Category Archives for Water Sports

How to Use Bodyboards: Tips and Tricks for Beginners

08/28/2019

Many people consider bodyboarding as the earliest form of surfing. It is an exciting watersport that you can try on your next holiday. It entails the need to catch and ride a wave, and many of the skills you need to learn are similar to surfing.

Interested to learn how to use bodyboards? Keep on reading and learn from the insights we’ll share. From the right equipment to the right techniques, we’ll help you do it like a pro in no time.

What You Will Need

The first thing that you must do is to prepare the things that you will need, including the following:

  • Bodyboard with leash
  • Wetsuit
  • Swim fins
  • Socks

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use Bodyboards

Take note of the steps we’ll briefly discuss below to learn about the basics of bodyboarding.

1. Get Your Gears Ready

As noted above, start by making sure that your gears are ready. The most important that you will need is the bodyboard. Make sure that the size is suitable for you.

Aside from the bodyboard, you will also need a rash guard or wetsuit. If you are in a place where it is cold, a wetsuit is better since it is more effective in keeping you warm. It also provides a layer of protection between the board and the skin, which will prevent cuts and irritation. Plus, it protects the skin from the heat of the sun.

For those who easily feel cold, it is important to wear fin socks. This gives an additional layer of warmth. You will also need fins if you want to go bodyboarding. Get fins with tethers to secure its position, minimizing the likelihood that you will lose it. Your fins are important because it improves your kicks and positively affects your speed.

2. Wear your Gear

Now that you have everything ready, the next thing to do is to wear your suit, socks, and fins. Make sure that you are comfortable. Grab your board and attach the leash to your ankle. At this point, you are ready to head to the water.

3. Practice on Dry Land

Before you go to the water, however, it is important that you take the time to practice on land. The most important thing you need to learn is how to properly position your body to keep your balance. Place the board on the ground. Lie on the top with the bottom of the board touching your lower body. Grip the nose with both hands, making sure that it is firm. You also have to practice how to paddle out with your arms.

4. Paddle Out

Once everything is ready, proceed to the water until you are knee-deep. At this point, you have to start paddling out. Move your hands in a paddling motion for the board to move while you are on top. Kick your feet below the water for powerful propulsion. While you paddle out, make sure that the board’s nose is above the water by one to two inches.

5. Duck Dive

Those who are interested to learn how to use bodyboards should also be familiar with how to duck dive. This makes it possible for the board to stay under a broken wave. Before you duck dive wait until the wave is three to six feet away. To push the board’s nose under the water, arch your back. With help from your hands, push the board and go as deep as you can. Wait until the waves pass over you before finally getting up.

6. Catch a Wave

This is one of the scariest parts for most beginners. The secret is to pick the right wave to catch depending on your skills. Make sure that it isn’t too big for your skills. Once you spot a good wave coming your way, turn around facing the beach and begin kicking. As long as you did it with the right speed, you should now start feeling the wave beneath you. If you want to cruise faster, push the nose of the board slightly.

7. Ride the Wave

After catching the wave, the next thing that you need to do is to ride it. This is also scary for many novices because of the fear of being wiped out. You need courage and practice to do it right. The right timing is also crucial to make sure that you won’t end up falling off the board. The direction at which the wave breaks will dictate whether you should move to the left or right.

Tips to Keep in Mind

Now that we discuss the basics that you need to know, allow us to quickly go through some tips that every beginner needs to take note of.

  • Put Your Eyes into Good Use: Like other water sports, you need to use your eyes if you want to use a bodyboard. The principle is simple – your body will follow the direction at which your eyes point. It will be easier to maneuver if you are looking in the right direction.
  • Maintain a Tight Grip: One of the most common mistakes in bodyboarding is not having a strong grip. One of the techniques you need to practice is the claw grip. Aside from keeping the board near your body, it is also great in terms of significantly improving your speed.
  • Stay Safe: Before you start bodyboarding, make sure to find a safe place. If you are a beginner, stay away from beaches that are crowded. The least that you would want is to hurt someone or be hurt. It is also important that you learn how to spot rip currents. The water should not be choppy as well.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: This is perhaps the most important tip for all beginners out there. Chances are, you won’t get it right the first time you ride a bodyboard. You will fall. You will be hurt. All of these, however, should not give you the reason to give up. Keep on practicing until you master the fundamentals.

