Paddle Blade Rescue Techniques

Description: Quite often, paddlers gets into odd situations while kayaking. If they keep a paddle blade aid in the kayak, then they will be in a better position to protect themselves and fellow paddler.

While paddling together, there is a huge chance that you or your fellow paddler could capsize while rescuing one another or at the same time. Things get a lot worse when you kayak in cold weather conditions. So, in order to be safe, you need bring a self-inflatable blade aid, as it will save a lot of time when required the most.

Prior to embarking, you need to keep that self-inflatable blade aid at a place where it can be easily accessed. There are a plenty of locations in the kayak such as, under deck rigs, but you have to make sure that it doesn’t slip under the bungee cords. You will most likely to use at the time of an odd situation. But, you have to clip it in the right way. You can take one end of the cord and leash it in the corner grommet and then place the clipped end through the loop. Then, you have to clip into the deck fitting. There is another way of doing it, i.e., place it in the cockpit next to the seat. But, make sure that it is properly clipped to a reliable part of the kayak because if a strong wave hits the kayak, then the equipment will be carried away with it.

  1. If the water throws you out of the kayak, then the first thing that you need to do is focus on your kayak and the paddle. You need to put your kayak and the paddle inside the cockpit, so that you one is free at least. Many people place the paddle in their armpit, but that’s the wrong move because one big wave can easily wash loose the paddle or make it difficult for the paddler to manipulate the paddle. You need to find out the right side of your kayak, where you think the kayak will remain protected from the sharp waves. Once you are able to find it out, then stick to that side.

You need to slide the paddle float over paddle blade that is extending from the cockpit. You have to inflate the float until it locks onto the blade of the paddle by augmentation of the air chambers, which will also put a great amount of pressure from all sides. Bring the paddle out of the cockpit and flip the blade so that it rests flat on the surface. Then, insert the paddle under the deck rigging. Your boat will get stable because the combination of paddle and float will result in an outrigger configuration

  1. Once the kayak gets stable, then try getting back on the kayak from the side, where you have placed the paddle float. Make use of the paddle and the float to get back on. You can also grasp kayak’s cockpit in order to place yourself firmly onto to the deck.
  2. Try to come into a position where you can re-enter the cockpit.
  3. There is surely some water left inside the cockpit, so you need to get the bilge pump in order to pump the water out of the cockpit. That will only be done if the conditions are fine. If the weather condition is overcast, then you need to hook up that spray skirt of yours before pumping the water out. Having water in the kayak is not good for you, so get it out quickly. In bad situations, keep the paddle with float intact for stability and use a spare paddle instead to get out of there.

You can also stick the pump right next to your hip after reattaching the skirt. This will help keep the cockpit dry and the kayak stable. You can also use the rudder (if there is a large quantity of it available on the kayak) to keep the bow onto wind during the process of pumping out the water.

How to choose the best fishing rod

Fishing is an ancient way of hunting sea animals. The methods and techniques of fishing have undergone a series of changes. Now, fishing has become a lot more exciting and successful. There is a major role of the fishing rod in the increased success rate of the fishermen. If you are fond of fishing and want to give it a try, then the first thing that you have to get is a fishing rod. The market is flooded with a range of fishing rods and reels, so you can’t just go and choose any random rod and reel. Do a proper research, gather as much info as you can and then, purchase the right rod and the reel. This article is intended to assist all the beginners who are looking to go fishing for the first time. An unbiased information is what the beginners need in the first place and that’s exactly what we are going to give them.

Fishing poles and fishing rods: what’s the difference?

how-to-pick-fishing-rod

This is one point where most people get confused. People living in the US call fishing pole because they think it as a collective name for all the things where they can attach a reel to. People living in the Europe and the UK use fishing rods. They think the fishing poles as a different entity, which is longer than the fishing rod. The fishing pole used in the Europe and the UK doesn’t have a reel attached to it. The definition, design and purpose of the fishing rods/fishing poles is different in the US and the Europe & the UK. If you want to buy a gear that does the task itself, then you should ask for a fishing rod.

The price of the fishing rod

You can find both cheap and expensive fishing rods on the market. The thing that matters is the research that you do before making a purchase. The best way to go about the selection of the right fishing rod is to narrow down the options in terms of brands. Once you have chosen the brand you want to go with, things will get a lot easier for you. Check out the design, material used and the finish of the rod because you will drown them into the water for hours, so they need to work efficiently. As you are a beginner, I would suggest that you go for a mid-range versions of the fishing rod and see how it works out for you.

Determine your fishing style

All fishing rods are not the same, so you need to determine the style of fishing that you want to do. It includes the fish species and the method of fishing. If you live in the US, then you will find that the fishing styles are different in every state. This is due to the diverse climatic conditions, flora and fauna. If you are about to go to fishing for the first time, then you should opt for the beginners’ style of fishing.

The power of your fishing rod

As I’ve mentioned above, all fishing rods are not the same, so you need to check the length, design, weight and power of the fishing rod before making the decision. The power of a fishing rod is an imaginary term that can’t be calculated with any formula. Every manufacturer has its own way of calculating the fishing rod’s power. The test curve method is widely used and in this method, it is noticed that how much weight is needed to bend the tip of the rod to ninety degrees. If the test curve is higher, then it means that the rod is powerful. You can go through the booklet that is given along with the fishing rod. It is important to choose the right fishing rod according to the type of fish you want to catch. If the rod is small and the fish is heavy, then you won’t be able to catch it and vice-versa.

Fishing rod action

This is another important aspect that you have to keep in your mind. There are generally three types of fishing rod action, which are; slow, medium and fast. The slow action would be a bit gentle and humanly, but the fast one is prompt and brutal. So, if you are just starting your fishing adventure, then you should perhaps go with slow fishing rod action because you may snap after seeing a fish dying in front of you. Rest is up to you, if you want a bit of a professionalism while fishing, then you can opt for the fast fishing rod action. But then, you must be able to act accordingly because things get changed pretty quickly in that scenario.

Check the rod handles

While most of the manufacturers pay extra attention towards the fishing rod handles, but people often complain about the scratches and bruises that appear on their hands while catching a fish. The fishing handles are made from cork or the foam. The type of fishing handle depends a lot on your fishing style and the design and preferences of the maker. If you have chosen a cheap fishing rod, then you will get the fishing handle that is made from foam. For expensive fishing rods, manufacturers use cork grips. When the fishing is not done in the proper way, then it doesn’t matter if the rod handle is made from the cork or foam, it will break. The main motive of the fishing rod handle is to provide the angler with a necessary grip that will help him/her catch the fish in a better way. So, if the fishing rod handle is not efficient enough, then there’s going to be a lot of missed chances.

Reel seats

A fishing rod is not ready for fishing until you attach a reel to it. There is a reel seat given in all the fishing rods. There is a compartment where you can insert the reel leg. Once that is done, you can move the threaded ring around the fishing rod in order to position the reel in the right place. To remove the reel, you need to unscrew the ring. With this, the reel leg will be exposed and then, you can take out the reel. Every fishing rod comes with guides that are placed along the length of the fishing rod. You can attach your thread starting from the guide closest to the reel leg. Just make sure that you pass the thread from each and every guide for the maximum performance. Once you have done this, you can then, connect the hooks and the bait.

Fishing is a thrilling activity, but you need to have a reliable and efficient fishing rod to turn it into a big success. The main purpose of this guide is to help the beginners with their quest to buy a fishing rod. I have tried to cover all the aspects, but in case, there is anything left out, then just browse the internet. You will be able to get all the information on the web. Take your time and do a proper research before taking the money out of your pocket.

Sea eagle 370 inflatable kayak review

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 5 stars
  • Spectacular

  • Sea Eagle 370 Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package
  • Reviewed by: 
  • Published on: October 13, 2015
  • Last modified: July 10, 2016
  • Design
    Editor: 95%

  • Material
    Editor: 96%

  • Quality
    Editor: 95%

  • Price
    Editor: 98%


Review Summary:

  • – Lightweight, portable to carry and suitable to seat three people onboard
  • – Robust K80 PVC body
  • – Great space for storing extra supplies
  • – Robust structure with I-Beam hull
  • – Self-bailing drain valve and 3 deluxe one-way valves for quick deflation and inflation
  • – Foot pump for inflation.

