Kayaking Expert Advice: Basic Strokes

10/21/2019

Different strokes for different folks – this is one thing that holds true in kayaking. To successfully get from one point to another without exerting too much energy, you need to learn the basic kayaking strokes, including those we’ll briefly talk about in this article.

As a beginner, mastery of the basic strokes is crucial for your comfort and safety. Without knowing the right strokes, you won’t move in the water. Worse, you will end with a painful body without executing the right steps. Keep on reading and we’ll let you know how to do it right.

1. Forward Stroke

This is the fundamental stroke that every kayaker needs to learn, which is also the easiest. The premise is that you have to place the paddle on the water and move past through it. This is as against pulling the blade on the water. You will be using this a lot of times, so be sure to learn how to do it right. Arm power is critical. Your core and back muscles will also be involved. Picking up the paddle and making the kayak move forward is not all that it takes. To do the forward stroke, there are three phases that you need to execute:

  • Catch Phase: In the first part of the forward stroke, rotate your torso and place the blade in the water. The position of the paddle should be next to your feet. 
  • Power Phase: As you move the paddle behind you, turn your torso. A good way to do this is to use your eyes. When you are looking at the paddle, the natural reaction of the body is to follow, and hence, you will also end up turning your torso. As you move, focus on using your upper hand to steer the paddle.
  • Release Phase: As your hand reaches the point behind the hips, slice the blade and this will allow the kayak to move forward.

As you do the forward stroke, some techniques can help you become more efficient. For instance, you need to maintain the near-vertical orientation of the blade. You also need to maintain an upright position, which minimizes the likelihood that you will lose your balance.

2. Turning Strokes

You don’t just move forward all the time when you are kayaking. At some point, you will also have to turn. This is when you need to demonstrate the turning stroke. Remember, unlike cars, the kayak turns on the back and not the front, which is why your stroke should focus on steering the rear of the kayak.

When it comes to turning the kayak, the sweep stroke will help to efficiently maneuver it to the desired direction. Like in the case of the forward stroke, it is also divided into three stages:

  • Catch Phase: Dip the blade in the water almost next to your feet to start the sweep stroke. The starting point should be on the opposite side of the kayak from the direction where you would like the boat to turn.
  • Turn Phase: Perform a sweeping action using the blade, making a huge arc. To make the most out of the stroke, exert as much effort as possible as you turn your body.
  • Release Phase: As the blade gets nearer the hull, slice the blade out of the water. At this point, the kayak should have already turned in the desired direction.

If you want to make the kayak turn while it is on its place, the reverse sweep stroke is essential. This is the same as the stroke mentioned above, but the main difference is that you do it backward.

3. Draw Strokes

Do you want to pull your kayak to the side? The draw stroke will allow you to do this efficiently. There are many instances when you will need this stroke, such as when you need to pull yourself closer to another person in the kayak while on the water. It also allows you to steer from obstacles, such as another kayak. For the right way to do the draw stroke, below are the steps you need to execute:

  • While sitting in an upright position, turn your torso to the direction at which you would like to head.
  • Rotate the face of the paddle to move it in a horizontal position.
  • Use the end part of the blade to get in contact with the water. Ideally, the distance should be about two feet away from the kayak.
  • Using your lower hand, pull the blade to your direction. While you do this, make sure that the end of the blade is submerged. Stop paddling before it reaches the kayak’s side.

When you do the draw stroke incorrectly, one thing that can happen is that the kayak will turn instead of just moving straight. An easy solution is to change the angle of the blade as you submerge it. See to it as well that the boat is flat to avoid losing balance while executing the draw stroke.

4. Back Paddling Stroke

This is the stroke you need to do if you have to move the kayak back, such as when trying to avoid another kayak. This is the reverse of the forward stroke. Before anything else, the most important is to maintain a light grip of the paddle, which will make it easier to steer backward. Aside from providing you better control, this also lessens the chances that you will end up with an injury. Here are the simple steps to do this.