Wrap Up

Now that you reach the end of this article, we hope that you are able to learn a thing or two about how to use bodyboards. It might seem scary at first, especially if you are doing it for the first time and if you haven’t tried surfing yet. You need to start with the right gear and practice on dry land. After this, learn how to paddle out and duck dive. Soon, you will have to catch and ride a wave.

Water Ski Basics for Beginners: What You Need to Know

08/25/2019

Skiing is one of the best winter sports. If you haven’t tried it yet, you are missing out on a lot of fun. However, we’d like to point out that you can ski beyond the snow. Even when it isn’t freezing cold, you can still go on a ski trip – on the water.

Do you want to learn water ski basics for beginners? You came to the right place. Keep on reading the rest of this short post and learn from the valuable insight’s we’ll share.

1. Prepare the Gear

The first thing that you need to do is to get your gear ready. The most important is water ski. If you are new to the sport, it is better to rent than to buy. The speed and the size of the boat are two of the most important considerations in finding a ski that works best for your needs. Your body weight is also a crucial factor.

When choosing a water ski, take a look at the boot system, which dictates how your feet will connect to the board. It is also best to choose one that is wide, especially if you are a novice. This makes it easier to balance while on the water.

Aside from the ski, another important gear is a life vest. A flotation device is necessary for your safety. Even if you know how to swim, it is a must-have. The fit should be snug and comfortable. Otherwise, you won’t be able to concentrate when skiing on water. Check the weight limit as well and do not go beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The water skiing rope is also a critical piece. The length should be about 75 feet. The stretch needs to be minimal. It needs to be in good condition and without frays. It should be designed specifically for water skiing. Most importantly, see to it that it has ergonomic handles that are easy and comfortable for you to grip.

2. Practice on Ground

Practice makes perfect, even when it comes to water skiing. Before you proceed on water, practice the basic skills on ground. This prepares you for the demands of the sport.

The first thing that you need to learn is the right stance, which is crucial in maintaining your balance. The most common stance is known as the cannonball position. Wear the ski while on the ground. Put both hands on the tow rope, making sure that you grip it comfortably. Bend your knees while keeping both arms in an almost straight position. It is also important to keep the head up, which will prevent the body from falling on the water. The weight should be concentrated on the balls of the feet.

3. Learn the Hand Signals

During your practice, it is also important that you learn the basic hand signals. It is through the signals that you will be able to communicate with the one who is maneuvering the boat. You cannot just shout and expect that the driver of the boat will understand what you are saying.

If you want the boat to go faster, all that you have to do is to show a thumbs-up sign. If you want the boat to slow down, the hand signal is thumbs-down. The OK signal, on the other hand, is the same as how you would say it when you are diving. Use your index finger in a circular motion above your head if you want the boat to turn. A slashing hand motion across your neck, meanwhile, means that you would like to boat to stop, probably because you are in an uncomfortable position. Meanwhile, if you want to go back to the dock, all that you have to do is to pat the top of your head.

4. Get in the Water

After being comfortable in the dry land, and once you are already confident that you can do it, it is now time to get in the water. Prepare your body to start getting up. As you prepare, position the arms straight while holding the rope. Bend your knees and ankle. Your head should be looking straight to know where the boat is heading and to signal when it is time to start. When you are ready, signal to the driver to start moving the boat.

Now, you have to do the most complicated part - getting your body up and straight on the ski. You need to pull your knees to your chest. While you do this, your arms will be around your knees and the rope will be sitting in the skis. Lean on your back and let your life vest position your body on the top of the water. While you do this, see to it as well that your skis are pointing forward.