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Fishing is known as one of the most relaxing outdoor activities, which comes with a prize- the fish you catch.  If you are offered an inflatable kayak that is also an excellent fishing boat, how will you react to this? You must be elated with the bargain of getting two boats in one price. And certainly it will make your weekends, most awaited days of the week, as you can plan a combo of picnic and a fishing excursion.

Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package is one of the most liked product in the inflatable category for relaxing kayaking experience. Now you don’t have to sit on the shore and wait for the fish with bait on your fishing line, but you can reach right there in the middle of the lake, to have your best and the most cherished catch. So if the opportunity knocks on your door, you must avail it. You are getting two benefits at the price of one, so read along, to know more about this wonderful kayak.  No doubts should remain in your mind before you make your final purchase.

Features of Sea Eagle 370 Inflatable Kayak

Sea Eagle is providing excellent Inflatable Boats, Kayaks and Paddleboards to sportsmen and hobbyists since 1968, and the Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Kayak is one of those brilliant products. Here are some of the features, which will force you to get this kayak for your family.

Low assembly time

When you are out on the shore to enjoy an exciting ride, then you want everything to be quick. Sea Eagle SE370 takes only 8 minutes in installation and setup due to 3 deluxe one-way valves for speedier inflation. So you don’t have to wait too long before you hit the waves on your kayak.

I-beam to give sturdy floor and stable foothold

Since an inflatable kayak is made up of lightweight materials, so expecting a robust kayak structure, needs some additional support. In Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak, this is given by an I-beam floor, which is sturdy and gives a firm foothold to the paddler.

Lightweight and portable inflatable sports kayak equally good for fishing

Kayaks have to be in the water and before that they are carried on a vehicle or by a person to a water body. A heavy and bulky kayak will ruin all the expected fun. But this inflatable sports kayak gives no hassles as far as portability is concerned.

Additional features

  • Lightweight and portable inflatable sports kayak equally good for fishing
  • K80 PVC built hull strong enough for any pricks or punctures
  • High-frequency welded seams for integrated structure
  • Can carry 3 people with total weight of 650 lbs
  • Inflation & Assembly time: 8 minutes
  • NMMA Recognized for paddler safety
  • Self-bailing drain valve for quick deflation
  • 3 deluxe one-way valves for speedier inflation
  • Inflatable spray skirts to prevent water splashes
  • 2 skegs given on underside for controlled tracking and speed
  • Pressure gauge and repair kit
  • Bow & stern grab line for easy handling

 

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This tough PolyKrylar built the boat is reliable enough to bear paws and claws of your pets if you make them a part of your aquatic crusades. You can easily fold in this kayak in a duffel bag, and when it comes to onboard space, you are getting three distinct areas for storing much other gear you need for your vacation. It is an ideal kayak for fishing as well as paddling and low depth diving. You will have a wonderful fun time with this kayak due to its handiness, portability, accessibility and utility.

Benefits of Sea Eagle 370

The foremost advantage of this kayak is that it can be used for paddling and fishing. Your friends will thank you profusely, for taking them to the most memorable fishing trips. It is economical and is designed to carry three adults safely. It can also be used in other water activities like snorkeling and low depth diving. It inflates and deflates in possibly a minimum time of 8 minutes and highly portable, such that it can be packed in a bag and carried along.

Pros

  • Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak, inflates in about 8 minutes and takes same time for deflation.
  • It is affordable and multi-purpose
  • Very stable, even when an excited jumpy pet is onboard.
  • – It is highly durable, due to the K80 PVC material which is very thick.
  • Floor with I-beam can handle pricks or sharp claws of your pet.
  • It can be easily carried in a bag, shipped along to be kept in the car trunk.
  • Storage space to carry other gear for a water excursion, is good compared to other kayaks.
  • A drain plug at the stern and a tow point on the bow are part of an excellent design
  • Its seats are detachable, inflatable and replaceable.
  • Three chambers are defined for compartmentalized inflation, so even if one chamber gets leaked, you will still be able to float comfortably.
  • Patch kit provided for quick patching up of any hole

Cons

This kayak is preferable for fishing, so if you are planning to use it for kayaking for two people, then coordination between them is very important. It may seem slightly slower than other kayaks, but when you are fishing or diving, how does speed matters?

Who should buy Sea Eagle 370 Inflatable Kayak

This inflatable kayak is suitable for the people who have deep love for slow paddling, fishing or diving and for families.

Where and How to buy

Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Kayak, is available at any sports gear shop, but if you want an economic deal, then you should try to get it from online shopping sites like Amazon. You may get lucky and will have some fantastic bargains, discounts or deals available on this, already cheap sports gear. The feedback and reviews of buyers will help you in understanding its problems and benefits so that you can get the best for your money.

 

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Conclusion

Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak, is a kayak that you will love buy for your family and friends trips, and make a brilliant weekend with excellent catch and diving. With this three people capacity kayak, you can bring along your pet too. It is an outstanding product among the economical, robust and two paddle kayak category.

Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak Review

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 5 stars
  • Spectacular

  • Design
    Editor: 95%

  • Material
    Editor: 97%

  • Quality
    Editor: 95%

  • Price
    Editor: 95%


Review Summary:

  • – Economical, reliable, safe and stable fishing boat for two persons.
  • – Inflatable and deflatable in literally no time.
  • – Sturdy and tough material of construction.
  • – Lightweight and easy to carry in a bag.
  • – Huge storage space to store fish and other necessary gear.
  • – Hand-free handling with paddle holders.
  • – Strong enough to handle any pricks or pinches.

If you are looking for a kayak that gives you the exceptional enjoyment of fishing,  if you want to spend a day, fishing with your father, grab your fishing kit, retreat to the happy days of your childhood then, Coleman Colorado(TM) 2-Person Fishing Kayak  is for you.

Coleman Colorado(TM) 2-Person Fishing Kayak is an incredibly handy and easy outdoor gear, which can brighten your vacations and small picnic trips. The spaciousness of this kayak is ideal for any kind of use, you want to have with this boat, whether a boatful of fish or a thrilling paddling with your best buddy.  I have tried to sum up all the feature and benefits here so that you don’t have to wait too long for your fun-filled days.

Features of Coleman Colorado(TM) 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Coleman is a well-known brand in quality sports gear and a few of them are Inflatable Boats, Kayaks and Paddleboards for sports people and hobbyists. With Colorado(TM) 2-Person Fishing Kayak, Coleman has again proved itself to be the leader in making such products. Here are some of the features of this 2-people kayak. After reading them, you will definitely buy it for you and your family.

Superior Material of construction: When you are out in the water, you might be afraid that the underlying stones and sharp objects may hurt your boat and your spirit. But Coleman Colorado(TM) 2-Person Fishing Kayak is constructed with superior 18-gauge PVC, 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon which makes it superbly rugged for lake use and secure from any pricks or punctures.

Multiple air chambers for reliability: What if you take this kayak to really rocky lake areas where you have the guarantee of catching the best fish ever? Afraid of unannounced air leaks? No need to put off such exciting and challenging excursions when you have this multiple air-chamber kayaks. Such a design allows distributed air filling so that one or another chamber stays inflated in case one of them is punctured.

Easy and quick setup and pack-up: The Coleman Colorado(TM) 2-Person Fishing Kayak is provided with reliable Boston Valve. This superior valve is double threaded that inflates the kayak in almost no time and so does when you have to pack it up and rush back to your home after a hectic fishing or  kayaking vacation.