  • If you would like to back paddle on the right side, rotate your body clockwise until your torso faces the right side. At this point, your shoulders should also be parallel to the kayak.
  • Dip the blade in the water towards the rear part of the kayak. Push the blade in front while keeping the blade on the side of the kayak.
  • After completing the stroke, take the blade out of the water and move your torso in the opposite direction to do the same stroke.

Conclusion

Kayaking is a sport wherein efficiency is more important than your upper body strength. This makes it crucial to learn the right way to complete the basic strokes, including those mentioned above. These strokes will allow you to easily get from one point to another while saving your energy and minimizing the likelihood that you will end up with an aching body.

Great Catch Drills Every Beginner Needs to Know

10/18/2019

Swimming is one of the best watersports. It is also a favorite cardiovascular exercise of many people. With more and more individuals interested in being good swimmers, it is important that you invest in proper training and regular exercise, which will increase the likelihood of achieving perfection.

While there are many things that you have to learn as a swimmer, it is important that you work on your catch drills.

1. Shark Fin Drill

Whether you are training for a triathlon or simply would like to improve your freestyle technique, this is another important catch drill that you need to learn. It has been practiced for decades. The premise is that you should exert a lot of effort when swimming on your side while keeping your arm in a holding position. It improves your balance and allows the implementation of a high elbow recovery.

To start, you need to assume the position wherein you will kick on your side. While kicking, drop your head, bend the elbow of your trailing arm, and pull your hand on the side, which now makes the position look like a shark fin. As your elbow reaches the maximum height, pause. Slide your arm back and rotate. Before the recovery of your upper arm, kick three times. Catch-up on the other side and do the exercise again.

As you do the shark fin drill, one thing that can happen is that you might end up sinking, which is normal. If this happens, all that you have to do is to push your arm to the side, roll, and kick. If you still keep on sinking, one of the easiest solutions is to use fins.

There are some things that you should remember to be more efficient when doing the shark fin drill. For instance, you should not do it too fast. In between each cycle, you have to take at least two deep breaths. You should not also lift your head.

2. Anchor Drill

Anchoring your arm in the water is another freestyle drill that you need to learn. You need to learn anchoring your arm because this is one of the best ways to maintain power while on the water, which also gives you complete control of your movement. This is done without wasting your energy.

A common mistake in anchor drills is that most people think that it requires lowering the arms as if you are pulling. However, to do this right, one of the pre-requisites is that the anchoring arm should remain in a stable position. The arms should form a curved and connected anchor. While doing this, the fingertips should be pointing down.

3. Catch-Up Drill

It is impossible to talk about freestyle catch drills without a mention of the catch-up. This is one of the most important techniques for novices who are looking for a way to improve the distance that is covered by every stroke in freestyle swimming. It is also crucial for the improvement of rhythm and control.

To do this, you will swim as you would normally do in a freestyle. However, the main difference is that you have to finish the stroke of your one arm completely before you move on to the next. This is the point of catching up, which is what inspires the name of the drill.

For a more detailed guide on how to do this, start by pointing both of your arms forward. Swim with your first arm. While doing this, the second arm should stay in the front. Point it towards the direction where you are heading. As your first arm returns to its original position, point it towards your swimming direction and let the second arm swim. The premise is simple – after the puling arm complete sits turn, it is now time to work the other arm. They should not be pulling at the same time.

4. Layout Drill

Also called layout freestyle, you begin by doing a side kicking drill. This is an important exercise if you want to improve the position and rotation of your body when you are swimming.

To do this, you have to swim on your one side. While doing this, extend your lower arm straight forward. At the same time, your upper arm should just be stable in the upper position.

After three to five second of holding the side kick, turn your belly and use your one arm to catch the arm that is extended forward. When you are done, the end position is that you should be extending both of your arms in front.

While your two arms are in an extended position, completely pull with the use of the arm that has been initially in front. As you do this, turn to the other side. Kick for about five seconds, catch up, and rotate.