As the boat starts to pull you, lean on your back. Keep your cannonball position, which is the stance we talked about earlier. Do not stand up quickly. Start with your knees slightly bent. Keep your head up and your eyes looking straight. This prevents water splashes from affecting your vision. It also prevents losing balance.

Once you find your balance, you can now stand up from being bent. Keep your legs straight while you lean on your back. If you put your weight in front, you will land face first on the water, and this can hurt a lot!

5. Stay Up

Getting up is one thing, staying up is another. The challenge is to stay up as long as you could. The ride can be bumpy. Water can splash on your face. You are probably nervous if you are water skiing for the first time. Stay focused and you will not fall.

Keeping your knees bent will help to absorb all the forces. Keep your arms in a straight position while maintaining a strong grip of the rope. Breathing is also important to keep your balance.

Once you are already in a comfortable position, turn slightly depending on the direction where the boat is heading.

Wrap Up

At this point, we hope that you understand the water ski basics for beginners. Like other water sports, it is intimidating at first. However, once you learn the fundamentals, it is going to be easy. Start by making sure that you have the right gear, including the ski, life vest, and rope. Once you have the gears ready, practice on the dry land to assume the right position. Also, make sure to be familiar with the hand signals. After this, you are now ready to get on the water. It won’t be easy at first, but if you practice consistently, it won’t take long before you can do it like a pro.

How to Pop-Up When Surfing: Learn the Best Exercises

08/22/2019

Surfing is a fun water sport. For novices, it is intimidating. The act of balancing on a surfboard is not one thing that you can do on your first try. It requires patience and determination. Chances are, you will end up falling on the board several times. This, however, should not give you the reason to give up.

There are many skills you need to learn when you are surfing. Among others, one of the most important is the pop-up. Read the rest of this short guide and learn from the tips we’ll share. We will focus on the exercises you can do at home to improve your skills and strengthen your body, which is a good way to prepare yourself for the physical demands of the sport.

What is a Pop-Up?

If you are new to surfing, you are probably wondering about what exactly a pop-up is. It refers to the act of moving up on the surfboard. This is where you transition from a paddling position to the proper surfing stance. You will need to push your body up so that you can stand properly. It is important to do this properly so that you won’t lose your balance. Otherwise, you will fall off the board before you can even ride a wave.

Exercises for Better Surfing Pop-Ups

Flexibility, strength, and power – these are the foundations of a great pop-up. The best thing that you can do to work on these three things is to exercise regularly. With that, this section discusses the best exercises to incorporate in your workout routine to make you a better surfer.

Push-Ups

This is one of the most common exercises for surfers, and there is a reason why that is the case. It helps improve your arms, legs, and shoulders, which are all crucial in a pop-up. Most people, however, do the push-ups wrong. This can make your body painful after your workout. For the right way to do this, follow these steps.

  • Assume the right position on the floor. Make sure that you do not drop your head. It will weaken the important muscles that your body needs to work.
  • Don’t sag your hips or torso. If you are in a sagging position, this won’t activate your muscles. It also increases the likelihood of an injury.
  • Your hands should be at least chest-width apart. Keep your feet firm and not too far or too near. Pay attention to the proper alignment of the cranium, pelvis, and spine.
  • Push yourself down and move up. Use your arm muscles. Control your movement both when lowering your body and getting up. When you push your body up, you must be in a straight arm plank position.
  • While you are doing the push-up, make sure that you do not drop your knees on the floor.
  • As you push your body up, tuck your elbows in next to your chest. It should not flare on the sides.

Exercise Ball Jackknife

If you have an exercise ball at home, this is another exercise that can help in improving your surfing popup. It helps to train you for the movements you will make once you are surfing. This exercise is also important for control, core strength, and balance. The exercise mimics the action of popping up.

