Kayaking is one of the best outdoor activities for people who love to be on the water. Whether you just want to keep on paddling or you want to stop in the middle and enjoy fishing, you will surely have a good time.
However, while kayaking may look easy, in reality, it can be quite challenging. With this, as a beginner, you need to learn basic skills. Keep on reading and learn from some of the insights we will be sharing. It won’t be easy, but with practice, it won’t take long before you will be able to master it.
One of the first things that you have to do is to be familiar with the different parts of a kayak and their uses. From the different parts, the rudder is amongst the most important.
It should be noted that not all kayaks have a rudder. If there is one, it is located in the back part of the boat. You will be using the foot pedal for the movement of the kayak from the left to the right. It is a relatively new innovation in kayaking.
There are some situations when a rudder will be essential. For instance, it is a must-have when you are paddling in open water and there are waves and wind. It is also important when you are using long kayaks.
Especially for novices, one common myth is the belief that the main purpose of the rudder is to turn the kayak. In reality, its main use is to make sure that the kayak remains straight. This will be handy when you are in a windy environment. In this situation, your boat will naturally turn based on the movement of the wind, which is called weathercocking. With the rudder in place, you can prevent such from happening.
While it is good to be adventurous, you should never be ignorant. With this, it is also important that you know exactly where to bring your kayak, which will depend on your skills or how much you know. If you are a beginner, do not go too far, especially when you are on your own. As a rule of thumb, be as close as possible to land.
In line with this, you should also learn the proper technique when it comes to how to go back to your kayak. When in the middle of the water and the kayak flips, you must be capable of getting back to the kayak, especially if you are too far from the shore to swim. If you are kayaking with someone else, you should be more conscious about this.
If there are wind and waves, as a general rule, you should avoid kayaking in such a location, which is one way to prioritize your safety. Make sure that you are in a place where you can swim comfortably if there is anything unfortunate that happens.
For those who often travel and bring their kayak with them, one of the best investments to have is a roof rack. While your car may have a factory-installed rack, this may not be enough. It would be best to have special racks installed that are suitable for the weight and size of the kayak that you have.
There are some important considerations that will help you in choosing the best kayak racks. For instance, think about the size of the kayaks that you will bring, as well as their weight. If you are driving interstate and in bumpy roads, look for tougher racks. See to it as well that they have thick pads to avoid scratches and other visible damages.
Aside from having the right roof racks, you should also know how to use it properly. That said, below are the easy steps you have to follow:
It is also important that you know the right technique when you are trying to propel the kayak to the direction that is desired. One of the most common mistakes that a lot of beginners commit is to use only the upper arms when they are stroking. Rather, what you should do is to engage the entire body, which will provide you with more power as you propel.
Torso rotation is a critical technique that you should learn for paddling success. It will provide control and power in every stroke. This way, you will be able to draw power not only from the arms but from the entire body as well. Take note that a simple twist of the shoulder does not correspond to torso rotation. You should aim to twist your core all the way to the upper body.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, every beginner should practice safety when kayaking. With this, one of the most important is to be aware of the surroundings all the time. You should know the areas where you can enter and where you will be at risk. Learn how to assess the safety of the water based on wind and waves, among other things. When you know that there is danger, retreat. Better safe than sorry.
To add, you also need to master basic techniques that will come in handy in emergency situations. For instance, it is critical that you learn how to get up from the water when a kayak capsizes. You should master basic rescue skills, especially if you intend to go kayaking with a partner.
If you are not a good swimmer, it is also important that you use a life jacket all the time. In fact, to be safe, it will be good to wear a life vest even if you know that you can swim. This will help in your chances of surviving on the water.
Choosing the right bodyboard size is a vital part of your progress as a rider. If you have the ideal bodyboard features and benefits for your abilities and needs, it would only ensure that your rides are fun, and at the same time, epic. Now that you have finally decided to buy yourself your first bodyboard, you might be troubled by what size you should be getting. To add, you may also wonder which bodyboard suits your needs and preferences.
To make an intelligent buying decision, your bodyboard should fit these three criteria: your height, level of sports knowledge, and weight. Therefore, in this post, we will be discussing everything you need to know about choosing the right bodyboard size. After all, the bodyboard might just be one of your most prized possessions, as well as your best traveling companion. Read on if you want to know more.