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Additional features

  • Airtight® System inhibits air leakage
  • Provided with Berkley® Quick Set Rod Holders to fit fishing rods so that you have  hands-free fishing
  • Sevylor® trolling motor fittings enhances fishing results.
  • Paddle holders to hold your paddles when the boat is stationary
  • Mesh pockets to store other things
  • D-Rings for fastening other gear
  • Adjustable seats
  • Carry handles for easy handling
  • NMMA® certified
  • Can carry people and things up to 470 lbs.
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Carry bag for packing
  • Pressure gauge

This tough kayak 10 ft. 9 in. x 3 ft. 3 in. in dimensions is reliable enough to handle any kind of rough use and rows efficiently on any water surface. With its flexibility, you can easily travel to all areas of the lake and fish to your boat’s carrying space. Carrying this kayak is never a problem since it can be quickly deflated and folded in the accompanying bag. It is an ideal kayak with a large storage space in the form of numerous meshed pocket.

Benefits of Coleman Colorado(TM)

You can do paddling and fishing both with Coleman Colorado(TM) 2-Person Fishing Kayak, whatever kind of temperament you have currently. You can give some unprecedented fishing trips to your friends and family. The price of this kayak is affordable and that too with a great storage spacereliabilitysafety and versatility of its operation. When you lower down your fishing line to attract your catch, your boat will remain stable and you can keep the paddles safely in the handles provided. Moreover  quicker inflation and deflation will inspire you for anytime water activity.

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Pros

  • Coleman Colorado 2-person kayak, inflates and deflates in really less time.
  • It is economical and excellent  for fishing
  • Stable and steady in any kind of water surface.
  • Durability is guaranteed due to excellent material used in construction.
  • Packing is easy in an accompanying bag.
  • Abundant storage pockets to pack huge number of accompanying things.
  • Its seats are movable and adjustable to fit you comfortably.
  • Chambered inflation, so if one section has leaked, you will have minimum chances of drowning with other sections still full.
  • An easy to use pressure gauge to measure air pressure while filling

Cons

This kayak is a great utility for fishing, to reach all the possible corners of the lake. But one thing I have an issue with, is that the Boston valve is a bit unreliable. But if you inflate the kayak with a recommended air pressure, you won’t face any major hassle, because of the multiple air compartments and the most strong 18-gauge PVC, 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon used in its manufacturing. Another issue which I too care about is that when any of the seats are worn out, you will not be able to get a replacement. But when you pack this kayak carefully, you will never need this replacement.

Who should buy Coleman Colorado(TM)?

This inflatable kayak is meant for fishermen, the fishing hobbyists, the divers and all those people who want to enjoy the stillness and the beauty of a lake near their locality. At the core of this kayak will make any family extremely happy.

Where and How to buy?

Coleman Colorado(TM) 2-Person Fishing Kayak, can be purchased from all the leading sports gear shops, but if you want a better deal, then you can try your luck at online shopping sites like Amazon. These sites may have some amazing bargains, discounts or deals for this fishing kayak. The feedback and reviews of buyers will help you in understanding its problems and benefits so that you get the best deal in your hard earned money.

Buy and Enjoy It Now!

Conclusion

Coleman Colorado(TM) 2-Person Fishing Kayak, is an astonishing kayak which is meant for fishing as well as the basic purpose of kayaking. Your father will be more than happy for this wonderful purchase, which two of you can paddle to recall your childhood excursions. Believe me, my Dad praised me after a long time for getting this kayak for two of us.  You will have some very exciting trips with your family too so that you  all spend some quality time together.

Essential gear for kayak fishing

Surely you can get good parts with minimal supplies. But if you plan to go fishing all day, there are some things that are often forgotten at home and possibly help you make your journey even easier and enjoyable without having to be loaded with a long list of items that the end you will not use. Here I show you 10 essential things that you need to carry when go fishing:

1. Comfortable clothing:

To go fishing, comfortable clothing is the best choice. If winter is useful to take a vest, where we can keep our utensils and so have them at hand. In summer, it is advisable to wear a hat and do not forget to take the sunscreen if you want scorch.

 

essential thing to carry when go fishing2. First aid kit:

Most importantly, be fitted with appropriate kit to potential risks of fishing cuts, trauma or insertion of sharp objects or sharp as hooks. You need to pay special attention to the risk of infection from cuts with the fish itself. In the kit we carry: sterile gauze pads, povidone-iodine (Betadine), elastic bandage, tape, disposable gloves, …

3. Polarized sunglasses:

Especially in very clear days, because prolonged exposure to sunlight can damage our retina. In addition, they will help you see better everything that moves under water and can prevent us from hurting your eyes, for example, with the branches of the trees found in the fishing places with insects that can beat us when we travel in a vessel at high speed, or receiving a fish hook. We must consider sunglasses as a security article.

sun-glasses-go-fishing

4. Head torch:

Perfect for night fishermen.

5. Insect Repellent:

Do not let mosquitoes or any other bugs embitter your fishing day!

6. Multifunction Tool:

At any time we need to draw on this tool: for removing hooks of our parts, or why not? To cut our sandwich!

multifuncion-tool-for-go-fishing

7. Water and food:

We can not forget to rehydrate without waiting to be thirsty and bring some food for when we start to enter the bug.

8. Mobile:

With the power to ask for help in an emergency. And if everything goes smoothly, we can photograph him / immortalize our catches and then show them to our friends.

9. Fishing Equipment:

Rod, reel, fishing line, other accessories and spare parts. Where we go without them?

10. GPS-map:

If our sense of direction plays a trick on us. Do not let us ruin our day!

These are my 10 “essential”. What would you include?

Reasons to go fishing form a kayak

fishing kayak is so fun you need to try

Fishing from kayak is going to give you a plenty of excitement.

In the last decade, the popularity of kayak fishing has increased exponentially. It is possible for people to buy a good quality kayak from $1000-$2000, thus making it an attractive option for serious fishermen who are looking to expand their horizons.

It is quite easy to move these kayaks in the water, plus it is possible for fishermen to move from one place to another. This allows fishermen to obtain great rewards in the form of big fish and a plenty of unforgettable memories.

The above two reasons are good enough for fishermen to go fishing from kayak. But, it’s time to discuss a few other considerations about kayak fishing. There are many advantages of fishing from kayak than using a boat for the same. Fishermen are going to get a lot of opportunities while fishing from kayaks.

The new generation of fishing kayaks are more versatile than their predecessors and also provide better comfort and efficiency. There is no better time than now to enter into the world of kayak fishing. There are many benefits of kayak fishing than just normal boat fishing, as you can do fishing more quickly and comfortably.

>> Read more: 10 essential things you need to go fishing | Things to consider before buying a fishing kayak | Coleman Colorado(TM) 2-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak Review

If you already have a boat and want to try new experiences, or you are about to buy a boat to have some great fishing adventure, then you need to pay attention to the below-mentioned six reasons regarding choosing fishing from kayak:

  1. More affordable than a boat

A standard motor boat comes at an expensive price than a fully equipped kayak. I will not discuss the difference in the price of a boat and a kayak, but there are many other aspects as well, which make kayak a much better choice. The low travel cost, low maintenance, low insurance, etc., make kayak a fantastic choice. If you don’t have much to spend, then a kayak would probably be the best choice for you to have fun from the routine hustle bustle. The objective of all the kayaks is the same, though the construction could be a lot different. Some have more accessories than the others, some have a different propulsion technique, a different seating capacity and more. So, all these features come into play while determining the price of the kayak. The market for kayaks is growing with every passing year, so with new models coming in, you are going to get greater opportunities to buy an affordable kayak. I would advise you that you should analyze each and everything in the kayak before buying. Once you are satisfied with the features and the budget, then you can decide on buying the kayak.

  1. Easy access to water

Have you ever gone to a place where there is water all around and picturesque view of the mountains and the vegetation? Well, that’s the place where you can get more fish. If you are on a bass boat, then you’ll have to throw a ramp into the water, but this is not the case with the kayak, thanks to its simplified operation that allows it to travel in any place. The ability of the kayak to move smoothly and reach places is what makes it so wonderful.

  1. Versatility

Fishing in different water and catching different species of the fish is possible by using a kayak. Different species are often present in the small reservoirs and marshy water, but there, ships can’t get in. But, using a kayak, you can catch all those fish easily. This is another great feature that you’ll get in the kayak.

  1. Portability

With the ability to be transported from one place to another quite easily also makes fishing kayaks the most popular choice. You must have seen people carrying kayaks along on the beaches without worrying about any damage to the kayak. You can put kayak on the top of your car and easily drive off to the destination where you wish to go.

