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Paddle your Own Canoe Tips on How to Kayak Like a Pro

Bunch of kayaks sitting in the water next to each other with the caption "Tips for Kayaking like a pro"

Kayaking is a great way to explore the outdoors, catch some rays and get some exercise. But if you’re not familiar with the basics, it can also be a bit intimidating. Below, we’ll share some tips to help you feel more confident on the water, improve your technique and get the most out of your kayaking experience. Whether you’re paddling on a calm lake or navigating through rapids, these tips will help you kayak like a pro.

Find the Right Life Jacket for You

It’s always a good idea to make sure you are wearing your life jacket or have it readily accessible. It is equally important to make sure it fits, is made from high-quality material and is comfortable to wear. There’s a wide range of types of life jackets, so make sure you find the right one for you.

Weather Check

Weather can be unpredictable and change without warning, so it’s important to consistently check the weather before heading out on your kayaking trip. The last thing you’ll want to happen is get caught in a thunderstorm, flash flood, high winds or other weather events. Since weather is so unpredictable, it helps to know how to spot potential bad weather before it happens. Some things to look for are thick clouds getting lower and slower and sudden drops in air pressure and temperature.

Choose the Best Gear for You

Seasons play a huge part in water temperatures. You’ll never stay completely dry when kayaking and water being splashed on you will make you regret wearing a t-shirt and shorts.  Kayaking in the early spring means the air is warming up, but the water is still cold from the winter. That is why it’s important to dress appropriately for water temperatures instead of air temperatures. Other than dressing appropriately, some other gear to keep with you will be, an extra paddle, paddle float, first aid kit, communication device and a flashlight.

Start With the Right Skills

Knowing some key tips will increase your enjoyment and safety. Some very basic skills to know include:

  • Learning how to get in and out of your kayak
  • Picking the right paddles for you
  • Learning the “draw stroke”- maneuvering your kayak sideways
  • Learning the “sweep stroke”- turning your kayak while sitting still

For other kayaking safety tips, check out our blog!

Kayaking offers a fantastic opportunity for beginners to explore the world of paddle sports. It’s relatively easy to hop in a kayak and start paddling right away. But like any other activity, practice makes perfect and the more you work on these techniques, the more confident you will feel. These techniques can help expedite your learning process, and you’ll have so much more fun out on the water.

At Steinhatchee Marina, we offer kayak rentals and our kayaks are 100% clear! In these vessels you’ll get to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and wildlife, like our friendly visitors, the manatees and other fish of Steinhatchee, Florida. We offer the most unforgettable experience of exploration. Contact us today for details and rates of our kayak rentals!