Basic Kayaking Skills For The Beginner

Kayaking skills are primarily based upon the technique and how you approach the specific task within the activity. Some of these include the flip or roll over once you have capsized, and even holding the paddle in the correct fashion.

Starting off with the paddle holding technique, one will realize that this is one of the most vital skills, as the paddle is essentially your propelling and guiding tool once out there in the water. The kayak paddle differs from a canoe paddle, as it has 2 blades attached compared to the canoe paddle only having one. In developing the necessary kayaking skills, the paddle must be held correctly so that the most power can be generated from utilizing the paddle correctly in the water. The face of the paddle is the part that you will use to pull yourself through the water, and this part is the concave part of the blade. A simple trick in this area, is if the paddle has writing on the blade, one should keep this the right way up and not upside down to assist in holding it correctly.

Another one of the vital and necessary skills is the rolling over once you have been capsized, which involves tucking the body in toward the kayak to avoid any potential head injuries. One should then reach out with the paddle in hand, to one side of the kayak and whilst turning the paddle from a horizontal position to a perpendicular position back into the water, one should arch the neck outward, towards the surface of the water, against the shoulder. In other words, if one is trying to tip the vessel to the right then the paddle should be out of the right hand side of the kayak and the head and right shoulder tilted towards the right. As one pulls the paddle into the perpendicular position continue roll through towards the right and pushing into the water with the paddle to the left. One should use the face of the paddle as a lever to push oneself out of the water. You should then follow through with the momentum, in a rolling fashion to correct your kayak and your position in the water, this will include a hip snap which is that gaining momentum you will use to right yourself.

The above mentioned are only two of many kayaking skills that would have to be studied, learned and further developed, as one gets more into the kayaking experience. However, these two basic skills are very valuable in terms of this type of activity, as no matter how an advanced you become, in a certain situations you will be capsized, especially in an ocean or white water setting, and the quicker you master this skill, the quicker you will be able to right yourself and possibly prevent any potential injury.

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