  1. Travel companion-kayaks

Once you are proficient in doing fishing from kayak, then you can go to different kayak adventures. It doesn’t matter what you do in your life, you have to spare some time and have your suitcase packed for kayak fishing. Many companies are allowing people to rent kayaks for fishing. So, if you don’t want to buy it, then you can probably rent one. The main motive for you is to have fun in the sun and catch some delicious fish.

  1. A unique perspective

There are some unique benefits of doing fishing from the kayak than fishing from the boat from by sitting on the shore with a fish rod.

What To Know Before Kayaking

As a newbie to any outdoor sport, we all feel uncertain about where to begin and how to learn about the sport. We might not always need any special skill or a hidden talent before we begin to think about learning a new sport. But the one thing that everyone would surely need before they start is a passion for learning that sport. Kayaking is one such sport that requires not much in-born talent, but a lot of passion and definitely at least some basic training for the beginners is a must. Offering immense thrill and adrenaline rush, Kayaking is a water sport where the rider of the kayak boat makes use of a handheld double-bladed paddle to courageously maneuver the way of the boat amid the strong water flow.

Journey of evolution

As much adventurous sound the sport of kayaking, the history of evolution of the designs of kayaks from the ancient ages to what we see today as a modern kayak is equally enticing. The word “kayak” literally means a hunter’s boat. As the name suggests, these boats were used by the natives of north Arctic regions thousands of years back in time for hunting land and marine animals in inland water bodies or rivers. Those kayaks were made by using driftwood or even skeletons of whales for the frames. Animal skin, especially seal skin was used to cover the body of kayaks. These kayaks came to special use in Alaska where Eskimos mostly used them for stalking and hunting prey in the water or on coastal land as the water stayed extremely cold making it difficult to hunt. Also not all natives knew how to swim and it would be suicidal to even try swimming for anyone wearing thick fur coats.

Throughout the history of Kayaks, the design and make of these boats mainly evolved from the way these boats were meant to be used by individual owner. As compared to the older times when the natives preferred to make their own boats by hand as per their personal likings and usage, the modern kayaks are more or less a part of a commercial sporting kit used for this water sport. These kayaks though lack the highly customizable attribute of the older time; however they are commercially designed in a way so as to fit variants from a group of people having vastly different physical structure, skills, preferences and even different pocket size depending on how much anyone wants to spend.

Makes and designs

Depending on where and how these boats are used, these modern commercial kayaks have a variety of shape, dimensions, size and usability. The major portion of these boats is used as a part of sporting kit for Kayaking water sport. You may savor the peace of a serene kayak ride amid the soothing mountain lakes, or you might even want to take the joy and thrill of paddling through the bumpy hilly rivers splashing water on the faces. But for a beginner to learn about Kayaking you must first make sure about the place where the boat will be put in water and how the design of the boat you choose might complement the kayaking skills you have attained. The modern kayaks might be made up of plastics, fiber, metal, fabrics, inflatable PVC or rubber and even with wood. These different materials offer the advantage of having a range of kayaks with varying durability, weight, flexibility, resistance, storage capacity and accommodation space which makes it easier for the users to choose from.

how kayak works - make and design

To begin to learn Kayaking, the three things that are initially required are a kayak boat, a set of equipment and some basic training. The place of kayaking is the main factor on deciding the boat design. Forms of outdoor activities related to kayaking include whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking, fishing, and diving, camping, surfing, racing and sprinting, recreational activities like exploration of the wild coastal regions with kayak camping and touring etc. Based on these activities and where they are performed, the kayak boats can differ in size and other attributes. Flat water or sea water kayaking requires the boat to cover more distance in less time. Resultantly, the flat water kayaks are essentially longer and narrower to assure higher speed. Similarly, the white water kayaking is the form of this outdoor sport performed in the turbulent river waters in hilly regions where the water appears white, thus the name. As it is useful for boats in agitated water to be able to take sharper turns and easily to man-handle, thus the whitewater kayaks are shorter in length and have a certain curve in the body for better control.

Also, while considering the paddler’s comfort and ease, the kayaks may be “Sit-On-Top or SOT” type where a shallow deck is made on the top for paddler to sit and stay above the water level. Another form is the “Sit-In or Cockpit” style where the paddler is half below the water level. The legs and hips of the paddler accommodate in a space inside the kayak boat and a spray skirt creates a water resistant seal around the paddler preventing the water to enter the kayak hull. Third type of kayaks is the less famous “tandem” which can accommodate more than one paddler in its space. The most advanced form is the inflatable kayak that, as evident with the name, can be inflated before use and deflated for storage. It conventionally is designed as a hybrid of the previous two designs of kayaks and has a larger hull to accommodate the paddler while the paddler still stays above the water level.

Gear and equipments

Next to the decision of choosing the place of kayaking and design of kayak boat, then comes the point of arranging the accessory gear to carry along. The following list will simply enumerate the basic “must have” equipments that all kayaking beginners should not forget about.

  • Kayak Paddle: It is fundamentally required for kayaking. It is a double sided handheld paddle that is used by the paddler to tread the boat’s way through the water flow.
  • Helmet: To keep the head safe from the accidental bumps, a helmet is one basic safety device for every beginner.
  • Personal Floatation Device: Commonly known as the less fancier name “life vest”, PFD is the most essential equipment to keep before any beginner thinks of taking the kayak anywhere near the water, no matter how flat and steady the water is.
  • Spray Skirt: It is like a mini kayak that fits to the cockpit of the kayak and helps to keep the water out of the hull of the boat while keeping securing you inside the boat.

Kayak gear and equipments

Last on the list

After checking the beginner’s list of equipments to have, now you are ready to take down your kayak in the water. Make sure to start by kayaking in the flat surface and protected water bodies. With many more maneuvers and kayaking to learn, with enough experience and confidence, you might soon be able to experiment your kayaking skills in open waters. But always remember that the sport of kayaking not only demands intense training, strong muscles and a decent gear; but it also requires enough caution, thinking ability and safety measures from paddlers.

A nice self-assuring gesture would be to add a compass and a whistle to the kayaking gear you buy, which can come very handy in situations where you might get stuck while kayaking alone or get lost in your way.

Best Fishing Kayak

Read more:

If you love water, then it would be an easy guess that fishing is your thing as well. You might be a shore fisherman just hanging around the sea shore or the river bank hoping to catch your prey. But sailing to the middle of those far off spots considered more suitable for fishing would be just a plus for you. Using a kayak for fishing is the new trend prevailing most exclusively among the professional as well as recreational fishermen off late. It not only gives you the fun of treading your own kayak on the waters where you never imagined before, but it also gives a more handy approach to the remote fishing zones where you are likely to get a better catch than from the shore.

best fishing kayak buying guide: all you need to know and reviews

Now if you have given a good thought then you might already be agreeing to take a kayak, next time you go fishing. Renting a kayak might sound fancy initially, but if you are a regular angler or if you are hoping to be surrounded by waters a little more often, then buying a kayak for yourself is surely a better choice. After frequent usage it might be realized that owning one angling kayak for self, instead of renting one each time, is more of a necessity than a matter of choice for most of the anglers. Owning an angling kayak is more or less like owning a car, the only difference being that one runs on roads while the other treads the water.

How to go about buying a best fishing kayak 2015 – 2016?

Like said above, the decision about choosing a fishing kayak to buy is just as crucial as choosing a new car to buy. It is more about the comfort, usability and application of the features specific to the kayak you might prefer to ride, and all these factors play an important role while you decide which kayak to purchase eventually. Some of the factors are detailed out below for better understanding.

  1. Your pocket size

No matter how much you fancy the fun of fishing on a kayak, I am still sure that you will not consider spending a fortune on buying your angler kayak. So the first and foremost thing you must look up for is your budget. Decide about how much you wish to spend on your fun and recreational aspects and then consider your options about the same.

Not only the kayak, but even the fishing gear you hope to carry with you is going to cost a part of that budget. So I suggest you to do a good research about what is useful for you and how you want to spend your money over buying your new angling kayak and fishing gear.

