Purchasing your own kayak is one of the simplest methods to participate in watersports in the UK, especially given the low prices involved. There are also numerous fun spots to use a kayak throughout the British waterways and coast, such as lakes and rivers, which are becoming more accessible to amateur watersports enthusiasts.
This article will teach you all you need to know about kayaking, including what equipment you’ll need to participate safely and comfortably.
But first, what is the distinction between a kayak and a canoe? Opinions differ, but the standard definition is that kayaks use twin paddles, whereas canoes move around with a single-ended paddle.
The greatest kayaking gear
Kayaks come in a variety of styles, and they can all look thrilling and appealing! However, it is critical to select one with caution.
Paddleboards and sit-on-top kayaks are particularly adaptable for novices. They can be used in a variety of settings.
If you want to buy a touring or sea kayak, you’ll need to find some open water to practise on.
Although there are possibilities for more difficult places, white water kayaks are only recommended for advanced and confident enthusiasts of this activity and sport.
Consider the shape, size, and structure of a kayak that best suits your body frame and preferences. You must be able to use it with confidence, including slipping out if you are toppled.
When it comes to kayak paddles, one size does not fit all. Test a few to find the one that provides you the most control and confidence. Remember that children’s kayak paddles are available for smaller travellers!
Also, do you have the proper roof rack straps and supports to transport a kayak safely and with the least amount of stress?
Consider your kayak’s launching system as well to locate a workable alternative for you. This is where inflatable kayaks excel because they are so simple to pack, prepare, and launch onto the water!
Finally, don’t forget to carefully store your kayak to extend its life and keep its structure sound. Hanging slings or racks are excellent choices for larger sizes.
What kayaking equipment do you need?
Even if you’re thinking about renting inflatable kayaks and going out for some summer fun as a family, you must take precautions to keep everyone safe. This includes finding ways to stay warm, as even on the hottest days, the UK’s canals and seas can be frigid!
A good quality buoyancy aid or lifejacket is an absolute must for anyone new to kayaking. Modern designers have produced solutions that allow for unfettered movement while paddling while also providing outstanding buoyancy.
You should also think about purchasing a kayak helmet, especially for younger travellers.
If you plan on going out to sea, kayak wetsuits are a must-have. Even if you’re just “messing around on the river,” layering up gear – including thermal socks – allows you to extend your fun and spend more time on (or in) the water.
Longer adventures become possible once you’ve mastered paddling around and can safely fall out or flip a capsized kayak round in an Eskimo roll.
It makes sense to carry a whistle and compass, which can be stowed in the pockets of leading kayak life vests. You might use your phone to track your location using GPS.
If you’re heading out alone in a kayak, you should always discuss your plans with others.