How to Kayak: The Essential Beginner’s Guide - Pursueit Blog
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How to Kayak: The Essential Beginner’s Guide

Kayaking allows you to be super close to nature, more so than other activities. This activity will allow you to see sights and travel to remote places. You can also get a chance to enjoy the water, physical exercise, and the camaraderie that you experience with friends and family that might kayak. 

Kayaking is a great way to see the natural world around you, a safe way to experience the water, and lets you travel to new places. For those who are considering their first foray in a kayak, a course is a great place to start. 

Taking a Dubai kayaking course

If you are thinking about giving kayaking a try, private lessons may be a good fit for you. Kayaking classes can help you learn basic things, such as the equipment that you need, how to handle your kayak, and how to launch your kayak safely in the water. A kayaking course will give you the experience you need to turn your interest into kayaking into a weekend activity or something fun that you share with your family and friends on a vacation. 

The essential equipment for kayaking

When you take your first kayaking lesson, you will have access to all the equipment that you need, such as a safety jacket, boat, and oars. If you take up kayaking, you will probably want to purchase this equipment on your own or learn how to spot the best equipment when renting a kayak. In a future article, we will teach you everything you need to turn kayaking into your passion (in terms of what equipment you will need to buy). 

The only items that you will need for your kayaking class will be apparel. You will need non-cotton swimwear, a top, neoprene footwear, and a hat or visor to protect yourself from the sun, as well as sunscreen.

How do you get into your kayak? 

The best way to launch your kayak involves a perpendicular launch from shore. The bow (front of the kayak) should face the water and the stern (back part of the kayak) should face the shore. You will need to stand over the cockpit of the kayak (the actual cavity of the kayak where you sit). You will grab the sides of the cockpit, place your bottom down in the seat, and slide your feet into the cockpit. You can then use your paddle to guide yourself away from the shore.

What you will learn about handling your kayak paddle

The kayaking paddle may be daunting when you first hold it. However, your instructor will show you: 

  • How you should hold the paddle, depending upon the materials used to make the blades of the paddle. 
  • How to form a “paddler’s box” between your arms and the paddle so that you can have the best stroke technique. 
  • How to have a relaxed grip to get the most out of your body motion and technique. 

During a kayaking lesson, you will learn the basics of how to handle your paddle and the various strokes that you will make. There are four different types of kayak strokes:

  • The forward stroke is used for moving your kayak forward.
  • The reverse stroke is used to bring your kayak to a stop and control the speed of your kayak if you want to slow down.
  • The sweep stroke is used for turning your kayak.
  • There is also a stroke called the “draw stroke,” which helps you move your kayak sideways.

Learning about the best times and weather conditions to kayak

When you are kayaking with the instructor, you will have an experienced guide to tell you what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. However, you will need to learn about ideal weather conditions to kayak. When kayaking on your own or with a friend, it’s best to use a body of calm water. A gentle sandy beach or a soft shore will be ideal for launching your kayak. You will also want to make sure that you go on a day where the wind is relatively calm. After you have kayaked successfully, you can kayak in more challenging areas.

How long does it take to learn to kayak? 

Some people already have a basic understanding of water and how to control a small boat or canoe with a paddle. Mastering the fundamentals of kayaking can be done within a few lessons for some. For example, learning how to hold the paddle correctly, placing your kayak in water and launching it, and the strokes to control your kayak are things that can be learned and perfected. 

When beginning to kayak on your own after your first lesson, you will want to limit your time in the water to no more than a few hours. This will help limit your exposure to the sun and fatigue. Over time, you will be able to plan a whole day or weekend around kayaking. 

Is kayaking an expensive hobby?

Kayaking can be an affordable way to stay fit and experience the outdoors. Some people choose to purchase their own kayak and equipment while others may rent a kayak for a day. A basic kayak will run around 1800 AED. You may be able to rent a kayak for an outing in the UAE for around 180 UAE depending upon where you go. Learning basic techniques is also affordable and will be under 100 AED per hour. The experience and skills that you learn, as well as the time spent with friends, are priceless. 

Why book a kayaking lesson? 

Learning to kayak from an experienced instructor is a good investment. Not only do students get personalized attention, but they also will learn:

  • How to get into the kayak and exit it safely.
  • The correct way to handle a kayaking paddle.
  • Ideal conditions for kayaking.
  • The correct technique and different strokes to move your kayak in the water.

The most valuable component of kayaking instruction is the one-on-one interaction with the instructor, who will make sure that you enjoy the sport on your own for the rest of your life.