  1. Your fishing destination

It is understandable that you might not want to take your fishing gear to the same spot each time. But there definitely must be some favored spots you might pick more often. Define your choices and decide if the kayak would more frequently be used for flat water fishing or rapid water. Will you be taking this kayak to hunt fishes in the open sea or down in the coastal creeks. The design and making of the kayak you would purchase will depend a lot on this factor.

  1. Your level of expertise

For a newbie, it is always tough to decide which kayak would help you better in your fishing activity. You definitely need a lot of guidance before you make a choice and that is why I am here to help you. Depending on your skills, your expectations and requirements from your kayak will differ from time to time. Also, choosing the right kayak that fit your needs will only help you grow your skills and improve your proficiency for fishing with a kayak.

For a new kayaker, it is important to first learn to get a good initial stability to stay upright and more balanced on the water. So a wider kayak is more preferred for novice kayakers. While, at the same time an expert kayaker might look forward to test the learned skills of maneuverability with the stability of the kayak. As an experienced kayaker, you might appreciate secondary stability as more a more important factor in the kayak design and a narrow kayak is a better option in such a case.

  1. Your company for fishing

Now another thing to remember while making the decision about the kayak is to see if you will be going alone for fishing or you would be having a partner most of the times. This will decide your option to choose among the single kayak or the tandem kayak. Remember that buying a tandem kayak might also sound like fun initially, but it is important that the fishing preferences and the skills of the two people must match or at least complement each other.

Major Key points to consider 

Comparing the need for Initial Vs Secondary Stability

Initial Stability for a kayak is the feature that determines the extent to which the kayak maintains a straight position on water and how stable it remains without tipping or leaning on any side. Kayaks that have a broader hull, i.e. the wider kayaks show better initial stability. On flat or slow moving waters, the kayakers would need the kayak to stay more stable and so prefer wider kayaks for achieving initial stability.

The Secondary Stability is the feature that measures the extent up to which a kayak can maintain its stability on the water while it is tipping or leaning on to any side. It is more exhibited in narrower kayaks and is more useful for rapid water or surf water kayaking, where taking swifter turns tend to tip the kayaks more often.

Comparing the need of Maneuverability and Tracking

Maneuverability is all about how the kayaker is able to handle the stability of the kayak on the water; whereas tracking is about the way the kayak stays on a straight line while moving on the water without drifting with the water currents.

The rocker of the kayak is the part that plays a chief role in determining the excellence of the kayak in these two aspects of kayaking. It is basically the measure of the degree by how much the lower part of the hull of the kayak curves up from the center portion to the end of the side of the hull along the keel of the kayak.

As you can understand here, that if the curvature of the hull from center to the end is less, then the kayak will be said to have a lower degree rocker. Such kayaks will resultantly have a straighter hull along the keel and can track their path better on the water; however such kayaks do not turn themselves well and have a slower speed. While on the other side, the kayaks with a higher degree of rocker are the ones in which the curvature of the hull from the center to the end is more. These kayaks can turn and maneuver better on water with a much higher speed, but they do not track well and lose the straight line path.

Comparing the need of Length Vs Width

As I proceed further, I would like to throw some light on how the importance of the dimensions of your kayak will decide a lot about which kayak you must buy. For fishing in sea and open lakes where water is flat and steady and you might need a longer, narrower kayak. It will help you in going longer distances in lesser time and you can get good speed for switching spots frequently. At the same time, if you are hoping to go fishing on a speedy river or creeks, then a shorter and wider kayak is your real requirement. Such kayaks have a more balanced rocker that can make it easier for you to make swifter and quicker turns around the rocks and prevent your kayak from flipping against the stronger water currents.

Importance of the weight of your kayak

Considering this factor is important while you calculate the distance you would be carrying your kayak from your garage gate till you land your kayak actually down on the water. Definitely, if you have a longer distance to travel, then you require a lighter kayak even if you are carrying it on top of your car or on a kayak cart. This is because you would require to lift the kayak up on your shoulder or head at least to put it over or down from the car rack or the cart. At the same time, a heavier kayak gives better stability on water while a lighter weighing kayak will sway more easily with stronger winds on the water.

 Sit-On-Top Vs Sit-In (cockpit) or Sstand-On kayak

An angling kayak might be designed in various ways changing the way you would be settling yourself on it. One such design is the “sit-in” type which has a cockpit to let you sit inside the hull space of the kayak. Now this type has its own good points and bad points. The good about the cockpit kayak is that it gives you so much space inside the hull to secure your legs as well as some extra gear along with you on your fishing tour. Not only that, if you are facing cool sea breeze hitting your body or if the cold water splashing on your face is unfriendly enough; you might suddenly feel glad that you have the lower half of your body warm and securely dry inside the hull of that cockpit beneath that spray skirt. Now what’s wrong with this type of kayak? Practically, I feel that these kayaks having a hull below the sea level tends to limit and reduce the freedom of movement to a certain level for the angler. While fishing, it is of extreme importance that you are able to move your hands and legs freely, sometimes to paddle faster following your catch and other times to reel in the fishing rod. The discomfort caused by the presence of the spray skirt around the torso and the limitation of movement of the lower body inside the hull mostly is considered as a kind of disadvantage for angling kayakers.

Next is the “sit-on-top” variant. Here, you will not find a seat inside the kayak, but the seat would instead be attached over the top of the board of the kayak board. This kayak puts you above the sea level and over the top of the kayak, thus allowing an extensive freedom for you to be able to move your arms and legs as required for your fishing activities. This feature is a definite plus while fishing and makes it a better choice for most angling kayakers. But before you register this fact in your mind, let me help you see where the catch is. Unlike the cockpit style kayak that seems so protective, this “sit-on-top” kayak instead is going to leave you open and uncovered out on the water front. So, when you have nothing to guard yourself against the harsh cold winds and waters, you might find the cockpit style kayaks more useful and preferable than these sit-on-top kayaks.

Lastly, coming on to the stand-on kayak, these have so far been the most useful type for most fishing kayakers all over. Just as far as the fishing is considered, this kayak provides a wide standing board for you to make all the moves and stunts you might need to do for catching the fish you were longing for. This method of kayaking gives complete freedom to move and work in all directions and is practically felt to be most useful for fishing. However, standing out in the open you might struggle with the cold wind and water blows, but except for situations like ice-cold water or extreme low temperatures, this kayak type is a good choice for angling.

Using the kayak for other purposes than fishing

We have, so far, talked about a fishing kayak and if your interest for buying this kayak exclusively limits itself only for the purpose of fishing, then there are definitely two things you would need to make sure. First, you might prefer getting your kayak rigged with a fishing rod. And second is to look for enough space.

Let the installed fishing rod feed the bait to the fishes while you can relax your hands and paddle freely in the water. Also you would require enough space to store the bait, the freezer and other essential fishing gear on the kayak. So whether you need this kayak for any other use or not, if you plan to fish frequently, then do ensure proper space in the kayak.

On the other hand, if this kayak you are buying is not meant only for fishing, then have a rig installed would not make much sense. The area of the kayak blocked by the rig installation can bring down the usability the kayak for any other purpose and will use unnecessary space.

Next, your purpose for using this kayak will also be a factor in deciding how you want this kayak to physically move on the water. Here I would bring it in to your notice that there are basically three ways to move the kayak. One is the use of the hand held paddles. It is a rather slower way to move that kayak and it also has a disadvantage of engaging your hands in paddling rather than handling the fishing rod. If you want to use this kayak for recreational purpose equally then kayak using paddles is the option your must go with, second is using the foot pedals to move the kayak. It is relatively an easier way to use the foot as you can move the kayak with better speed while keeping your hands absolutely free for maneuvering the fishing rods. At last, the fastest and most convenient method is using a motorized kayak. Keeping your hands free for fishing and having a good speed to move around to various fishing spots is one favorable manner to fish using a kayak.

