waterways. But it’s really important to consider basic safety tips for kayaking before you go for it.
BASICS TO MOVE YOUR KAYAK
It’s very important to know the basics of how to paddle to control your movement while going out for kayaking. Let’s look at some of the basic strokes to move your kayak, which are as follows:
Forward Stroke: Submerge the paddle blade next to your feet from one side, then pull the blade behind you, just parallel and near to your boat. Then take the blade out of the water and do the same process on the other side. This technique helps to move your kayak in the forward direction.
Backward Stroke: This is also called as reverse stroke. Simply immerse the paddle blade next to your hip from one side, then push the blade till it reaches near your feet. Then take the blade out of the water and do the same process on the other side. This technique is completely opposite as that of forward stoke, which helps to move your kayak in the reverse direction.
Sweep Stroke: Sweep stroke is used to turn your kayak and aims the kayak in the direction where you want to go. It is more like forward stroke with little variation. Submerge the blade next to your feet from one side, then pull the blade behind you but away from your boat by making an arch i.e. sweep it outward. Repeat this sweep stroke on the same side to move the boat on the other side i.e. if you would like to turn your boat to left then use sweep stroke towards your right side and vice-versa.
Draw: If you want to move your boat sideways but without changing the direction of the kayak, then draw technique is used. Simply immerse the paddle blade towards the direction in which you want to move your kayak laterally i.e. either right or left, then pull it towards you. Keep repeating on the same side to move your kayak side-ways.
TYPES OF KAYAKING
Kayaking is used for various purposes, in which a different type of kayaks are used depending on their intended usage. But in general, kayaks have narrow build with closed deck (which covers your leg area) and accommodates a single paddler. But these kayaks also comes in variations i.e. of different size and types, which is used to handle the different situations and may accommodate two or three peddlers as well. Now let’s take a look at the different types of kayaking, which are as follows:
Recreational kayaking is a great activity to have fun and lighten up your mood. This type of activity takes place at the slow and calm rivers or lakes where you can enjoy the nature by looking at the view, watching whales, etc. These are quite safe and easy for the beginner’s and even for the children. While going for recreational kayaking, sitting on the top of the cockpit is also becoming popular these days. Recreational kayaks are quite stable with around 24-inch width and 12 feet long.
Touring kayaking is also called as sea kayaking, which takes place at large oceans and lakes, in which you have to cover very long distances and it may take a few days or weeks. In this type of kayaking, you need a kayak which provides speed and efficiency in the water to cover that long a distance. You may need a lot of experience to go for this type of kayaking. Touring kayaks are made to handle waves while covering the long distance of large waterways i.e. these are long and narrow with 18-24-inch width and 12-20 feet long for a single paddler, and up to 24 feet long for two paddlers.
Whitewater kayaking is the next level of kayaking where you navigate on whitewater, rough water, high-flow waterways, perform stunts on tides, and some may also go over waterfalls, to have more thrilling experience. Whitewater kayaking is performed for various purposes, so their kayaks are mostly of four types i.e. playboats, river runners, long kayaks, and creek boats, depending upon the intended usage. But in general, they are short, solid, and around six feet long.
Pedaling kayaking is also a type of kayaking in which your kayak has the pedals for the movement i.e. you use your legs strength and your hands are free. Pedals are great to get more speed and efficiency on-the-water. Pedaling kayaking is most commonly used for fishing i.e. your hands are free to get the experience of fishing even more enjoyable. In general, there kayaks are wide, comfortable, and stable.
BEST PLACES FOR KAYAKING THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
Either you are a beginner or an expert, navigate through the water by looking at the beauty of the nature which itself is a wonderful experience. Let’s look at some of the best places for kayaking, which are as follows:
SEA OF CORTEZ (GULF OF CALIFORNIA, MEXICO) is one of the great places to enjoy kayaking in which you can experience the desert islands, volcanic escarpments and marine life.
Navigate your kayaks to see the beauty of the emerald water, caves, lagoons, and marine life at HA LONG BAY, VIETNAM.
LAKE GARDA (ITALY) is also a wonderful place to explore, which is famous for it’s crystal clear water and five islands. Make your experience wonderful through kayaking there.
BOVEC (SLOVENIA) is a great place to visit for rapid-water kayakers. This place is popular for it’s view i.e. region of forests, wildflower grassland, and glacial lakes.
As we are talking about the famous waterways all around the world, how can we forget the CRYSTAL RIVER IN FLORIDA, USA. This river is fully bordered by palm trees and vines, wonderful experience if exploring by kayak.