Do this exercise for two to four lengths. After this, turn to each side only for two seconds instead of three to five second.

5. Closed Fist Drill

To help you unleash a monster freestyle, this is another catch drill that you need to practice. It improves the catch efficiency in all swimming strokes. The name says it all. You will be pulling through the water as you swim while you keep your fists closed. This will make you aware of the role of your forearm in propelling your movements. It also increases the stroke rate and promotes a higher elbow catch.

Doing the closed fist drill is easy. First, you swim as you would normally do in a freestyle but the main difference is that your fist is balled so that it is closed. Some people end up cheating by slightly opening their fist. Don’t do this. Try your best to keep your hand curled. This will make you realize how instrumental your palms are in swimming. Most importantly, you will also uncover the role of your forearms.

As you practice this drill, try several variations. It is a good idea to do the first 25 of the course with closed fist and finish the rest with an open fist. This will make the adjustment easier and will make you feel the difference more.

The catch drills mentioned above are important for improving your freestyle techniques. They might sound intimidating at first, but in practice, if you follow the steps mentioned, it is a lot easier than what you might have initially thought.

Differences Between Kayak Design

10/15/2019

Picking a kayak that is the most suitable for your needs is not as easy as it sounds. There are different models and sizes available, making it more challenging to choose the right kayak. One of the mistakes you should avoid is to decide based on price alone. It is best if you have the opportunity to see and try the kayak before purchasing. This way, you will know if you are comfortable with its design.

As you decide, consider the conditions of the water wherein you will use the kayak. An honest assessment of your skills is also important. For instance, some kayaks are designed for beginners in such a way that they will be easy to steer. Those that are designed for experts can be quite complicated for novices.

Need help finding the right kayak design? Read this article and learn from the insights we’ll share.

1. Sit-Inside Kayak

This is the basic type of recreational kayak. Your legs will be inside an enclosed area of the cockpit, which shelters it from the cold. This is an excellent way to stay warm and will come handy when you are kayaking during the cold season. There is also a spray skirt, which prevents the water from getting in the cockpit.

It is also known for having a generous cockpit space. In most models, it is large enough that it can fit a child. You can leave the cockpit open in the summer, which will make you cooler.

As for the length, it is usually ten feet or shorter. It is shorter than most types of kayak, which makes it space-efficient and easy to transport. Because they are short, speed can also be a problem, especially when you compare it to the performance of a touring kayak.

However, if there is one thing that we do not like about a sit-inside kayak, it would be how difficult it is to move out when it capsizes. To make it easier, you must learn the proper technique of getting on and off the kayak in case it flips.

2. Sit-on-Top Kayak

If you are looking for a user-friendly kayak, this is the right choice for you. One of its best assets is its stability, which also makes it easy to steer to the desired direction. The cockpit does not have a cover unlike in the sit-inside kayak. This also means that it will be easier to get in and out of the kayak.

However, while the absence of a spray skirt makes it easier to use, this also exposes the leg, which means that you can easily get cold. Plus, the exposed design makes it easy for water to get inside the kayak. You can easily get damp.

Compared to most kayaks, the sit-on-top design gives it a wide base, which is also the reason why it fares well when it comes to stability.

3. Whitewater Kayak

With a length that ranges from four to ten feet, this is a great choice if you are looking for a short kayak. This also makes it portable. The length also makes it fast and easy to maneuver. This is the perfect choice if you intend to go kayaking in places with rough water. This is perfect for fast-moving water.

There are two main types of whitewater kayaks. The first is the playboat, which is also the shortest. It comes with a blunt stern and a scooped bow. The best thing about this whitewater kayak is its maneuverability. This is also a great choice for those who would like to perform technical tricks when kayaking. The second type is a creek boat, which is longer and ideal if you are kayaking in narrow water.

Because this is a short kayak, you will have limited storage space. This should not be a problem as this design is used when kayaking short distances and when there is no need to bring a lot of things.

