How hard is Kayaking? Kayaking for beginners

Kayaking for the first time can be daunting. Like riding a bike, Kayaking gets easier and better the more you do it. You will gain more confidence and you get to the point where you can relax and enjoy yourself. Kayaking is a great way to keep fit and make friends.

How hard is Kayaking?

It’s not that hard. For someone starting it might seem daunting and be a challenge at the start. But if you take care and start in a safe environment, and once you get used to balancing yourself in the kayak and how the motion of the strokes maneuver the kayak you will soon become confident with kayaking.

So I have answered the main question, let me answer other questions around Kayaking.

Do Kayaks flip over easily?

So, do Kayaks easily flip? No, they are not easily flipped. Kayaks are not designed to flip. Kayaks are relatively stable as the center of gravity is below the waterline.

However, if you shift your weight by leaning over to one side the center of the kayak the chances of tipping out increases.

So if you don’t want to tip out don’t lean to one side of your kayak.

Kayaking in rough water there is a great chance of flipping over calm water. If you’re just starting out kayaking best to start out kayaking in calm waters.

If you do flip over the first thing to do I grab hold of your kayak so I don’t get away and flip it over.

To flip it over grab both sides of the cockpit and flip it over (away from you) quickly to prevent water from filling up in the kayak.

Is a kayak easier to flip than a canoe?

Okay, is a kayak easier to flip than a canoe? Yes, kayaks are easier to flip than a canoe.

Canoe’s having wider girth than kayaks are more stable. The wider body means canoes are difficult to flip, not to say it cannot be done but it is difficult, especially on calm water.

If you would like to learn about the basic kayaking strokes we have put together an article on this. 

Why should I go kayaking?

Kayaking is a high cardiovascular exercise with minimal impact on muscles and joints. Kayaking works your back, arms, back, shoulder, and core muscles.

You can explore the most magnificent places the world has to offer. You get to enjoy nature, exploring it from the seat of your kayak.

Sharing the experience of kayaking with others is fun and exciting. Taking your friends and family to the water for a kayak is fun and exciting.

It can be made more or less challenging depending on if you are wanting to tackle rapids in a river or by exploring the further reaches of a lake.

Kayaking for the first time (beginners)
It’s worth trying out kayaking for the first time

Starting out Kayaking

Since paddling involves the occasional trip into the water you do need to be a competent swimmer. If necessary, brush up on your swimming technique.

Check the weather conditions

Before you head out to go Kayaking check the weather forecast. Regardless of whether you are going Kayaking on the sea, river or lake unfavorable weather conditions can make for a dangerous adventure.

If you are first starting out Kayaking then aims to go when the weather allows for calm water.

Wear a safety vest

Wearing a safety vest is a must. In many places wearing a vest is required by law and hefty fines can be given. Wearing a vest may save your life.

Should I go Kayaking with someone else?

Should I go kayaking with someone else? Yes, going with some else is more enjoyable, sharing the experience of kayaking.

It’s also handy having some who can help you get into and out of the kayak. Having a partner can also help in the case you get into strife.

Kayaking is a great way to keep fit and make friends.
Kayaking is a great way to keep fit and make friends.

Is it easier to Kayak than Canoe?

So, Is it easier to Kayak than a canoe? For my experience Canoes are more stable than kayaks, with less change tipping over than kayaks. In terms of paddling, Kayaks are easier than canoeing.

Learning to paddle either a kayak

In a kayak, the paddler is seated and uses a double-bladed paddle pulling the blade through the water on alternate sides to move forward. In a canoe, the paddler kneels and uses a single-bladed paddle to propel the boat forward.

Do you get wet kayaking?

Do you get wet kayaking? The simple answer is yes. Water will splash or drip from the shaft of the paddle on to you.

The more you paddle the more drips and wetter you will become.

You can attempt to modify your paddling techniques to reduce the amount of water running down the paddle shaft.

Get a spray skirt

You can use a spray skirt that limits the amount of water splashing onto your lap and making your bottom half of your torso from getting drenched.

Spray skirts made from a thin, flexible, stretchy material that goes over the cockpit of a sit-in kayak and then wraps securely around the lower end of your body.

kayaking for beginners
For sun protection don’t forget to wear a hat and suncream

What should I take Kayaking? (checklist)

Recommend for a short trip (warm weather)

  • Kayak
  • Paddle x 1 (one per person)
  • Flotation device (safety vest)
  • Wide brim hat to provide protection from the sun and retain warmth if cold
  • Apply sunscreen to exposed parts of your body (liberally apply 1/2 before hitting the water). Reflection from the water can cause sunburn.
  • Even when cloudy you may think you cannot get burnt, but you can still get sunburnt. Sunscreen and a protective sun hat are a must.
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip Balm
  • Spray jacket (male) and (female)
  • Paddling gloves (optional)
  • Shorts and a t-shirt
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks and food

Additional gear for cold weather recommend

  • Woolen hat/beanie
  • Wet suit
  • Long underwear

Final Thoughts

Exploring lakes, rivers, or sea whilst performing a high cardiovascular exercise low impact sport is highly satisfying.

Kayaking can be peaceful and meditative or can be exhilarating – depending on where and how you do it. That’s what makes Kayaking so great!

If you would like to learn about the basic kayaking strokes we have put together an article on this. 

We hope you have enjoyed kayaking for the first time. All the best kayaking, exploring, and remember to be safe!

Further Information

If you have enjoyed this article on How hard is Kayaking? you will enjoy our other articles. Below are some of our other gear reviews and popular resources;

Can 2 person kayak be used by one person?

How to paddle a kayak, basic strokes

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