Ponder the option for inflatable fishing kayak

If you ask me, then most of the major disadvantages of the above-mentioned various sorts of kayaks can be overcome by choosing an inflatable kayak. Before you start wondering how that is even possible, then let me enlighten you a little more over the benefits of an inflatable kayak.

An inflatable kayak is the one that comes in a deflated condition, wrapped and folded in a carry bag mostly. You inflate air in it with the help of an air pump and once sufficiently inflated, this kayak suits most of the kayaking conditions as well as the other hard kayaks. Let me list the plus points for using the inflatable kayaks for your ease.

  • It takes very less space, as the largest of the sizes can be deflated and folded in a small suitcase size and stored in any corner of the garage
  • It is extremely handy and portable, as it is relatively very lighter than the hard kayaks and the carry bag makes it a lot easier to carry it
  • Most of these kayaks have skegs at the bottom to maintain their way in a straight line on the water.
  • The I-beam structure of the kayaks gives it a stability comparable to most hard kayaks and prevent the tipping or flipping
  • These kayaks offer equally large space to carry the fishing gear and are useful for recreational as well as professional fishermen

Apart from these, there are few points that work against the inflatable kayaks. One is that these can neither be motorized or rigged with a fishing rod. Second is that the inflatable kayaks require some time and effort for inflation and assembly of the separate parts of the kayak. However, considerably this effort is nothing compared to the effort of transporting the hard body kayaks. Lastly, the soft body of the inflatable kayaks are always at a higher risk of damage while scrubbing over the pebbled shore or against the rocks or unluckily any oyster bed. But an easily available repair kit for most materials can make it right for such damages to the body and are good enough to make the kayak work as fine as new.

Where to buy the best fishing kayak?

Going to the local kayak store is definitely an option you can look about. But the shopkeepers are usually more dedicated towards marketing and selling their product to you rather than helping you match their product with your actual requirements. So I would suggest taking this option only after making sure what exactly you are looking for and what options you are willing to ponder, rather than completely relying on an advice from any shopkeeper or salesperson.

Then, you may find any kayaking expert or instructor in the neighborhood and ask for their help in finding the way and place to buy the most suitable fishing kayak for you. Although, it is fairly possible that you might not even find any expert around which will only delay and confuse your decisive senses even more to an irretrievable position maybe.

Lastly, the internet will be there always to save the day for one and all. There are various ways you can use online websites to help you decide. Amazon is one such online website that you can utilize to not only make the final purchase, but also to help you weigh the points important to you and then compare your best options before you decide your kayak. No other actual shop or any virtual store can provide as much benefit in terms of credible user reviews, best price, product feedback, return facility and user friendly interface as you may get with Amazon. I would certainly recommend using Amazon to make your purchase to make it as smooth and easy as it can ever be.

Assembling the fishing gear

The various equipments that you require on or attached to your fishing kayak are enlisted here:

  • Fishing rod with handle and rack
  • Fishing reel
  • Bait
  • Lures
  • Cooler
  • Paddle park
  • Kayak anchors
  • Casting net
  • Compass or GPS device

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I start with kayak fishing? First of all, take a paddling lesson. You might not catch a fish, but at least you will not drown yourself.
  2. What do I need in my kayak for fishing? A PFD, a spray skirt and a paddle are required for kayaking, Apart from that, a fishing rod and reel, bait, knife and a cooler. These are the most basic essential parts of the gear.
  3. What if I tip over my kayak? It is likely that you might misbalance yourself and tip over the kayak. Stay calm and try to climb back on the kayak holding the sides. Essentially, if you capsize, you must be aware about the rolling and self rescue exercise from your paddling classes.
  4. Does my kayak require any maintenance? Yes, after each use, you need to wash your kayak inside out to keep the metal parts safe form corroding by the effect of salt water. Also polishing of certain parts might also do well for the health of the kayak.

Words of wisdom

  • Always carry a compass with you, and you will never get lost.
  • Fish finder or Sonar is a handy tool to find out your fish underwater
  • Never compromise with the safety measures and learn self rescue techniques well
  • Stabilize yourself well on the kayak while pulling a large catch up from the water
  • Locate the best fishing spots and note the location on your GPS device for your return visit

Fishing and kayaking, together they combine to form an excellent combination of physical and mental well being. Choosing the best fishing kayak that fits your requirement is a definite key to find a successful way in this. Make this decision wisely and get the most out of fishing on your kayak.

Basic Kayak Paddling Skills

Kayaking is one of the fastest growing of the water sports in the USA. Some other good reasons to paddle include:

  • Kayaking is peaceful and meditative or can be exhilarating – depending on where and how you do it.
  • Provides  cardiovascular fitness
  • Increases torso and leg strength

So it is very important to take a lesson to learn the essentials of kayaking. You’ll have a much more enjoyable and safer time on the water if you read few key paddling skills.

Proper-Kayak-Skills

How to Launch a Kayak from a Dock

It’s important to know a proper way to do it without getting yourself soaked, make sure that you are wearing a life vest and that it is properly fitted first thing you going to do is take your boat and put it parallel to dock.

How to launch a kayak from a dock

  • Take your paddle put it right behind your Cockpit rim, majority of your paddle going to rest on the dock.
  • Next thing sit on the dock with your feet facing forward
  • Grab the boat, putting your first hand on the top, while second on the dock
  • Put feet in , lift yourself put yourself in

Proper Technique for Paddling a Kayak

We are going to take quick look at the ideal sitting position when you are paddling your kayak. Because good posture will let you paddle harder, longer and avoid issues like back pain.

It just like what you learnt about to sitting on the dining table your feet should be resting comfortably and securely against the foot paddle

Proper Technique for Paddling a Kayak

Paddling a Kayak

First you need to decide which your control hand, right handed people will right hand as their control hand, regardless of what type of stroke you are taking the grip of control hand should never change.

After taking stroke from your control hand, you loosen your other hand which you call as grease hand so that the shaft can rotate within it for you take the next stroke.

Maintain a continuous flow, while focusing on each paddling stroke.

Paddling a kayak technique

Common mistakes

  • Poor posture
  • Insufficient torso rotation
  • Ending the stroke too late and too far behind the hip
  • Pushing the upper hand too forward, creating a less effective blade angle
  • Rocking the kayak from side to side with abrupt weight shifts
  • Straining the wrists by allowing them to bend

The Stern Rudder

It’s the most powerful way to control your kayak moving forward. There two forms of stern rudder

  • The stern pride that you can push away with the backside of you paddle blade
  •  Stern water towards you which called stern draw

Both start from the same position with your body turned and blade deeply in the water, and shaft parallel to your kayak, your front hand should be held comfortably against your chest.

The Stern Rudder

Kayaking Sweep Strokes

Sweep stroke is the best stroke to turn your kayak, you can use them both stationary or while moving forward. The more you tilt your Kayak the more effectively it will turn.

Forward stroke starts with your body round up, your blades clearly in the water and using the power of rotation, power face of the blade pointed away from the kayak, keeping the other hand fairly low.

Kayaking Sweep Strokes

Reverse sweep stroke. It is just a forward sweep done backwards, starting from the back and ending close to your toes.

Reverse-sweep-stroke

High Brace turn

Start with some forward speed then initiate your turn with sweep stroke, put your kayak in the direction of your turn

High brace turn

Paddling Backwards

Sometimes you have to move backwards, you sitting upright , rotate it back place the paddle couple of feet off the boat and back face to the water , press down then rotate it back the other side

Paddling-Backwards

Paddle sideways

Sometimes you want to be going sideways,

For draw stroke that you have paddle up off to your hip then draw -stop – slightly blade out again draw and stop, and repeat

Skulling draw stroke

This stroke works on the princliple of lift like an airplane wing. Slicing the blade forward and turn the angle of blade and slice back

How to Do a Wet Exit from a Kayak

  • Rip out your skirt
  • Slide your hands at back of your hip
  • And put yourself out

Exit-from-a-Kayak

Safe kayaking

Kayaking is a relatively safe sport, but one should be prepared for accidents. See also the safety checklist below:

  • Remember that the weather can change rapidly
  • Avoid paddling far from the coastline
  • Have a map that shows rocks and seamarks
  • Avoid paddling on ship routes
  • Wear a head lamp etc. if it is dark
  • Have fresh water and spare energy with you- always wear life vest
  • Know how to do a wet exit and get back in
  • Have equipment and knowledge to empty your kayak
  • Practice safety skills well and in real conditions
  • Have a mobile phone in a waterproof container
  • Have spare clothes in a dry place

Things to remember

  • Both canoeing and kayaking involve paddling a small craft through water.
  • The best way to learn how to paddle is to join a local
  • Make sure your preparation and skills are adequate for the paddling activity you have planned.
  • Be a competent swimmer – since paddling involves the occasional tip into the water, make sure you are a competent swimmer. If necessary, brush up on your swimming technique.