4. Touring Kayak

Also called a sea kayak, it is longer compared to a recreational kayak. The added length also means that you will have a more generous space for storing your gear. However, this can be more challenging when it comes to steering as it can be more difficult to maneuver. Most have hatches for storage to protect your things from getting wet.

Despite being long, however, a touring kayak has a narrow body. This makes it excellent in terms of safety, especially when you compare it to the design of a recreational kayak. If there is strong wind or powerful current, this is also built to perform. With this, you can be confident about your safety.

The hull design is also different, which makes it track faster. This allows it to deliver an exceptional performance as it travels in a straight line. This also means that it can travel in a longer distance without requiring a lot on your end when it comes to paddling effort.

5. Canoe/Kayak Hybrid

Want to have the best of both worlds? If that’s the case, we suggest that you look for a hybrid design, which means that you can use it for both kayaking and canoeing. However, some people do not like this design because it is not a canoe and it is not a kayak.

One of the main characteristics of this kayak is that it comes with a wide and open cockpit, providing generous storage space for everything you have to bring with you on the water. Because it has a spacious cockpit, it is also great for fishing. This is also good for fishing because of the large platform that gives you room to stand.

A common problem with this type of kayak is that it is not self-bailing. You need to invest in accessories that make it easy to get water off the kayak. There is also an option to install a spray skirt, which effectively gets the water out of the kayak.

Another thing that makes this a great choice is the seat. This is one of the most comfortable from the types of kayaks, so this is great if you expect to use it for an extended period.

Conclusion

As you try to differentiate the kayaks, pay attention to its design. The latter affects not only aesthetics but also its overall performance. Speed, stability, and safety will all depend on the kayak. Ease of use and comfort are also largely influenced by the design of the kayak, so be cautious about what you choose.

8 Ways to Pull Through a Surfing Wipeout

10/12/2019

A wipeout is one thing that scares many people when surfing, especially beginners. Falling face-first on the water and losing your board through an angry barrel is an experience that makes anyone hesitant to surf. At its worst, a bad wipeout can lead to a serious injury, which could have been avoided if you know how to do things right.

By learning how to pull through a surfing wipeout, you are saving not only yourself but also your board. It is one of the most crucial survival skills every new surfer needs to learn. This gives you the courage to tackle even big waves without worries of drowning or injuries.

One of the most important things to remember is that a wipeout is inevitable. Rather than avoiding a wipeout, you should be more concerned about how to respond to it. Do not panic and keep in mind the tips that we’ll share in this short article.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Pulling Through a Wipeout

Different people may have varying approaches to how they effectively deal with a wipeout. In most instances, however, the steps we’ll briefly mention below will come handy:

1. Breathe

Upon seeing a big wave approaching, most people tend to panic quickly. You immediately feel scared and helpless, without any idea of what to do next. This should not be the case. If you panic, you won’t be able to control your next move. Keep calm all the time. Even if you are already in a stressful situation, learn how to manage your fear. The more stressed you are, the more oxygen your body will need, making it harder to breathe. By staying calm, you can retain your air supply in your lungs longer, which is a great way to prevent labored breathing.

2. Jump from the Board

If you see the wave approaching and you know that you are about to fall, you should jump immediately. Do not wait for the wave to hit you before you get off. When you are jumping, make sure to head as far from the board as possible. If you are too near, you will likely hit your head on the board, which will be a cause of injury. It is best to jump towards the wave or over it. Head straight to the back portion of the board. The churning whitewater is also a good target if you are jumping, which will minimize the pressure that your body feels as you land on the water.

3. Jump Like What You Would in a Shallow Water

Speaking of jumping off the board, always assume that you will be heading to a shallow part of the water. Don’t think that you will be in a deep part of the water. If you think that you will be jumping in deep water, there is a higher chance that you will injure yourself. In most cases, the bottom part is only two to three feet above you. Exerting a lot of pressure as you jump off the board can hurt and sprain your ankle. By assuming that the water is shallow, you can easily protect yourself.

