Have you ever felt the sun breeze on your face as you make your way with your kayak? Do you remember the freedom you feel when you connect with the sea? And if you haven’t, you probably wonder how it feels like, how those paddlers think when they are on their adventure. Can you imagine how it feels to touch the water as you paddle over your kayak?
Personally, I believe, one of the greatest things our mother earth can offer is its nature. The beauty of our nature can be found in the heights of the mountain or under the depth of the sea. Both offer a different experience and feeling. In my opinion, mountains can challenge you in a way no one can do, While the sea provides serenity and calmness that can’t be found anywhere. As for the saying, let the sea set you free.
In this article, we will tell you about how the sea can offer such feelings from certain water activities. As you know, there are a lot of water sport activities you can do, such as swimming, surfing, diving, snorkelling, etc. While several sports activities require a particular skill set like swimming and breathing techniques for diving, some activities don’t need that — for example, kayaking. Anyone with basic mobility can go kayaking and enjoy the sea. But before that, let’s learn more about kayaking and what you need to prepare.
What is Kayaking
Kayaking is a water sport activity that allows you to travel and explore the water. It involves paddling that results in low impact activities. The plus side is it doesn’t require swimming skills.
Several types of kayaking can be categorized based on the kind of boats and the environment. For example:
- Whitewater kayaking. A kayak activity using a short boat for rough waters.
- Flatwater kayaking. A kayak activity using longboat for flatwater on sea, lake, and river. These boats are more natural to steer and more comfortable than whitewater kayaks.
- Single Kayak. A kayak made for one person
- Double kayak. A kayak made for two people.
While kayaking sounds like solo water activities, it is kid-friendly. It is one of the most fun adventures a child can have. However, keep in mind that it is safer to bring a child with a minimum age of two years old. If you choose to do so, you can keep the child to sit in front of you for a double kayak. Don’t forget to bring the right safety gear. You can also let your older kid to paddle solo if the water is flat and safe.
Kayaking VS Canoeing
I bet you a lot of people don’t know the difference between kayaking and canoeing. But a real fan of watersport knows they are not entirely the same. While a canoe used a single-bladed paddle, a kayak used a double-bladed paddle. And the sitting position is also different. When you use a canoe, you kneel facing forward in your canoe. When you use a kayak, you sit face ahead with your legs in front.
Kayaking can improve your aerobic fitness, strength, and flexibility. According to Better Health, kayaking can:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Increased muscle strength, particularly in the back, arms, shoulders, and chest, from moving the paddle
- Increased torso and leg strength, as the strength to power a canoe or kayak comes mainly from rotating the torso and applying pressure with your legs
- Reduced risk of wear-and-tear on joints and tissues, since paddling is a low impact activity.
Another fun facts to know about kayaking based on Huff Post
- One hour of kayaking can burn over 350 calories
- All that paddling works paid off. You can enjoy the scenery and be healthy at the same time.
- Decrease stress. While doing kayaking, your body increases endorphins that can bring you to the present moment and lift the moods
Preparation for Kayaking
When kayaking in the sea, you can go around and explore the water to reach coves or even private beaches. If you choose to kayak in the lake, the views might be different and filled with trees. You can also get closer to wildlife. But remember, preparations are waiting to be made. Especially when you are planning to travel for a long time, there are supplies you need to store in the boat.
Here are the lists:
- Life Jacket and Float: Personal floatation devices are mandatory when paddling. Always wear it when you go kayaking.
- Map & GPS: You can use this when you explore the waters. The map is for the alternative you can use when you go to a remote area where there is no signal. Or a compass if you prefer.
- Self-rescue devices: Also not limited to a first aid kit and a repair kit. Bring things like a whistle, orange smoke sticks, or red flares that can be used for distress signal devices. You need to learn how to use it first.
- Sunscreen and sunglasses: If you are kayaking in the afternoon when the sun shines, make sure to apply sunscreen at least with 30+ SPF and use sunglasses. It’s important to dress for the conditions.
- Extra paddle: Just in case your primary paddle can’t be used on the spot, it’s better to be extra prepared.
- Manual water pump: A manual water pump can be used to pump the water out of your kayak when needed.
- Water: Don’t forget to bring plenty of water and stay hydrated.
- Dry Bag: Flatwater kayaks usually come with waterproof compartments. In this part, you can store your clothes, food, or gear. But to make sure the water doesn’t get in when the current is high or if you accidentally tip over, you can use a dry bag.
Investing in a dry bag backpack can be a smart way for your clothes and valuables like cell phones and camera because the dry hatches are not always as waterproof as it seems.