Kayaking 101: Tips And Tricks For Beginners

For people who love to have an experience of a lifetime on the water, considering learning how to get into kayaking is a great way to start. 

It is an adventure-filled activity meant for teens, but adults can also thrill themselves with the activity.

Many people think of kayaking as an extreme sport that is prone to many complications. But quite frankly, which activity does not have its fair share of complications? 

Understanding the basics of kayaking can make you fall in love with the activity that it becomes your go-to source of inspiration and leisure always.

Kayaking entails some guides that beginners need to follow to enjoy themselves to the fullest.

Whether you want to have an experience in the daytime or the overnight kayaking adventure, you need to have the following tips and tricks implanted in your heart.

They can be the difference between having a good time and just plain being upset at nature.

Assuming that you already own a beginner kayak, here are some important things you need to know as a beginner before you start kayaking.


You need to find the best location where you can start kayaking. You do not need to sim with the big whales yet; start with something small. Look for calm and still water; small lakes, non-tidal waters, and reservoirs that allow public access are all great for beginners.

When you choose a location, you also need to pay attention to the shorelines and the steep banks. The shorelines are necessary for you to access, while steep banks should be avoided as they may not allow you to swim back.

Please do not go on fast currents; it can be dangerous, especially for beginners. You do not want to be in a position where you cannot go back to shore.

Stay away from rivers or water bodies with many obstacles, at least before you master the art of Kayaking; manage the smooth terrains and glide properly.

Plan Your Trip In Advance

It would be best you start with some form of exercise. It sounds a bit amusing, but it is necessary. Kayaking is a physical activity that requires a lot of upper body strength. Hence, get the right workout in for the upper body so you can maneuver your way.

Also, look at locations with smaller journeys. As an inexperienced kayaker – no offense, you need to start at a slow pace. Take into consideration; you are not familiar with the terrain. It is important not to go too far but remain within the vicinity of the shore.

Check The weather

Ensure before you step out, you check the weather. Now, this doesn't mean you precinct yourself but listen to professional forecasts on the radio or watch the news.

Strong winds and rain are unpleasant situations for Kayaking. Too much wind can affect the Kayaking experience; also, if you are already on the Kayak, have the right gear to protect you from the adverse conditions.

Dress Right

Ensure you have the right gear on and always check the temperature. Take a change of clothes if possible so that you do not get stuck. It is better to get a dry suit in cold conditions as it allows you to stay dry even when you go under the water.

Let's look at other tips and tricks when you are on the Kayak itself.

Take Lessons

Many people feel Kayaking can be gotten in one day, leading them to go all on their own without any precaution and luckily come back home with a horrible experience.

It would help if you took some lessons before you set out in the water. Have an instructor with you to teach you the basics you start going on your own.

Plus, the lessons are not expensive and can be done with a group of people and individually.


This is one of the most intricate elements in having the most memorable kayaking experience in your lifetime. Paddling allows you to enjoy the water and also kayak safely. Employing the right kayaking techniques is imperative for beginners.

To be able to paddle properly, you need to have the right posture. This enables you to steer a kayak properly and make it glide in the direction you want. Control is guaranteed when you have the right posture.

Furthermore, a firm grip allows the paddling technique to flow much better. You need to ensure that your hands are over and the thumbs are firmly planted under.

How To Paddle

This is where the upper body strength comes in. Your torso is the difference-maker when paddling.

Many beginners make the mistake of thinking their shoulders and arms are the most work areas. But the torso directs the traffic. From this stance, make a forward paddle with your torso propelling you forward.

Forward Paddling

Wind your torso to one side and push the paddle's blade to your foot so it becomes parallel. After that, push the paddle through the water. But the paddle has to be out of the water by the time the blade gets to your hips.

How To Get Into The Kayak

This is an essential tip for beginners looking to start their kayaking adventures. Learning how to get on and off the paddle will help in being a prolific kayaker.

The technique for getting on board the Kayak is simple but can be overwhelmingly difficult if beginners are not calm. You need to be composed.

Use the paddle to reach the Kayak and confirm it is in the water with the nose facing front. Still within reach of the Kayak with the paddle, place your strong feet into the Kayak. After this, carefully grab both sides of the Kayak to gain balance.

Lower yourself into the Kayak gradually by lifting your other leg.

You could also sit on the Kayak after you grab it with both hands. Swing both legs and place them firmly in the Kayak.

How To Get Out Of The Water

It is only normal that once or twice during your adventure, the Kayak might turn upside down. You don't have to feel bad. But knowing what to do in this situation can save you from serious injuries.

When you find yourself tipped over, you should put your arms up out of the water to indicate to your partner that you need a rescue.

Once you can get to your partner's Kayak, you have to use your hip to raise yourself. When your Kayak is upside down, use your hips to push the Kayak up.

Then, look for your paddle. It should be close by. But if you cannot find it, ask your partner to help look for it. Simultaneously, it would be best if you used your hands to paddle.

Go With A Friend

For the above situation, you need to go with a partner. This is not about being a beginner, but your safety comes first. Go with someone that is experienced.

Bring A Map

Even if you are not supposed to go too far away from shore, you still need to go along with a map. So, it is expedient for you to be able to read maps to enjoy the adventure thoroughly.


It is established that kayaking can be a lot of fun, especially when you do it right. This article has discussed crucial things you should know about the sport.

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