There could be several variations between bodyboard manufacturers and their designs, all of which play a major role as to how a bodyboard performs for you. Thankfully, we have prepared this guide to help you decide which bodyboard suits you best. We also recommend that you get to know these bodyboards first before you use your hard-earned money to pay for it.
Before we proceed with the discussions on how to choose the right bodyboard size, we first should talk about the main features of a bodyboard. Generally, bodyboards are made of these two core materials: polypropylene foam (PP) and dow polyethylene foam (PE). When compared, PE is flexible, heavier, and perfect for low temperature. Meanwhile, PP is more lightweight and stiffer, especially in cold water conditions.
Stringers are the latest additions to modern bodyboards, which increases strength to its core. Generally, these stringers are removable, especially if you are engaging in wave riding conditions. Don’t worry because you can always reattach it for other rides.
Bodyboard tails, on the other hand, are the water’s last exit point before they leave the board’s bottom. Those that have bat and crescent shapes are common among modern-day bodyboards. To differentiate, bat-type tails loose while crescent-type tails tend to stick the bodyboard to the wave.
Width is also a factor that needs to be considered when choosing the right bodyboard for you, as it dictates its performance. In case you don’t know, wider boards exhibit greater buoyancy; therefore, they might be a lot more challenging to turn. Modern models, however, are narrower, allowing better performance and speed turns.
Lastly, take time to consider the bodyboard’s thickness. Latest bodyboard models have grown slimmer, around 51mm, which effectively increases maneuverability, as well as a better response in terms of your quick movements.
As mentioned in the earlier section, the bodyboard’s dimensions greatly affect its performance in the water. There could be several slight variations that have the capability to harness differences in elements of wave riding, which may be able to suit riders with varying shape or weight.
The widest point of a bodyboard can be measured rail to rail. This affects both the board’s turning ability, as well as floatation. For instance, the wider the board is, the more floatation will be offered but might be more difficult to turn. Over the last decade, bodyboards have grown narrower, most of them under 22 inches, which has the capability to accommodate sharper and harder turns, especially in critical situations.
The nose to wide point, on the other hand, is the distance from the bodyboard’s nose to its widest point. This measurement determines the bodyboard’s overall shape and template. A higher wide point has the capability to create more surface area, especially around the nose. In addition, it offers a lot more stability. The reason is that you use this section to drive and maneuver. Meanwhile, a lower ride point only narrows this area, which may also increase its maneuverability.
Probably the most important factor when choosing the bodyboard’s size is its length. It is very important that you get this right. If your bodyboard is too big, then you might experience difficulty in controlling the board. You may also find it challenging to paddle out effectively. To add, your knees tend to hit the tail while you pump using your fins. If your board is too short, however, it will not be able to offer the appropriate floatation. Thus, it will only slow down your riding, as well as make it difficult for you to catch some waves.
You may refer to the chart below to determine which bodyboard size is right for you:
Less than 25 kg
More than 90 kg
38 to 40 inches
38 to 40 inches
38 to 40 inches
38 to 40 inches
38 to 40 inches
38 to 40 inches
38 to 40 inches
38 to 40 inches
42 to 44 inches
More than 1.90 m
To sum, if your body type falls under tall, skinny, and lightweight, then you might want to consider a tall, narrow, and thin bodyboard. Meanwhile, if you are tall and has an average weight, then a taller and average bodyboard would be perfect for you.
Choosing the right bodyboard size may be very challenging, especially if you are only starting out with this water sport. However, with this guide, we do hope that you will be able to come to a decision on which bodyboard size to purchase. We do believe that we have provided you with all the necessary information to make the decision-making a lot easier for you. Just remember to take into consideration factors that include your body shape and size, as well as your abilities.
We know that once you have found the right kayak for you, you could not wait any longer to test it in the water. While we understand the excitement, we also need to stress the importance of knowing how to properly kayak before you head out. Kayaking is a very popular water sport and for good reason. It is very easy to learn and can surely provide you with unforgettable experiences.