  • Your starting position is a straight arm plank. Raise your feet on the top of the exercise ball. Make sure that it is at the center.
  • Once your shins are resting on the ball, draw your knees towards your chest. Keep your torso straight. This movement will move the ball forward.
  • Push the ball backward while keeping your back straight once the ball reaches its original position.
  • Take this exercise to the next level. Do this with a single leg on the ball while you raise the other one.

Deep Squat

The deep squat requires you to move ass to grass. Many will think that a squat is a leg exercise, but in reality, it benefits the entire body. It strengthens your spine, hips, knees, and ankles, which are all crucial components of the perfect pop-up when surfing.

  • When doing a deep squat, you need to focus on your mobility.  Your knees, ankles, and hips should all be flexible. If they are too tight, it will exert unnecessary pressure on the muscles that you will use as you squat.
  • Engage your muscles. The heavier you are, the more important this step is. This is also important in activating your body.
  • Pull yourself down while keeping your knees and back straight. Go as low as possible but be careful so that you won’t lose your balance.

Pro Tips

Aside from learning the basic exercises that will make pop-ups a lot easier, take note of the tips we’ll briefly talk about below:

  • Do the pop-up in a single and fluid motion. Do not rely on your knees as you move up.
  • A low center of gravity is also crucial for your pop-up. Do it slowly to find your balance. Bend your knees and keep your head straight to know the direction where you should head after the pop-up.
  • When you are on your board, lie on your chest. Position your head straight facing the nose of the board. Put your feet at the end of the board. Keep your body straight. Position your hands on the board. Keep it flat. Assume the same position you would during a push-up. Arch your back and push yourself up to the board without using your knees. Once you are on the board, see to it that you are in the center to avoid losing your balance.
  • If you easily get tired and lose balance while doing the pop-up on the board, this means that you are doing it wrong. Your form is probably the issue, or perhaps, you need more practice. Increase the repetitions of your exercise to build a better physical foundation.
  • You won’t get it right the first time. This should not discourage you. Instead, this should motivate you to do better.

Wrap Up

Anyone who is learning how to surf should know how to do the pop-up properly. It allows you to transition smoothly from the paddling position to a standing posture without losing your balance. Take note of the exercises mentioned above to build your strength and hone your technique. With consistent practice, it won’t take long before you will be able to do the pop-up like an experienced surfer.

Best Sit-On-Top Kayak: 2019 Top Picks and Buying Guide

08/19/2019

In recent years, sit-on-top kayaks have become a popular alternative to the traditional kayak design. Whether you are a recreational paddler or an angler, it has many advantages over the traditional design, including ease of access. It also gives kayakers larger legroom, making sure of your highest level of comfort.

Looking for the best sit-on-top kayak? The options are overwhelming. They are available in various types and designs. From the materials to the capacity, they differ in more ways than one. If you need help making the right decision, read on and learn from the insights we’ll share.

Benefits of Sit-On-Top Kayak

Before we start listing down the top products that should be on your list, let’s first talk about the good things about a sit-on-top kayak, which will give you compelling reasons to choose it over a traditional kayak.

  • Easy to Enter and Exit: It will be effortless for you to get it and out of this type of kayak. This is possible because of the lowered cockpit design.
  • Fewer Chances of Sinking: Safety is another major benefit of choosing a sit-on-top kayak. The wide and open design of the cockpit makes it more stable. If the kayak sinks, it will be easy to get out of it.
  • More Storage Space: You will have fewer restrictions on the weight that you can carry. There is more space for everything you will need.
  • Comfortable: Especially if you have a large body and long legs, sit-on-top kayaks are great because there is ample space for you to move. This is unlike other kayaks that restrict your movements when you are sitting and paddling.

Our Top Picks for the Best Sit-On-Top Kayak

Ready to start your search for a top-rated sit-on-top kayak? This section briefly looks at five of the best products that should be on your radar.

1. Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-On-Top Kayak

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak

If you are looking for a sit-on-top kayak with a price that does not hurt the wallet, this is one option worth considering. It is made by a popular and reputable brand, so you can already be confident about its quality and performance.

Among others, one thing that we like in this product is its overall construction. The body uses UV-stabilized Fortiflex polyethylene. This is a high-density material that withstands the test of time. Despite the strength of the material, it is lightweight. This makes the kayak excellent in terms of portability.

The Portable Accessory Carrier is another good feature of this kayak. You can use the latter as a storage compartment, allowing you to bring more when kayaking.

Based on the technical information from the manufacturer, it is best to use this kayak when you are paddling in rivers and lakes. However, if you are going to use this for fishing, you won’t like how there isn’t a holder to secure your fishing rod.

For your comfort, as it is common with sit-on-top kayaks, there is plenty of legroom. It also comes with adjustable footrest and backrest that you can customize depending on the position you find most comfortable.

Pros:

  • Great for beginners
  • Affordable
  • Adjustable foot brace

Cons:

  • Seat has no bottom cushion
  • No fishing rod holders

2. Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 Recreational Sit-On-Top Kayak

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 10 Foot Angler Recreational Sit On Top Light Weight Fishing Kayak with Paddle and Adjustable Hero Comfort Seat and Flush Rod Holders and Built in Storage

The price of this sit-on-top kayak can easily discourage many people, but that should not be the case. This is worth every dollar given its high-end features.

Among others, one thing that we love about this kayak is how it provides optimum control. The smart design makes it easy to maneuver. However, some of you might complain about the weight. The kayak weighs around 57 pounds, which is quite heavy. This is quite difficult for most people to transport and carry.

It is built with the needs of anglers in mind. If you want to go fishing, you can bring all the accessories that you need while still having a generous space for you to move. It has four flush mounts to secure your fishing rods. It also has an open-deck platform for storage.

Despite the weight, speed is one of the best assets of this kayak. The design of the hull makes the kayak fast without requiring a lot of energy on your end.

Lastly, it also ensures your comfort. It has a dual-position seat, so you can customize it depending on what you prefer. The foot brace is also adjustable. Plus, it gives users easy access to their fishing gears.

Pros:

  • Lots of mounting options for accessories
  • Comfortable seat
  • Has built-in rod holders

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

3. Ocean Kayak Frenzy One-Person Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak Frenzy One-Person Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Weighing only 43 pounds, this is great if you are looking for a portable kayak. Bringing the kayak in your trip is not a difficult task. The length is 9 feet. Meanwhile, the maximum capacity is 325 pounds.

The Tri-Form Hull, which is an exclusive design innovation from Ocean Kayak, is one of the best features of this model. This makes the kayak excellent when it comes to tracking, maneuverability, and stability.

There are many features to ensure the comfort of the user. For instance, it comes with a padded seat. The kayak also has molded in-foot wells. This allows you to maintain a comfortable position while you paddle. There is also a cup holder for easy access to your beverage.

It is space-efficient when the time comes that you have to store the kayak. This is because of the push-button breakdown. It allows the blade feathering angle to adjust automatically.

For your peace of mind, it is also good to know that the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty for the hull.

Pros:

  • Excellent stability
  • Easy to transport
  • Padded seat

Cons:

  • Not comfortable for large paddlers
  • Slow

4. Emotion Spitfire Sit-On-Top Kayak

Emotion Spitfire Sit-On-Top Kayak

The padded Comfort Rest System (CRS) seat is one of the best features of this kayak. The seat also comes with bottom and back padding, which will ensure your comfort throughout its use. The molded footwells are also great to keep you comfortable.

This kayak is lightweight at only 45 pounds. It also comes with multiple handles in strategic positions. You won’t have a hard time bringing it with you on your next trip. Despite keeping the weight at a minimum, you can be confident of its longevity. The main material used in its body is high-density polyethylene. It also has UV-protection.

