4 tips for ocean kayaking beginners

November 3, 2015

If you are looking for a real kayaking adventure, you might want to try ocean kayaking. Follow these tips to make sure you stay safe and continue to improve as you practise more and more.

4 tips for ocean kayaking beginners

1. Take a lesson

  • If you're just beginning as an ocean kayaker, you should consider taking a lesson. It's very different from kayaking on calm waters and you want to get your fundamental skills down before heading out into the great wide seas.
  • There are different skills involved in ocean paddling, such as switching between strokes and manoeuvring, and you want to be well-versed in them before you get into a sticky situation that you can't get out of.

2. Learn paddling basics

  • In addition to taking a lesson, you can also get yourself familiar with some paddling basics. You should always hold the paddle with a light grip so you can stay flexible while controlling your kayak.
  • Keep your strokes swift and rhythmic to get the most speed. The wider your strokes are, the better you will be able to manoeuvre your boat.
  • Keep your upper body straight and balanced by keeping your face forward so your centre of gravity doesn't shift.

3. Pick a route

  • It's best to be familiar with the area where you plan to go paddling.
  • Beginners should try to stick to bays and other protected areas where the waters aren't as choppy. You should also check the weather forecast to see if there is any chance of harsh weather.
  • Even if the sun is shining and it's a beautiful day, you should still expect some wind and waves.
  • Make sure to avoid foggy days because it's very difficult to find your way when the fog comes in.

4. Go with friends

  • It's never a good idea to kayak alone, even if you are an experienced kayaker. Bring along a friend or a few friends and stick together. It will keep you safer and will also be more fun.
  • It's even better if you can go with a veteran kayaker who can teach you a few new tips while you're out on the water.
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