Knowing how to paddle properly, how to launch your kayak, as well as get back into the shore and the steps to do in case the kayak capsizes are all very crucial for every kayak enthusiast to know. In this post, we will be talking about how to kayak, especially what beginners like you need to know. Hopefully, this article would be of great help when you set out to kayak.
Whether you are a beginner or experienced kayaker, it would be inevitable that you will accidentally flip your boat. With this, you should know how to be prepared in case your kayak flips, so you would not inflict harm or panic to yourself. Here’s what you should do:
Kayaking is such a relaxing and fun activity. However, make sure that you stick to calm waters first, especially if you are a beginner. Doing so will give you time to master paddling techniques, as well as making sure that you become more familiar with your boat and how to steer it. With this post, hopefully, we get to help you make your first kayaking experiences worthwhile. It is also very important to note that as a beginner, you never should over-exhaust yourself or you might just find yourself paddling back to the shore.
Surfing is a world-renowned and dynamic water sports millions of people engage in. In fact, surfing has successfully inspired many variations that include wakeboarding and windsurfing, making it one of the most loved sports in the world. Whether you surf professionally or as a hobby, you sure would like to improve your surfing skills by acquiring a new set of tricks.
In this post, we will be discussing five of the best surf skills you can learn – longest barrel, 360° air, kick flip, backflip, and rodeo flip. While we will provide you with valuable information about these tricks, practice is still essential to be able to fully learn these skills. Hopefully, this article would be your trusted guide before you go out to try these new skills and tricks. Read on if you want to know more.
Often referred to as the tube, the barrel is a surfing skill wherein you are inside a breaking wave just beneath the crest or lip of a hollow wave. The surfer does this trick by pulling in and moving inside the hollow wave. However, the surfer would be completely hidden, especially if the watcher is situated on the shore.
From the surfer’s perspective, however, he or she can see the light at the end of the barrel, the same place where he or she hopefully emerges. While the barrel is one of the most interesting and best tricks when surfing, it is also very challenging to achieve, mainly because of the changing variations in the waves.
The 360° air trick used to have a bad reputation because it was seen more like a simple flick rather than a powerful surfing skill. However, this trick has gained more popularity in the recent decade, as the reverses and spins could easily be incorporated into the surfer’s maneuvers. In fact, surfer Kelly Slater took the skill onto the next level just by grinding off the lip; thus, making it to the extended bucket, allowing him to gain more speed to perform the next move.
The kick flip is also a very popular surfing trick, in which the surfer flips his or her surfboard 360° along the axis extending from the nose onto the board’s tail. This move is the most effective when the surfer is regular-footed, as the board naturally spins clockwise if you see it from the front, as well as counterclockwise, which is a completely different maneuver.
To perform this trick, what you need to do first is to ollie. Put your back foot at the surfboard’s back while your front foot is positioned at the center. Make sure that the alignment should not be completely straight but a little pointed instead. As you begin to slide your front foot, you would also want to flick out at the top of your ollie. This trick surely would make your board flip. Just make sure that you catch it right before you land.
Now, the back flip is a trick every surfer should add in his or her repertoire. While it is not one of the easiest skills to do on the surfboard, it has been successfully done by surfer Flynn Novak. What made the back flip one of the best surf skills is that it can be seen more of a functional maneuver, instead of a showy skill. This would mean that after you have successfully performed the back flip, you will still be able to ride the wave again, as natural as possible.
Some call the rodeo flip a variation of the air roll spin made popular by Michael Eppelstun in the 90s. This trick was also successfully done by Kelly Slater in 1999, but the surfer said it more of a spur-of-the-moment trick. The only difference is that instead of being an inverted spin, he did it with a flat spin.
While the rodeo flip still can improve when it comes to higher levels of surfing, it can still exhibit surfboard control. It is also very daring while being remarkable proprioception, which is the surfer’s capability to sense the board’s body while moving.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a competitive or a free surfer. Trying to improve your skills is highly desirable, especially if you love doing the sport. Here are some of the advanced tips and techniques you might want to incorporate on your next surf session.
Surfing is a well-loved water sport. However, mastering the skills and tricks may be a bit challenging, especially if you are a beginner. Don’t worry, as you only need to practice to be able to perform the five best surf skills on this post. It would also be better for you to consider the tips we have provided for your overall surfing skills improvement.