You will also like how it offers plenty of storage space. The rear tankwell comes with a bungee cord to keep your stuff in its position as you paddle. There is also a paddle holder next to the footwell.

Lastly, the five-year warranty that the manufacturer offers is also notable, although, we have seen some kayaks with a lifetime warranty.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to control
  • Great stability

Cons:

  • Limited speed
  • Tracking can be better

5. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler Kayak

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler Kayak

Whether you are looking for a recreational kayak or one that is suitable for anglers, this is one product that should be on your radar. It is known for its excellent glide and maneuverability. However, with a weight of 63 pounds, this can be quite heavy for some users, especially for small kayakers.

The kayak comes with a self-bailing tankwell. It has a large storage area and a bungee to keep your things secure. There is also a scupper, which will keep water out of your gear.

Another notable feature of this kayak is the Phase 3 Air Pro Seat. This exclusive innovation makes the seat comfortable. The manufacturer claims that this technology also makes their kayak the most comfortable you can find on the market. It has a mesh fabric cover and honeycomb vent to improve air circulation. There is also 3D foam for exceptional cushioning.

To make it more comfortable, the kayak also has the Keepers XL Foot Brace System. The large and padded footrest will provide the support that you need to remain comfortable even after an extended period of paddling.

Lastly, it has a covered hatch on one end, which is an excellent place to keep your gear dry.

Pros:

  • Excellent tracking
  • Durable
  • Comfortable seat

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

How to Choose the Best Sit-On-Top Kayak

To help you come up with the right decision, this section talks about the most important factors to consider.

Construction

When evaluating the construction of the sit-on-top kayak, one of the most important considerations is the material. A high-quality material means that the kayak can withstand the test of time, making it a great investment.

Most of the kayaks available are made of high-density polyethylene. It is also common to have UV-coating for protection from the harsh heat of the sun.

Length and Weight

Speaking of the construction of the kayak, you also need to consider its weight. This depends on the material of the kayak and the features present. A good choice is one that is lightweight, which also means that it will be portable. Lightweight kayaks are also easy to maneuver and control.

As for the length, this depends on your personal preferences. Longer kayaks are excellent if your priority is speed. Shorter kayaks, on the other hand, are great if you are after maneuverability. If you want the kayak to be stable, it is best to choose one that is wide.

Comfort

Sit-on-top kayaks are more comfortable compared to the traditional kayak design. Nonetheless, your comfort still depends on several things. One of the most important is to have generous space in the kayak. There should be plenty of legroom, especially for tall users.

The seat is also important. A molded backrest is great for the comfort of the user. Cushioning is also crucial. Aside from the seat, it is also good if there is a footrest. With these features, even if you are paddling for an extended period, you won’t complain of discomfort.

Storage

Pick a kayak that offers storage space for your gear. This is especially important if you are going to use it for fishing. There should be an integrated fishing rod holder. You must be able to utilize the front and back parts for storage. There should also be a way to keep the water out to make sure that your gears will not get wet.

Performance

Consider factors with direct impact on the overall performance of the kayak. Speed, stability, and maneuverability are some of the most critical factors that affect performance. Choose one that is suitable for your skill. For instance, if you are a novice, make sure that the sit-on-top kayak is beginner-friendly.

Intended Use

At the end of the day, the most important is to choose a sit-on-top kayak that is suitable for the intended use. With that, below are the common kayak classifications to help you narrow down the possibilities:

  • Touring Kayak: This kind of kayak is designed to travel fast and straight. They are narrower and longer compared to a recreational kayak.
  • Recreational Kayak: These kayaks are small and short. As the name implies, this is the perfect choice if you are using a kayak for recreation or relaxation.
  • White Water Kayak: If you are using the kayak in rivers with running rapids, this is the best choice. You will use it in active and moving water.
  • Fishing Kayak: For anglers, this is the best kayak. These kayaks have plenty of storage space for all your fishing accessories, including a rod holder.
  • Inflatable Kayak: This is a great choice if portability is an important concern. You can deflate it when traveling, which makes it space-efficient and lightweight.
  • Tandem Kayak: If there will be two of you using the kayak, this is the best choice. It is longer than the traditional design since it accommodates two people.

