How To Kayak (A Very Brief Rundown) - Ortega Outdoors

How To Kayak (A Very Brief Rundown)

Kayaking is a fantastic way to get outdoors, explore nature, and enjoy some exercise. But if you're new to the sport, it can be a little intimidating figuring out how to use a kayak correctly. There are two main types of kayaks: single kayaks, which are meant for one person, and tandem kayaks, which can hold two to three people. Here are some tips for how to use each type of kayak correctly.

Single Kayaks:

  1. Get comfortable: Before you start paddling, make sure you're comfortable in your kayak. Make sure you have enough room to move your arms freely.

  2. Hold your paddle correctly: Hold the paddle with both hands, about shoulder-width apart. Your hands should be facing down, and your arms should be straight.  Make sure the curved end of the paddle bends away from you and the longer end of the paddle tip is at the top of the paddle.

  3. Start paddling: To start moving, dip one end of the paddle into the water and pull it back towards you. Repeat on the other side. Keep your strokes smooth and even, and try to keep your paddle close to the kayak to maximize efficiency.

  4. Navigate turns: To turn your kayak, use a "J-stroke." After you've taken a stroke on one side, leave the paddle in the water and turn the blade so it's perpendicular to the kayak. Pull it towards you, using it to pivot the kayak in the opposite direction.

Tandem Kayaks:

  1. Communicate: Communication is key when kayaking with a partner. Before you start paddling, agree on a system for communicating, such as tapping the kayak or shouting out directions.

  2. Coordinate your strokes: To move efficiently, you and your partner need to coordinate your strokes. Decide who will be in charge of setting the pace, and try to paddle in sync with each other.

  3. Assign roles: In a tandem kayak, one person typically sits in the back and steers, while the other person sits in the front and sets the pace. Decide which role each of you will take, and stick to it.

  4. Share the workload: When paddling a tandem kayak, it's important to share the workload evenly. Both paddlers should contribute equally to moving the kayak forward.

Kayaking can be a fun and rewarding experience, as long as you know how to use your kayak correctly. By following these tips, you'll be able to confidently paddle your way through any adventure. Happy kayaking!