Kayaking: Basic Paddling Techniques Every Beginner Should Learn
Kayaking is a fun outdoor sport. If you are a beginner, however, it might seem intimidating at first. Most people will think that it is easy as getting on the kayak and paddling as you move on the water. However, it is not as simple as it sounds. Getting on the kayak is already a struggle and you might lose your balance if you don’t know how to do it right.
Among others, as a kayaking newbie, you need to learn basic paddling techniques, which is exactly what we’ll be talking about in the rest of this short guide. With mastery of the basic paddling skills, it will be easy to move the kayak while being comfortable and without wasting your energy.
Start By Getting in Your Kayak
The first thing that you need to learn is how to get on the kayak. To do this right, follow these simple steps.
Hold the Paddle Properly
Now that you are on the kayak, it is important that you hold the paddle properly. Otherwise, it will put too much strain on your hand, which will make you tired easily. Grip the paddle with your two hands at about 40 centimeters. See to it that the right side of the paddle is up. Your knuckles should also be the same line as the blade of the paddle. Keep a tight grip but see to it that you are comfortable.
Know Your Strokes
Now, let’s go to the most important part of this article and talk about the different strokes you need to learn as a beginner.
This is the stroke that allows the kayak to move forward. It is one of the fundamental strokes that you need to know. It uses more than just arm power. Your core and back muscles are also crucial.
To do the forward stroke, when you dip the paddle, make sure that the shaft is at 45 degrees from the surface of the water.
Rather than using your arm muscles, it is better to use your core strength to push the paddle and move forward. Paying attention to proper technique is important. Otherwise, your muscles will easily be tired and you will be prone to suffering from injuries. Position your body straight and upright to maintain balance and gain better control of the paddle.
Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes
Your kayak does not always move in a straight direction. There is a point wherein you will need to turn, and this is when the forward and reverse strokes are necessary. The forward sweep stroke will turn the kayak as it moves forward. On the other hand, the reverse sweep stroke will turn the kayak as it moves backward.
First, let’s talk about how to do the forward sweep stroke.
Meanwhile, to do the reverse sweep stroke, these are the things you need to do:
This is the stroke that you need to make when you need to back out of a certain area. This is the opposite of the forward stroke.
Stop the Kayak
When learning the basic paddling strokes, you should also know how to put the kayak completely to a stop. This is an important skill for beginners as it promotes safety. Otherwise, you might get hit and you can also hurt other people.
Get Out of the Kayak
Now that you are done learning the fundamental strokes, you need to learn how to get out of your kayak properly. The key here is to not lose your balance so you don’t get soaked.
If you want to learn the fundamentals of kayaking, one of the first things that you should know about is paddling. The basic techniques mentioned above are crucial to moving efficiently on the water, making sure that you don’t get tired easily.