Conclusion

By now, we hope that it is easier for you to decide what to choose for the best sit-on-top kayak. These kayaks offer abundance of benefits over their traditional counterparts, such as comfort, safety, and ease of use. Nonetheless, to take advantage of all these benefits, it is crucial that you choose wisely.

Kayaking: Basic Paddling Techniques Every Beginner Should Learn

08/16/2019

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.

  • Position the boat parallel to the shoreline. This way, the hull is out of the water.
  • Keep your hands in command. This will help to keep your balance. One end of the hand will be at the end of the paddle, which will put one side of the kayak down.
  • Lean and enter the kayak. Sit comfortably. By now, you are ready to learn the basic kayak paddling techniques.

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.

Forward Stroke

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.

  • The first step is the catch phase. At this point, you need to rotate your torso and submerge the paddle’s blade on the water and next to your feet.
  • Next is the power phase. It involves a counter-clockwise rotation of your torso while pulling the blade. Keep your elbows close to your body. Your eyes must follow the direction of the blade dipped in water and your torso will follow its movement. Use power from your upper hand to move the paddle.
  • The last stage is the release phase. Slice the paddle out of the water as soon as you reach the part behind the hip.

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.

  • Use the regular forward grip as you hold the paddle. You should point the blade’s power face at the opposite direction of the kayak. Maintain a low position of your hand.
  • As you stroke, aim to make a big arc. Start at the bow and end at the stern.
  • During the sweep, rotate your torso. This will help to propel the movement of your kayak.
  • Your kayaks bow will move away from the paddle as you start making your first stroke.

Meanwhile, to do the reverse sweep stroke, these are the things you need to do:

  • Stretch your paddle horizontally on the side of the kayak.
  • Submerge the kayak’s blade on the same side or direction wherein you would like to turn.
  • Push the blade of the paddle from the back to the front. Get the blade out of the water. Do this again until you turn.

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.

  • Rotate your torso toward the stern. Look over your shoulder and see where you are heading.
  • Submerge the back face of the blade just slightly past your hip. Unwind with a short stroke to move the kayak.
  • In the end, the shaft should end up vertical at the same line as your knee.

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.

  • If you are moving forward and you want to stop the kayak, you will need to use the back face of the paddle.
  • Dip the paddle back and forth on the left side of the kayak.

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 possible, run the kayak to the shallowest part so that you can get out easily.
  • Otherwise, put your kayak in a parallel position. Use the paddle as an outrigger. Put the paddle at your back. 
  • Put one hand on the boat and the other on the paddle. Push the back face of the paddle on the shallow part.
  • Lean on the side and push yourself to go up. Step out of the kayak.

Conclusion

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.

Benefits of Using a Swimmer’s Snorkel

08/13/2019

A snorkel gear is one of the most important in a swimmer’s arsenal. You might have hesitations at first as it may look weird and uncomfortable, but this is crucial in making you perform at your best. For competitive swimmers, this makes a great addition to their training must-haves. Turns out, it is not just for snorkeling!

So, why is it that you need to wear a snorkel? If you are still not convinced that you need one, keep on reading the rest of this short post and we’ll let you know more about the benefits of using a swimmer’s snorkel.

With all the benefits that we will list down below, for sure, it won’t take long before you will be grabbing a snorkeling set and using it the next time you train. Believe us, you need it!

1. Create Stroke Symmetry

One of the best reasons to use a swimmer’s snorkel is to improve the symmetry of your stroke. You don’t have to worry about having to turn your head to breathe. This means that you will be able to concentrate more on the technical aspect to improve your performance on the water.

