For your first time, make sure that you are with an experienced kayaker, or at least someone who has been out at water several times before. Never go out by yourself on your first time. When with a group or an experienced individual it will ensure that if you do get into trouble, someone will be at hand to help.
Make sure you have the correct equipment! Find a local reputable and experienced shop to get your equipment from. Not only will they be able to make sure that you have everything that you need, including a suitable kayak, buoyancy aids and wet suits, they will also be able to offer additional help and advice on the best places locally to kayak.
Know the difference between sea kayaking and river kayaking. There are a great many different types of kayak on the market all design for specific types of water. Sea kayaking has become increasingly popular, but there are also kayaks for white water kayaking, river kayaking, there are sit-on-top kayaks, sit inside kayaks, surf kayaks, racing kayaks and many many more. Speak to an experienced kayaker if you are unsure of which type to go with.
Learn how to capsize safely. At one point across your kayaking adventures you are bound to come up against a large wave, a fast current or some rapids that will capsize your kayak. It is always best to be prepared for this by learning how to capsize safely. If you practice capsizing in calm water in a group or with someone else, you can practice escaping from the hull, coming to the surface and getting back in your kayak.
Take out personal accident insurance. If you are planning an extended trip, kayaking somewhere with high currents, or perhaps can not afford to take any time off of work due to an accident, make sure you protect yourself financially with personal accident insurance.
Go exploring! Treat kayaking as a way to explore new and exciting places. Whether you are paddling across canals, rivers or the sea, there are plenty of places to explore. Why not pack up some lunch and paddle to a distant shore for your sandwiches? There is a whole world to explore, if you follow the rest of these tips you will hopefully stay safe!
Check the weather. It may seem like an obvious one, but trust me I have overlooked this one on many occasions. High winds and heavy rain can make for very choppy water and an increased risk of capsizing. Fast currents can often be very unsafe, so make sure you are fully aware of the conditions before you set out.
Choose your location carefully. Don’t just jump into any old stretch of water and start paddling. If its a beautiful day at a lovely stretch of open water and there arn’t any other kayakers around, there is normally a reason for it! Check online, join forums or ask your local retailers for advice on the best places to kayak.
Don’t underestimate yourself! Yes kayaking can look very daunting to get into and complex to master, but it is very easy to pick up the basics. If you follow these tips and stay safe, there is no reason that you can’t have years of memorable adventures without a single mishap.
Take out kayak equipment insurance. Kayaking equipment can often be very expensive, and is put under a tremendous amount of stress and strain. Hidden rocks in rivers can crack kayaks, fast currents can crash it into the shore and equipment can even be stolen. Specific kayaking insurance from Harrison Beaumont Insurance not only covers all your expensive kayaking equipment, it also covers all your personal effects, such as smart phone, sat nav, digital camera etc. From only £40 for the whole year, its my number one tip for any kayaker, beginner or fully fledged enthusiast!