4. Go with Your Butt First

Another important thing to remember is that you enter the water with your butt going first. You should pretend to be doing a cannonball jump. To do this, you need to bend your knees and legs slightly, which will allow you to land with your butt hitting the water first. Otherwise, if your feet or leg touches the water as you get off the board, there is a higher likelihood that you will end up with a sprain. Aside from landing in your butt, another good thing to do is to extend your arm. This is the one to slap the water first instead of your head or leg.

5. Protect Your Head

Above, we noted that you should go with your butt first as you get off the board. This is one of the best ways of protecting the head. You don’t have a helmet when you are surfing, which exposes the head and makes it prone to injuries. In most surf destinations, some reefs can lead to head injuries, so you need to cover your head as you fall. Use your arms to protect the head from sharp objects under the water that can cause an injury.

6. Get Low

As you enter the water, the goal is to go as low as possible. This is because water tends to be more chaotic on the surface. The waves are large and can end up being suffocating. The lower you get when you are underwater, the calmer it will be. Because of the lesser movement, this makes it easier to predict your next move and to prevent panic.

7. Get Out of the Water

Once you are underwater, you need to stay calm and think of how to get out. Open your eyes to be aware of the environment, which will make it easier to predict your next move. Even if you want to be on the top as soon as possible, proceed with caution. You need to pay attention to the possibility that there is a surfer or a board above you. If you get out of the water hurriedly, you might not just hurt yourself, but you might end up hurting other people as well.

8. Retrieve Your Board

During the wipeout, you might end up losing your board. Good thing, most people don’t surf without their leash on. This decreases the chances that you will be separated from your board. As a responsible surfer, you need to have the board close to you all the time. Otherwise, it can be a risk for other surfers.

Pro Tips

Before we end this post, below are quick tips on surviving a wipeout:

  • Practice your balance. This makes it easier to stay on the board and survive a big wave.
  • Prepare before the surf. Do your research and pay attention to the swell condition. This way, you’ll know what to expect, including the likelihood of a wipeout.
  • Don’t go on the water without a leash. This makes it easier to retrieve your board.
  • Get a buddy. Surfing with someone will make sure that there is a person immediately available to extend a helping hand.

Conclusion

Learning how to pull through a wipeout is one thing that every surfer needs to know. Especially if you are a beginner, this is a crucial skill to avoid injuries while also minimizing the likelihood that you will break your board.

Swimming Rules That Will Save Your Life

10/09/2019

While many people love being in the swimming pool or beach, there are also some who fear to be in the water. If you are one of those people, now is the time to conquer one thing that you are always scared of. You are afraid probably because you don’t know what to do. If that’s the case, keep on reading this short article as we talk about the swimming rules that can save your life! Knowing these rules can spare you from a disaster!

1. Overcoming Fear

It may come as a surprise to most people, but recent figures show that up to 60% of Americans are afraid of water. This fear is one of the reasons why there are people who do not know how to swim and uninterested to learn, regardless of whether swimming is one of the basic survival skills every person needs to know.

To overcome the fear of swimming, just do it. Plan a swimming trip with family and friends. Go to the water with someone you trust. Get into the water slowly. Do not be in a rush to see your progress. Patience is a virtue, even when it comes to swimming. This isn’t a race, so don’t give in to the pressure of learning quickly.

2. Learning to Breathe While Swimming

When it comes to the swimming techniques you need to learn, breathing is one of the most important. Breathing is important to help you conserve energy and perform at your best when in the water. Without proper breathing techniques, you can easily become disoriented.

To breathe properly, one of the best things you can do is to wear goggles. This will protect your eyes. You can open your eyes without fear or irritation. If you can see the water, this makes it easier to breathe and focus on your movements.

You also need to master the basics of rhythmic breathing. This involves exhaling through your nose and mouth as soon as you breathe in. Exhale while your face is in the water as this empties your lungs when you need to breathe.