Whether a person is just a few years old or upwards of 60, they can enjoy kayaking. Kayaking reaches across these generational lines and simply does not discriminate.

Basic Kayaking Tips For Beginners

So now you have a kayak in your garage and you are surely excited to take it down in the lake. Kayaking is such an outdoor leisurely activity that can really cheer you up from the monotonous boredom of city life and offer enough muscle building at the same time. In short, the means to have joyous and healthy outing day is just sitting right there in your garage. But wait before you start inflating your kayak, as there are plenty of other things you need to still know about kayaking before you are ready to sail through.

>> Read more kayaking for beginner here

First of all, you need to learn a great deal about the size and handling of your paddle.  This paddle is your only armor in the water and is going to be of an extreme importance to you while kayaking. Next you must know the basics of how to paddle and maneuver the kayak in different directions and how to keep your speed up with your fellow kayakers. Another thing to remember is to understand how to control your own body movements, just to ensure to have maximum energy in kayaking with least tiring experience. Lastly, one of the most important and basic thing to learn about kayaking is to how to deal with emergencies in water. Let us now see how so many such big and small things about kayaking can affect your entire experience of kayaking as a beginner, and how learning few basics can effectively enhance the quality and pleasure of the Kayaking as a whole.

Holding the right paddle in the right way

Which Paddle to choose and how?

kayaking, like any other outdoor activity, is supposed to be exclusive fun, maybe with muscle exercise and exertion to some extent. But who would want having sore palms and painful shoulders?  To avoid such unanticipated disasters, the basic and most important kayaking lesson for a beginner is to choose the right paddle. Now what you need to understand about buying a paddle is the fact that how all other aspects related to your kayaking plans will affect the type of paddle you might want to buy.

how to choose a paddle kayak - beginner

Your kayaking destination: The place and the activity you choose for kayaking mainly helps you decide what kayak you must have and also determines the size and material of the paddle you would need.

A whitewater kayak paddle is generally shorter in length for better handling. Kayakers for sea touring or recreational kayaking, where the kayakers will be spending a lot of time in the water, prefer the paddles to be essentially lighter in weight to support the kayakers’ stamina for paddling. Similarly, the whitewater kayakers would also require shorter and stronger paddles. This is because longer paddles do not offer as much control on swifter turns as shorter paddles.

Also whitewater kayaking and Performance kayaking paddles must be sturdier and stiffer in their make as they must be able to withstand abuses from gravels and rocks in shallow whitewater or to enhance the power of the stroke in Performance kayaking. Flat water kayakers need a longer paddle to cover more distance in lesser time. At the end, it goes without saying that wider kayaks would need longer paddles.

At last, the SUP or the Stand up Paddle is the single ended paddle with a larger blade that is used in Stand Up kayaking where the kayaker stands on the kayak board and sails through water.

Stand up Paddle is the single ended paddle with a larger blade

Paddler’s Body built, Fitness and Kayaking style: The physical and the practical attributes of the paddler plays a deciding role in choosing the Kayaking paddle. A thumb rule that is prevalent among the beginners says, if you have a smaller glove size, then you must have a smaller paddle size.

In simpler words, if the paddler has a smaller built or has shoulder issues which decrease the efficiency of the paddler, then a smaller shafted paddle with smaller blades is appropriate as it will need less effort from the paddler’s side. For taller or heavy weighted paddlers, a longer shafted paddle is considered better as it will be helpful in utilizing the height or the weight of the paddler in producing more effective paddling. Lastly, the athletic and fitter paddlers or the kayakers in performance activities like racing etc, they require the paddle to generate as much energy as possible to advance the kayak forward in the water with each stroke. So they need shorter paddle shaft with wider blades for the purpose.

Similarly, the style of kayaking also can be a factor for choosing the paddle. The low-angle kayaking style is more of a relaxed activity and relates to the touring kayaking on majority. It requires longer paddles with wider blades. The high-angle kayaking style is an aggressive paddling style using short paddles and is mainly used in white water kayaking to generate more horsepower.

The length of kayak paddle that you should care

Blade material and design: Aluminum or Plastic blades are heavier but are much easy to afford. They also require lesser care. The Fiberglass or Carbon Fiber blades are lighter in weight, however they may be relatively heavier on the pocket. These are used for touring or recreational kayaking paddles or performance kayaking paddles.

The blade design can be feathered or non-feathered. Feathering defines the angle at which the 2 blades of the paddles are arranged with respect to each other. In stronger winds, where wind blows flat to the surface of the blade, it makes sense to have an angled blade to reduce the resistance and force to the kayaker’s movements.

The Paddle Shaft Design & Learning to hold it

Among the paddle shaft cross sectional designs, the oval shape offer a comfortable grip in comparison to the conventional round design. Along the length, the usual shafts are straight. However, newer designs of shaft include a “kinked” feature. It includes a bent shafted paddle providing more appropriate angle to the kayakers while paddling, thus reducing the fatigue.

paddle-shaft-design-and-learning-to-hold-it

Smaller diameter shafts are appropriate for men or women with smaller palms. Most important form of shafts is the detachable shaft that comes in pieces. It is easy to store or carry in a back pack and is most appropriate for use along with inflatable kayaks.

Smaller diameter shafts are appropriate for men or women with smaller palms

Next important aspect is to hold the shaft right. Most paddles blades are asymmetrical in shape, having one edge longer than the other edge. Having the longer edge on upper side ensures less resistance and smoother move of the blade in water. Also make sure to hold the shaft at a distance that is roughly equal to or a little less than the distance between the elbows. Although do not forget to keep changing the grip to help dissipate equal fatigue on all muscles.

For a right handed person, the right hand is the control hand and the grip on that hand does not change while stroking. So while using the feathered or angled blades on paddles, make sure to keep the grip on the left hand loose. The left hand must be used most effectively to utilize the angle of the blade while paddling.

Getting your kayak in water

To carry your kayak you do not necessarily have to have a good muscle mass or heavy built-up. With some practice and correct technique, anyone can lift and carry their kayak from their garage to their kayaking destination.

For short distances, you may consider lifting the kayak on your shoulder. It follows a set of rule steps where first you hold the hull of the kayak and pull it over your thighs where the cockpit is facing away from you. Then with slightly bent knees you grab the other side of the hull from one hand while balancing it on your thighs from the other hand. With firm grip you pull the outer/lower end of the hull towards yourself, the cockpit making an arc movement while turning and the center of rotation remains on your thighs. Balance the lifted end with your gripping hand and bring that end of the hull on your shoulder. You may stand straight now and adjust the kayak on your shoulder or over your head with other hand. You are ready to carry your kayak now.

o carry your kayak you do not necessarily have to have a good muscle mass or heavy built-up

Another way is to drag the kayak. You may even consider grabbing the front grab line of the kayak and may want to drag it all the way. However, this is definitely not recommended for lighter bodied fiberglass or composite kayaks as it may do extensive damage to the kayak body.

For little longer distances, you can use the kayak carts. Using them basically add wheels to you kayak and reduces your effort by a great deal. These carts are easy to dissemble and store; and they can also be tucked to your car or bike.