Because it is a breathing aid, you will end up improving the balance of your stroke. If you are a sprinter, this becomes more important. Using a snorkel makes it possible to evenly and quickly rotate your arms, which is crucial in maintaining velocity.

Speaking of stroke symmetry, it helps in improving your arm strokes. Because you can breathe better, this prevents you from easily getting tired.

2. Increase Lung Capacity

To make you more comfortable when swimming with a snorkel, one of the most important is to have a nose piece. This will prevent water from getting in. At the same time, when you complement it with the use of a snorkel as a breathing tool, this is effective in improving lung capacity.

You might have a hard time breathing at first, but this should not be an issue. The goal is to make yourself used to such a situation. With consistent practice, this improves not only breathing technique but also lung capacity.

3. Improve Kicks

The use of a swimmer’s snorkel is also beneficial in terms of making you better at your kicks. Crossing ankles during rotation is one of the most common problems amongst swimmers. This might seem like a small thing, but it can negatively affect your movement on the water, and in turn, it slows you down.

Again, as mentioned earlier, there is no need to turn your head to be able to breathe as long as you are wearing a snorkel. This also allows you to maintain the consistency of your kicks. Your core rotation and body movements will also be improved as you get better on kicking as you swim. You don’t have to adjust your breathing, and instead, you can focus on kicking more efficiently.

4. Keep Proper Position of the Head

When you are swimming, experts recommend that you should keep your body in a straight position. This allows you to swim faster without wearing out your body, so you won’t feel tired. To keep your body in a straight line when you are swimming, you also need to position your head straight. By now, you most probably already know that this is possible by having a snorkel because it prevents you from turning your head just to breathe.

Wearing snorkel forces you to keep your head down looking on the ground. If you are not wearing a snorkel, you will end up looking forward or left and right.

For many, looking forward is the common practice when swimming. However, the problem is that your legs and hips can drop below the surface of the water. This can increase drag. One of the best ways to prevent this is by wearing a swimmer’s snorkel.

5. Improve Your Non-Dominant Side

Your dominant side is the side wherein you always breathe when you are swimming, especially if it is freestyle. While this is the common practice, this can be bad in the long run. Your muscles can suffer from uneven development, among other possible issues. This also causes endurance to be built only a single side.

To solve the problem of often breathing on your dominant side, one of the things that can help is the use of a swimmer’s snorkel. During your training, this makes it possible for you to breathe on both sides. It builds endurance and power as you breathe on your dominant and non-dominant sides.

6. Improve your Core Rotation

The core is one of the most important parts of the body that you use when you are swimming. In the case of most swimmers, they tend to rotate their head the same time as their core when they are on the water.

As earlier mentioned, one of the best things about wearing a snorkel is that it allows you to breathe on your side. Because of this, you can focus on improving the rotation of your core without doing it at the same time as you turn your head. This also allows you to focus your head under the water, which is another thing we have earlier highlighted in this article. Make sure to not move your head left and right when wearing a snorkel as this can cause water to get in and will make it more difficult for you to breathe.

7. Improve Speed

This can be a result of all the benefits that have been mentioned above. A good way to sum up the benefits of using a swimmer’s snorkel is the fact that it allows you to work on your techniques and become a better swimmer in no time. From improving your stroke symmetry to increasing lung capacity, it brings us to another significant benefit – it improves speed.

Especially for freestyle and breaststroke swimmers, it has been proven that using a snorkel in a 100-meter sprint will make you faster compared to swimming without a snorkel.

Wrap Up

This article tackles the benefits of using a swimmer’s snorkel. It is a must-have in your training gears. It improves your stroke, lung capacity, head position, and breathing techniques, among other things. You might look weird wearing it during your training sessions, but this should not matter given the fact that it can be beneficial in more ways than one.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a snorkeling set now and change the way you train! It won’t take long before you realize that we are right with the things we claimed above!