Holding your breath is another exercise to practice. This comes handy in emergencies when you are under the water.

3. Making Friends with the Water

If you think that water is hostile and dangerous, now is the time to change your perspective. You need to see it as a friend – someone who won’t let you down. See it as a good friend who is funny and approachable instead of someone who intimidates you.

To do this, spend as much time as possible in the water. Start in the shallow part of the water. When you are more confident, lie on the water with your arms spread. This floating position will help improve your confidence.

4. Learning How to Use Your Legs

Your legs will be doing most of the work when you are swimming, so you need to work on its strength. When you have stronger legs, you will find it easier to stay safe and calm on the water.

One of the legs exercises you need to practice is called the crawl. Extend your arms to have a firm grip on the edge of the pool or a swimming board. Facing down and with your body steady, move your legs up and down repeatedly. The upper part of the body should not move during this exercise.

The breaststroke is another exercise that is crucial in improving the strength of your legs. Hold the edge of the pool or a swimming board. Spread your legs outward and back in opposite directions. With your knees bent, push forward. You will end up looking like a frog! This is normal, so no reason to feel embarrassed!

5. Learning to Use Your Arms

Aside from the legs, you also need to make use of your arm as this will propel your movement in the water. The right exercises are important to swim properly and to make sure that you are not wasting your energy. It also minimizes the likelihood that you will end up suffering from excruciating body pain after swimming.

To practice using your arms, you need to do the crawl method. Position your arms alongside the torso. Lift your arms while making half-circle motions in the air. Keep your head stretched back as much as possible. After doing this on your back, turn on your front. Use your arms to paddle in half-circular motions. Make sure to breathe as your arm goes over the head. Make sure that the arms and the legs are moving together. After mastering this technique, practice doing the breaststroke.

6. Treading Water

Treading water is all about staying afloat. If you are moving, then that is swimming and not treading. This is important in survival situations and when you just want to stay in a specific area. This also saves your energy since the only goal is to remain on your position and not to move to another point.

To tread on the water, you need to put your arms and legs into good use. Keep your head above the water and move in such a way that water won’t get in on your mouth. The modified breaststroke and egg-beater kicks will help you to keep your position. Your kicks will be divided into two – power and recovery phases. As you tread water, pay attention as well to proper breathing and don’t panic.

7. Learning to Swim Under the Water

This is one thing that many people are most afraid of. Overcome your fear first and things will be a lot easier. You should also consider wearing goggles or use snorkeling set to practice especially the right breathing techniques. When you are under the water, proper breathing will help you to stay there longer without being panicky.

8. Safety First

Lastly, and most importantly, your safety should be your most important consideration. Do not swim when you are under the influence of alcohol. Pay attention to the warnings in the area, such as if swimming is not allowed. Do not fight the tide. Always swim with someone so that help is immediately available when you need a rescue. When you are dizzy, sick, or feeling physically weak, it is best to avoid swimming.

Conclusion

Be brave enough and try swimming! Take note of the rules mentioned above, and for sure, they will save your life. It might seem intimidating at first. However, all that you need is a little courage and it won’t take long before you can swim like a pro.

Kayaking Tips For Cold Water and Winter Paddling

10/06/2019

Kayaking or paddling is one of the best outdoor activities to enjoy, especially during the summer months. In the winter, it is also fun, but the weather can be a distraction. The low temperature can make you uncomfortable. It can put your health at risk and you might have a hard time concentrating.

Yes, it can be more difficult to kayak in the cold season but that does not mean that it is impossible. All that you need is to arm yourself with the right knowledge. From what to wear to the essential gears, learn about the must-haves in the rest of this brief article.

1. Wear a Personal Flotation Device

Even if you know how to swim and you are confident about your skills, do not go paddling without wearing a personal flotation device (PFD). This is crucial to help you stay afloat if the kayak capsizes. This will minimize the need to tread on water, which allows you to save your energy. The PFD also provides an additional layer of insulation to keep your torso and core warm when you are in the water.