Using them basically add wheels to you kayak and reduces your effort by a great deal

 

Or maybe the roof rack on your car may be extremely useful for taking a long drive with your kayak before reaching your kayaking spot. You can install added accessories to your roof rack that would fit your kayak. With proper technique and enough help, you can put your kayak on top of your car roof rack and strap it up to secure it in place. Do not forget to keep checking the straps carefully at regular intervals, especially when you are up for a longer drive.

put your kayak on top of your car roof rack

The Launch Pad training

Now you have your kayak on the river bank (or on lakeside or sea coast for that matter!!). Till now you possibly did not give a thought about how to actually get the kayak in water without it drifting it away in water. And about how you are supposed to settle yourself down in the cockpit with the kayak bouncing away in water.

In the surf zone, like sea coast or even lakes with wavy tides, you need to understand the behavior of the tides before you choose your spot. You must observe and learn about the interval between the surge water and the height of the waves. One way is to grab and take your kayak sufficiently into the water where you can avoid the resistance from the sand or the gravels that might abuse the outer part of the hull. However, it requires you to get wet even before you start your launch and it involves the risk of getting your cockpit turned into a water pool with the first stronger wave, if you are unable to set yourself in the cockpit and secure the spray skirt in time. No adjustment of equipment is possible once you have taken that “mermaid’s walk” into the water for this technique. So be prepared for everything while on coast side only. Another way would be to get your kayak just near to the water on the shore side after you have found a spot of stronger surge water. You settle yourself in the cockpit with skirt in place and you place your paddle firmly in the sand right next to the kayak. Wait for the stronger surge water and push yourself ahead by pushing the paddle backwards and downside on the sand. You can even use the other hand to add force by pushing against the beach sand. The force acts as leverage and breaks the suction created by the beach sand with the lower part of the hull. Use the incoming surge water to push you away from the shore using the paddle and you will soon find your kayak floating in water, getting away from the shore.

For low lying docks or boat ramps or sloping river banks, all you need is to put your kayak just inside the water at the edge of the hard ground and parallel to it.

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ut both your legs on each side of the kayak while standing over and across the kayak. Wear the spray skirt beforehand and place your paddle upside down just behind the cockpit, across the kayak, while tipping the paddle towards the ground edge side. Sit on the paddle (still behind the cockpit, over the kayak body) and tip your weight on the side towards the land while putting up your leg and placing it in the leg space in the cockpit.

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The sitting on paddle part may sound awkward to beginners, but it is a very effective way to avoid losing your paddle (or even your kayak) to the water while you are trying to settle in the kayak by keeping contact with the ground edge.

Now tip the body weight in other direction and place the other leg inside as well. Slide inside the cockpit, securely place your spray skirt to the cockpit rim and retrieve the paddle. Do not forget to let the skirt hook hang out before you secure it cockpit. Now you can just use your hands to push yourself away from the ground and there you go.

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Are you sitting right?

No matter how exhausting is the kayaking activity, it can still get much worse for your hands, shoulders and torso muscles, if only you don’t sit in right. You might want to take down few points you must remember about taking the correct position inside the cockpit to avoid fatigue of your muscles.

Bend your knees at an angle and avoid keeping them straight to reduce jerks on knees. Place the feet comfortably on the foot paddle rest.

Ensure enough leg space to move legs freely. Also, confirm the thigh and knee braces in place that will absorb the force on your legs.

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Keep a straight posture. DO NOT lean back.

Make sure to keep your torso free and movable. This freedom of movement is only going to help you in paddling.

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Paddle away!

A professional kayaker might need learning numerous strokes and maneuvers to represent their skills in kayaking. But as a beginner, there are only little basic moves you must learn to taste the fun of kayaking.

  • Make a firm grip on the paddle using the guidelines mentioned above. Too tight grip will fatigue the hands. Too loose grip will reduce power in strokes.
  • Grab the paddle at an appropriate distance on the shaft. Narrow hand spacing will reduce the stroke power. Too wide spacing will generate energy but reduces stamina in kayaker.
  • Use the core muscles of your back and torso more than using biceps and shoulder muscles. This ensures less fatigue and more endurance for a longer kayaking trip.
  • Sit straight and do not lean in the cockpit.

Paddling Forwards

It is the most prominent stroking method to learn in order to reach from one place to other in the water. It is completed in three parts:

  1. Winding: Generate initial stroke power in your torso by winding it up.
  1. Catch Up: Dip the blade of the control hand completely in water by angling the paddle across the torso. Keep the control hand firmly gripped and the other hand must be at the level between shoulder and eyes. Turn the torso again to pull the kayak ahead in water until the control hand reaches the level of your hip.
  2. Unwinding: Take the blade out of the water while unwinding the torso. You will find yourself already set to take the next forward stroke.

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Paddling Backwards

On entering a closed end creek or if it is easier to move backward at times, learning this stroke can come handy. It may just seem like a reverse action of a forward stroke.

  1. Wind up the torso and let the blade enter the water behind the hip level, few feet away from the hull of the kayak.
  2. Pull the kayak backward while unwinding the torso. Exit the blade at the knee level while winding onto the other side.
  3. Repeat the torso rotation on the other side.

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Paddling Sideways

Sometimes to reach up to your kayaking partner or to get parallel to a dock, you might need to execute the sideways paddling. There are few strokes to help in that.

  1. Basic Draw Stroke
  • Turn the torso towards the direction you want to move sideways and look in that direction. Now place the paddle vertically in the water, 2-3 feet away from the kayak. The blade should be used to draw in water by pulling the blade towards the kayak inside the water.
  • When the paddle blade is next to the kayak, turn the blade 90 degrees and move it back in water away from the kayak to repeat the motion.
  1. Sculling Draw Stroke
  • It is the more effective sideways paddling stroke involving the repeated opening and closing motion of the blade in the water.
  • Requires good use of wrists in rotating the blade inside the water.

Paddling to turn

To turn the direction of the kayak, these are few steps to follow:

  1. Forward Sweep: Keep a low shaft angle and put the blade in water at the level of your feet on the side opposite to the direction you wish to turn to. Take a complete sweep of the blade in the water till the blade reaches behind the hip region.
  2. Reverse Sweep: Turn the torso to the side towards the direction you wish to turn. Then position your blade in the water behind the hip region. Sweep the water in reverse direction and your kayak will be spun in that direction.

Coming to a halt

To stop the kayak in the water, just drop the open blade vertical in the water to reduce the momentum of the kayak. Repeat the motion on either sides one after other to reduce the speed without spinning the kayak.  If required, small backward strokes can also be used to reduce the speed of the kayak.

Damage control techniques & Emergency (Wet) Exit

Capsizing or turning of a kayak upside down is any kayaker’s nightmare. In stronger currents and in whitewater kayaking, it must be well anticipated that the kayak will probably spin and capsize. Slowing down the speed to minimum and creating maximum balance using your body is the only way to minimize the risk of capsizing.

If the kayak is just kneeling on either side then trying to balance the kayak by creating a momentum with lower body movements can be useful to regain the balance. This will prevent capsizing.

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But if the kayak is rolled upside then you might not have much time before you would need air. In worst case scenario, learning to roll a capsized kayak may be useful. Most useful is to wriggle the hips and lower body vigorously in left and right direction. The kayak can gain momentum from the flowing water current added to the momentum created by your body moving inside the kayak and it will flip over on one side. You can recover an upright position from there using your hands and torso balancing.

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If you are sure that you will not be able to roll over the capsized kayak, then get ready for the emergency exit. The wet exit is to be executed in a matter of few seconds while you struggle for air under water. First step is to disengage the spray skirt with the help of the skirt hook. Once the skirt is out of the cockpit rim, move your hips away from the cockpit and try to free your legs away from the kayak. Till this time, your hands must reach around the kayak and you may want to use the kayak base as a drum to call for the fellow kayakers for help. Now you can get yourself on the side of the kayak and flip it over in the water before climbing back in. Also, do not forget to keep hold of your paddle, as you might not want to lose it midway.

Self-rescue: what are you forgetting?

The most important equipment of the kayaking cannot go without a mention. The Life jacket, or the PFD – Personal Floatation Device, is the life saver. Wear it before getting in the kayak and wear it till you exit out of it. Modern PFDs equipped with LEDs and whistles do not leave any scope of any fail for any kayakers; adding to the benefit of buoyancy.

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