Kayaking Mistakes Every Beginners Make

Kayaking is a pretty flexible sport; about everyone can enjoy and practice it safely. It can be an exhilarating adventure or a gentle, relaxing activity during the afternoon on the lake, depending on how you want to approach it. You get to immerse yourself in nature and have some fun at the same time. Even though the mechanics behind kayaking are pretty straightforward, it's not necessarily something that you can do with your eyes closed when you're a beginner. 

There are a few common mistakes that every beginner makes. To help ease you into kayaking and making it more enjoyable for you, we'll let you know the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Hugging the Paddle

Also known as paddle-hugging, it means holding it way too close to your body. While at first, this posture may seem fine, it's far from ideal. When you're bending your elbow a bit too much to keep the paddle close, you're putting a lot of unnecessary strain on your muscles, which you'll feel the next day. To counter this bad habit, always make sure that you're sitting straight while keeping the paddle away from your chest. You'll notice that your stamina isn't running out as quickly once you get used to this position. Remember that you are not canoeing; you're kayaking.

Inconsideration of Weather Conditions

It's a pretty bad idea to kayak in the storm. While this may seem obvious, many people may disregard it if it's sunny and the water calm. The problem with a severe storm is that it's tough to calculate when exactly it's going to hit. One of the essential kayaking tips is to scratch kayaking from your schedule altogether if the weather report predicts a storm. Risking your health just because the weather currently looks fine is a pretty bad idea because a severe storm can combine lightning, huge waves, and heavy rain.

Locking Your Torso

Many beginners are under the impression that they'll be more stable when they tighten their upper body. But all this does is make them less stabilized because they will be reducing their paddle stroke's size. If you don't incorporate your body's core in your strokes, you won't be able to provide enough power to the paddle to get very far, which only ends up exhausting you pretty quickly. Make sure that your torso is relaxed and loosened, and think of it as an extension that drives more power.

Falling Onto the Board

It may seem intuitive to catch your fall on the board, but it's not recommended at all. While you may want to avoid falling into the water because you'll have to get back again, falling on the board may hurt you. The board is far from soft, which could damage your elbows, knees, or even ribs. If you gauge that you're going to fall, position your fall away from the board to minimize the damage.

Losing Control of the Board

A pretty common mistake that beginners may realize after some time is their tendency to let the wind carry them. It's beneficial to begin practicing calm weather conditions to avoid having your board destabilized by the downwind. When it's windy, the best course of action is to paddle upwind a little instead of letting it drive you toward a downwind direction that will make you paddle harder to break its momentum's resistance.

Not Staying Calm

In kayaking or any sport which requires a good amount of balance, in general, it's imperative not to panic and lose your composure. It would be best if you always remembered that losing your cool will make it harder to balance yourself on the board. Kayaking in turbulent water or whitewater can be enjoyable and adrenaline-rushing. Still, it's not uncommon for beginners to start losing control of their board because they start panicking once things get a bit overwhelming. If you've fallen off the board, stay calm and try to grab it and get up again without making unnecessary movements.

Not Investing in a Seat

The kayaking experience can become a laborious and grueling chore if you're using a cheap kayak seat. Even if you have the best kayak in the world, you can easily compromise it with the wrong seat. They are not very expensive, and they'll undoubtedly relieve your back from many sore nights. Make sure that it supports your back while being comfortably cushioned.

Kayaking Mistakes Every Beginners Make

Kayaking is a fun and enjoyable experience, and no one masters it without making a few mistakes. It's natural to fumble around and fall off the board while you're learning, but always make sure that you're putting your safety as a priority to avoid making costly mistakes. Reading the weather reports should become habitual if you're planning on kayaking often.

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