While there are many things that you need to learn when surfing, one of the most important is the pop-up. Doing it right will have a huge impact on your ride potential. It is a basic movement that every beginner needs to learn. This will also have an effect on your progression, which makes it important to master the techniques.
If you want to know how to pop-up the right way, keep on reading the rest of this post and we’ll let you know how exactly this can be done. The best way to improve in your pop-up is to practice it consistently at home on an even surface before you hit the waves.
One of the most important things you should know is that there is no single way to do the pop-up. There are different variations on how it can be successfully completed. Different coaches may also have varying approaches on how they will be taught.
Aside from what has been mentioned above, there is another variation that you might want to practice. This is called the one-knee first, which you can complete by following these simple steps:
Do not ignore the importance of training when it comes to mastering surfing techniques. For instance, one of the most important would be your flexibility. Yoga is one of the best forms of exercises that can improve mobility and flexibility, which will provide a good foundation for doing the pop-up the right way.
To add, plyometric push-ups will also be good. To do this, you have to begin with the standard position in a regular push-up. Lower down your body and push explosively to bring your body upward. Push with enough force to have space between your hands and the floor. Clap in between the repetitions. This will build your body, making it easier to pop-up on the surfboard once you are already in the water.
You will also benefit from doing exercise ball knee tucks regularly. Start in a planking position. Tuck the knees to your chest. Keep the position for a while. Extend your legs and return to the original planking position. While you are doing this, keep the power to your core and make sure that your body does not sway.
When it comes to surfing pop-up, the right position is one of the critical elements that will help you to do it successfully. You need to be in your sweet spot, which simply means that your body should be well-balanced.
If you put more weight on the front, you can plan your speed and momentum quickly. However, the problem with this is that there is a high chance that you will end up nosediving.
If you put more weight on the back, meanwhile, you can enjoy better stability and control. However, the problem with this is that since the weight is concentrated on the end part of the board, it might make it more difficult for you to catch waves.
Therefore, you need to find a balanced position or your sweet spot. You should not be in the front or back but at the center. This will improve the efficiency of paddling without the need to compromise your speed.
Before we end this post, let us have a quick look at some of the most common mistakes that you should not commit:
As discussed above, learning how to pop-up is quite easy, even if you are a beginner. It is one of the fundamental surfing skills that you will need to master. Aside from learning how to do it, you should also be engaged in a proper exercise to stay fit and to do the pop-up without having to exert too much effort.
For a lot of swimmers, there is one thing that they constantly want to improve – speed. This is especially true amongst competitive swimmers. They often strive to break their previous records to be the fastest that they can be.
If you want to learn how to swim faster, keep on reading the rest of this post and learn from the valuable insights we will be sharing. You need to master the right techniques while also keeping your body in shape. Perhaps, the most important is to consistently practice, making it possible to unleash the best in you.
If your style of choice is breaststroke, one of the most important is for you to master the kick. Doing this correctly will make you spend your energy wisely. This will also minimize the chances of suffering from an injury, specifically knee or leg pain. The pleasure gained from swimming can also be diminished when you have the wrong kick. With this, below are the simple steps you need to follow to do the breaststroke right and make sure that you will be moving swiftly.
For a more detailed guide on how you can master the breaststroke technique for you to swim faster, watch the short video below.
Drag is one of the things that could slow you down when you are swimming. This is caused by texture on the surface while moving in water. Your goal is to swim with the least amount of drag as much as possible, which will also allow you to move faster. This will lessen the resistance of the body as you proceed to swim.
After working on your drag, the next thing that requires your attention is the propulsion, which will also significantly impact your speed. Your hands and your feet will greatly affect your propulsion in the water. It should be moving backward so that you can create propulsion.
While swimming faster is largely attributed to technique, your diet is also a crucial component. You need to eat a healthy and well-balanced meal to provide the fuel that your body needs to move faster when in the water. You need foods that will help in the development of your muscles to power your body when swimming.
Aside from those that have been mentioned above, below are other things that are equally promising for those who are curious about how to swim faster: