Is kayaking difficult (tips for beginners)?

You probably googling is kayaking difficult because it’s your first time or it’s been many years since you have been kayaking, Kayaking is a fantastic activity and amazing way to enjoy nature.

Kayaking is not difficult, so long as you are not kayaking in rough seas, going down fast rapids, or going on a long kayaking adventure. You will be fine. If you are starting out for the first time, best to start out on a flatbed of water. This will allow you to take your time. Learning how to balance the kayak and the basic kayaking strokes (see below)

When googling how difficult it is kayaking are you referring to the physical aspects? To answer this, kayaking does use the upper body and core strength.

If you are concerned about not being strong enough should be okay if paddling out on calm water.

Kayaking for the first time does not need to be scary. In fact, it should be fun.

To help you enjoy your kayaking adventure we have put together tips for kayaking.

These include how to launch your kayak and how to paddle a kayak: basic strokes.

By mastering these keystrokes you will be well on your way to being a competent kayaker.

What should I consider before going kayaking

Learn how to Paddle

Learn how to paddle from experienced teachers. Contact a local club or place of hire than can provide lessons. Or reach out to a friend who has kayaking skills

Check the Weather Forecast

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

Calm Waters

Plan to start your first kayaking adventure on calm, flat water. This will provide you a safe way to gain confidence in kayaking.

Drink Water

Avoid dehydration by drinking water. Take water with you on your kayak.

Wear Safety Vest

Be safe and wear a properly fitting safety vest (floatation). There is always a chance of ending up in the water.

Dress for the conditions

Dress for the conditions. Apply 30+ SPF sunscreen (or higher) to all exposed areas of skin.

If you are wondering what you should take on your kayaking adventure we have another article on this.

How to Launch your Kayak

Kayaks can be heavy and awkward. To avoid injury have someone help carry the kayak.

Getting into the Kayak in the water can be a challenge. It can be tricky to get it balanced. Therefore, its be to practice entering a kayak whilst on flat land.

Below are our top tips to Launching your kayak

  • Get a friend to hold the kayak steady while boarding the kayak
  • Straddle the kayak placing one on the front of the cockpit whilst placing one foot into the cockpit
  • Once sturdy, place the other foot into the cockpit, scooting your bottom into the seat.
  • Attached a spray skirt (if you have one)

Balancing a Kayak

Once you are in the water you will want to remain balanced, otherwise, splash. To remain balanced you need to try to keep your upper body upright. Just relax your stomach and lower back and let the kayak tilt gently. Keeping your eyes on the horizon will also help to keep balanced.

Basic Kayaking Strokes

Kayaking is all about being balanced in the water and controlling the craft. Below are three basic strokes. Master these three strokes and you will be on your way to being a competent kayaker.

The Forward Stroke

The forward stroke is the most common stoke you will be using to kayak. As the name implies it propels you and the kayak forward.

In the Forward Stroke using your torso and back reach out with your arm to paddle the water towards you, then performing the same motion on the other side. This will pull your kayak forward.

Alternative the arms/blades to propel you forward in the same direction. If you are wanting to change the direction of the kayak then favor paddling one side more than the other.

basic kayaking strokes
In the Forward stroke push to water past you to propel the kayak forward

The Backward Stroke

Backward Stroke as the name implies is like putting the kayak in reverse or can be used to put the brakes on.

The Backward Stroke is the Forward Stroke in reverse. To the Backward stroke, you need to place the blade at your hip, pushing the water away from your body, slowly taking the blade out of the water.

Continue to reverse place the out of water blade into the water pushing the water away from your body again. Continue this motion either side to continue reversing.

basic kayaking strokes
The Reverse stroke can be used to stop or reverse

Final Thoughts

Master a few of the basic kayaking strokes will help you on your way to being a competent kayaker. Like riding a bike, the more time spent kayaking the more comfortable you will be Kayaking.

We hope you have enjoyed this article. We have put together an article on how hard is kayaking that you might be interested in.

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