Once you decide to give kayaking a try, the first thing to understand is that there are a lot of options when it comes to selecting a kayak. Will you be kayaking in a lake, pond, rapids or open ocean? Because there’s a kayak for that. Next think about what makes you more comfortable: a kayak with a sunken cockpit or one where you’re sitting more on top? As noted in Kayak Fishing Tips, most anglers prefer the top-seated version as it makes it easier to spot fish. And, depending on how you’re going to use the kayak, you may want to know if you can customize it to make it ideal for your use.
Getting the Kayak to Your Destination
Unless you live on the water, learning how to transport a kayak by car is essential. The easiest way carry a kayak to a vehicle is to have two people, one on each end, but if you’re solo, you can put the kayak over one shoulder. To secure it to the top of your vehicle, you can use something as simple as foam or a designated kayak rack that attaches to your crossbars. A rack may make it easier to get the kayak up on the roof and into position since some of them integrated lift systems while others have wheels. Once atop your car, you’ll want to tie it down. Cam straps are great for this purpose.
If you’re beginning boating for the first time, a kayak is one of the easiest ways to get started. The first thing you’ll need to understand is how to get in a kayak. If you haven’t taken any lessons, here are some tips. Start by holding the paddle across the kayak a couple of feet in front of the seat with one hand. Put your other hand on the seat back. Then step in with the foot that’s closest to the seat, immediately sitting down to avoid rocking the boat. Make sure you have your personal flotation device on!
Once you’re settled, knowing how to kayak is next. You’ll want to focus on your paddling technique. Proper placement is key so start with the long side of the blade facing up. Sit up straight and grip the paddle with both hands lightly, keeping them shoulder width apart. With your back pressed against the seat, rotate your torso and reach forward, dipping the blade of the paddle into the water about halfway. Then pull back while rotating your torso to the other side. Repeat and continue this movement.
If you want to take out your kayak to go fishing, you can start by adding a few useful elements to the boat like a rod holder, cooler and storage for your tackle. When you’re on the water and ready to cast your line, keep your paddle across the kayak for stability. Depending on the species you’re after and the conditions, it’s generally easier to simply drift with minimal paddling just to maneuver the boat into position. Sometimes you can also use your feet or cast to steer. If it’s windy or you want to stay in a spot, it can be helpful to have a light anchor on board.
How to Store a Kayak
When you’re done for the day and return home, rinse off your kayak before putting it away. To store it, close up openings to prevent pests from getting inside. Then find a spot to keep it. It’s best to store your kayak inside in a cool, dry place to protect it from the sun and other elements. But if you have to leave it outdoors, be sure to cover it. No matter where you stash it, keep it separated from other items and be sure to put it in a proper position. The three general options for storage are vertically, standing the kayak upright on the stern, laying it on its side, or hanging it from straps or a rack.