Kayaking is an exciting and fun way to go outdoors and enjoy an adventure with your pals and family. Anyone can kayak, and when prepared correctly, there are minimal risks involved. Although kayaking adventures are secure and safe, there are some things you will want to know before you embark on your experience that can make it memorable to a point you will want to do it again and again.
The first time you go kayaking, consider going with a professional outfitter. Although your location may limit your outfitter selection, you will still want to ensure you find out several things to ascertain that the individual you choose to escort you on your big adventure is going to bring you back safely. A little background research and a few questions are all it takes to ascertain you are paddling with an expert.
Getting Started on the Journey
First and foremost, ask if life jackets or PFD’s need to be worn. If the outfitter is an insured specialist, the answer will be ‘Yes, personal flotation devices are not for those who can’t swim, but for an unforeseen event that may cause injury or unconsciousness. An expert will have already thought this through and will insist on you and your friends to wear the life jackets at all times when kayaking. Also, all paddlesports insurance firms insist on this in their policyholders.
Secondly, if the outfitter has a website and a physical address, chances are they are in the kayaking business for the long term, and so, they are likely to do whatever it takes to ensure nothing ruins their profession. Although not all outfitters have embraced the digital age, a website is one of the things you can look for to give you a hint of the specialist’s professionalism and other qualifications that they have as well as the services they provide. You can ideally inquire about the professional organizations they belong to. In the United States, for instance, most professional paddlers will belong to the Professional Paddlesports Association(PPA), American Canoe Association(ACA) or a similar organization.
It’s also a good idea to observe the basic water rules, just as you do with boating, swimming, and canoeing. Consider taking a class that teaches the basics to ensure you know how to operate the kayak, so you don’t end up stranded in case of anything.
Last but not least, regardless of whom you kayak with, you should always be adequately prepared. Snacks, energy food, drinking water, insect repellant, sunscreen and maybe a hat and sunglasses are some of the things you will want to pack. You should dress for the weather, a possible swim and ensure you wear shoes that you do not mind getting wet. Riverbanks, boat ramps and other locations near or along the kayaking route are notorious for trash and terrain that could cut your feet. The outfitter may assist you with a list of the essential things to bring, so consider asking. With a little preparation and proper planning, you can indeed have an exciting time during your first kayaking adventure.