8 Things to Know before You Rent a Kayak
Renting a kayak is a thrilling way for you to be on river or seawaters, inhaling some cool fresh air, getting some workout, and taking in the beauty of the surroundings from a swan’s-eye view. If you are an amateur looking to rent a kayak for the very first time, kayaking is a challenging activity of maneuvers, balance, and strokes between the boat and paddle. Kayaking is a strenuous activity, but with some level of skill, physical strength, and dexterity, it is an exciting water sport that you can master with some practice provided you are keen to learn the fundamentals of kayaking.
1. Instructions – A few basic rules
Though kayaking seems simple, pulling the paddle in turbulent waters is quite a challenge not only for amateurs but also for those with little experience. Know what will work for you and whatnot. Here are some basic kayaking instructions:
- Grasp the paddle lightly so that you can control the boat’s movements, but staying flexible and minimizing the possibilities of a muscle sprain.
- Use sweep strokes to rectify your movement, thus maneuvering your boat properly.
- Make sure to use rhythmic, fast, as well as deep-forward strokes to move the boat quickly on the water.
- Stick to the same range and speed of your paddling so that you feel at ease to move the boat naturally.
- Maintain your upper body’s balance to maneuver the boat smoothly without toppling the vessel.
2. Beginners take a lesson first
Beginners must take a lesson on kayaking because if they go out on the waters without proper guidance, problems may arise. You will end up wasting much of your time moving in circles and ending up in some peril in case, you have trouble maneuvering the boat through rough waters or when conditions get suddenly worse.
The lessons are essential to paddle like a pro, know how to choose and use kayaking gear, the best methods to increase your strength and energy and minimizing the chances of an injury.
3. Practice on land, calm waters before moving to the open sea
Once you master the rudiments of kayaking, practice on some beach before going into the sea. Practice repeated strokes on the shore to ensure muscle memory. After you practice on the land, practice kayaking on low, tranquil waters to figure out whether you can move the boat efficiently and feel super confident to paddle. Master forward, counteractive, and sweep strokes on calm waters before moving to turbulent seawaters to take delight in the thrill of kayaking.
4. Pick out the perfect boat
You will find a plethora of kayaks, from the long racing vessels to the squat freestyle ones. Know which boat is ideal for the water you will try your luck in paddling and the one to give you the best value for your dollars.
You need to research online for a range of best quality kayaks of different sizes and shapes, including 1-3 person vessels. If you are a beginner, choose sit-on-top boats because these kayaks are safe, stable, and convenient to paddle. Avoid renting a wrong kayak, as it might prove risky while paddling in the water.
We recommend that you opt for whitewater kayaks with special safety options and simple to maneuver, perfect for swift-water rapids and rivers. Choose recreational kayaks if you want to paddle on little, inland lakes or slow-moving rivers.
Sea kayaks are ideal for challenging waters with more buoyancy, available in the form of bulkheads and hatches. You can try re-entry skills with these special vessels even when the kayak capsizes. You can roll it easily provided you possess such skills.
5. Know the cost of kayak rentals
Single kayaks will cost you $25 for an hour and $30 for three hours. If you are looking for tandem kayaks, you will need to shell out $40 an hour and $50 for three hours.
You may also rent a kayak for $35 for half-day kayaking or $45 for a full-day water trip. Then, for tandem kayaks, you may need to pay $55 and $65 for a half-day and full-day respectively.
6. Choose a good paddle
Choosing the right paddle is crucial for your water adventure because you will need to lift the paddle several times for every mile you cover on the water. Therefore, pick a lightweight paddle. For amateurs, small paddle blades are perfect, as these are less strenuous. You will get top quality paddles in the range of $150- $250 or even more because people tend to spend more on paddles than on kayak rentals.
If you have confusion choosing the best paddle, consult with experts to pick out the perfect design and length for the kind of kayaking adventure you are looking for now.
7. Wear a suitable and fitting lifejacket while kayaking
No matter whether you are a beginner or seasoned paddler, you must wear the right lifejacket together with a buoyancy aid. Most of the mishaps occur because of drowning in water and so you need to have a lifejacket to kayak safely on the river or seawater. Opt for the best safety jackets and not cheap ones available at throwaway prices, which are both unsafe and uncomfortable to wear.
Besides lifejackets, make sure that you have a buoyancy aid handy so that you can move your arms and neck easily. While using lifejackets and buoyancy aids, make sure you close all straps and buckles properly.
8. Choose your route wisely, avoid fog, and use a map
If you are a beginner, choose a route you know while paddling because the perfect areas are sheltered spots and bays, where you will find no risks of rough or turbulent waters and strong sea winds.
Check out the weather report before venturing into the river or sea for the day. Do not paddle on a foggy day because it interferes with visibility within 5-10 minutes, as fogs come very fast. A thick fog will not let you see the land, which is dangerous and creepy. Carry a map in case your iPhone or Android GPS does not work on the open sea.
The rewards of kayaking
Kayaking is an outdoor water sport and comes with many benefits. Based on the findings of Livestrong, it’s an aerobic activity and therefore, should be part of routine every week. Here are some of the common health benefits of kayaking:
Less stress: No other outdoor activity is better than kayaking if you would want to cut back on your stress levels. When you cut via the water using your muscular strength, taking delight in the natural surroundings, it is the best antidote for you after a demanding job, dealing with personal issues, or maintaining your family.
Loss weight: Physical fitness is the greatest benefit when you rent a kayak, especially weight loss. According to HealthFitnessRevolution, people burn at least 400 calories every hour while paddling at a speed of approx 5 miles per hour. Therefore, a full afternoon of this activity will help you burn 1,600 calories! Kayaking is a more intense workout compared to swimming or running.
Keeps your upper body fit: You can move forward while kayaking only when you use your back, arms, as well as shoulders. Now, these are the major group of muscles to use when paddling. When you learn to apply the right stroke, it works each muscle in the upper body, keeping you fit and active.
For example, when you perform 500 strokes for every mile, it means you are kayaking three miles per hour, thus executing 1,500 reiterations or repetitions. You can understand how your upper body looks and strength will improve.
Makes you happy: Besides eliminating your stress, did you know that kayaking boosts your mental wellbeing? Aerobic exercise such as kayaking helps in the release of some chemicals in the human brain. These chemicals help in lifting your mood, thus making you feel happy with a clear, focused mind.
Kayaking also keeps your negative thoughts at bay because while you row on a river or sea, the natural beauty around will help you forget all your material worries, making you feel happy and jovial.
Improves your heart health: Did you know that an aerobic exercise such as kayaking helps to keep your heart healthy? The human heart wants workout and it’s the only part in the body that functions continuously. Therefore, exercise keeps your heart healthy and makes it stronger. The constant paddling while kayaking improves your heart rate to keep you safe from cardiovascular problems.
Get natural vitamin D: This is one benefit, which often people ignore. When you paddle for an hour or more, you are enjoying the great outdoors and abundant sunshine, which is a natural source of vitamin D. Spending a considerable amount of time under the open sky and on the waters is a huge benefit of kayaking. Your vitamin D intake increases because sunlight has 80 percent of vitamin D, a nutrient difficult to get from your diet alone.
Kayaking is fun, exciting, and has numerous health benefits. If you have a lake or river close to your home, rent a kayak, and hop into your boat to stay active, healthy, and fit.