The right choice of PFD is crucial. Make sure that it has several adjustments so that you can customize the fit depending on the size of your body. There should also be a reflective material, which will make you more visible.

2. Dress for the Cold Weather

To ensure a comfortable and safe kayaking experience during the cold months, it is also crucial that you dress appropriately. In this case, one of the first things that you have to consider is the temperature of the water. When it is 60 degrees Fahrenheit and above, you can wear normal clothes for the weather. If the temperature range is from 55 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit, on the other hand, you will need a wetsuit or a dry suit. Wear a dry suit if the water temperature is from 45 to 54 degrees.

However, it is not enough that you just wear a dry suit. Especially when the temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, a dry suit will not suffice. Your clothing needs additional layers of insulation, which will keep you warmer, especially once you are in the water.

When it comes to what to wear when kayaking in the cold, avoid cotton at all costs or any other material that will keep or absorb moisture. They will make you cold. It will act like a sponge that absorbs water.

From the pants to the shirt, pick clothes that will add warmth to your body. Before you wear thick materials, keep in mind that they can be heavy. They will also make it more difficult for you to paddle and to rescue yourself in case you get into an accident.

Don’t forget about the head. Wearing a wool hat or any other protective piece will help to keep the body warm.

You also need to have neoprene gloves. You can choose other materials that you are comfortable with. The important thing is for it to provide insulation while being flexible, which will allow you to move your hands easily.

3. Bring a Dry Bag

One of the must-have gears in your kayak is a dry bag. This will keep the things that you won’t want to get wet. The most important item to have is a dry set of clothes. This will give you something to change after you get wet, which means that you won’t end up shivering because you are feeling extremely cold. The dry bag is also a good place to keep food and power snacks, which will keep your stomach full and will give you the energy to tackle the cold weather.

4. Bring a Warm Drink

Aside from your clothes, another good way to regulate your body’s temperature and to stay warm is to bring something hot or warm to drink. It will be wise to invest in a Thermos or any similar gear. This should keep your drink hot for hours. When you are already cold, take a sip and you might end up being surprised what it can do to make you more comfortable.

5. Inspect and Maintain Your Kayak

To minimize the chances of mishaps that can end up being more exasperating because of the temperature, keep your kayak in a good condition. Inspect it thoroughly before you head to the water, making sure that there are no damages. The least that you would want is to end up in a disastrous situation that could have been avoided if you only paid attention.

Aside from the kayak, you also have to pay attention to the paddle. Make sure that there are no problems.

6. Be Physically Fit

If you have the time to plan for a winter kayaking trip, it is also important that you are physically prepared for the demands of the sport. Regular exercise is important. Work on your core and arms, making sure that they have the strength necessary to propel your movement on the water even when it is cold. When you are physically fit, you will have more energy to tackle the cold and your body won’t easily feel weak. This minimizes the likelihood of an injury.

7. Learn Basic Skills

Anyone who is interested in winter kayaking should learn a set of skills, especially those that are related to safety. For instance, you need to know the self-rescue techniques, which will allow you to get yourself out of the cockpit and return back on the top of the water if ever you kayak flips. You should also learn how to help others who are in need. By equipping yourself with the right knowledge, you are putting your safety above others.

8. Know Your Limits

At the end of the day, the most important is to be safe than sorry. This means that you should be honest about your limitations. Especially if you are new to kayaking and if you easily get cold, just avoid kayaking in the winter. If you really want to, limit the time that you are paddling. Also, always do it with a buddy or as a group so that someone will be immediately available if ever you will need assistance in any way.

In sum, while winter kayaking or cold-water paddling is a fun activity. It can be unsafe and uncomfortable. To prevent these things from happening, pay attention to the things discussed above. From wearing a personal flotation device to bringing a hot drink, it can help you to concentrate paddling while enjoying the highest level of comfort.

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