All people at any range of age are interested in paddling the kayak. For the younger generation, this activity can bring them countless chances to discover the adventure that they never experience in their lifetime. The elderly people can have more time to immerse themselves in the nature and enjoy the tranquility on the water’s surface to relax their mind. To ensure your safety, it is very important for all kayakers to read the instruction carefully. You should look for the help of the local club or even take part in the training courses to learn how to paddle a kayak.
How to choose kayak paddle
If you want to master in paddling, first and foremost, you need to make a choice of the right kayak paddle to have a good trip. In fact, choosing the kayak paddle has both positive and negative effects on the comfort while kayaking. Although the paddle kayak is not a challenge for you to opt for, there are a few things that you need to take into the consideration before selecting as follows:
Due to the demands on using the paddle kayak, the manufacturers have given the birth of a huge number of the kayak paddle with different length to suit the users. The length of the kayak paddles can be from 210 centimeters to 260 centimeters, depending on your paddling style, the width of the kayak and your height.
The paddling style
It is frankly to say that almost all people have their own paddling style which is not similar to others’ style. Some people may like the low angle paddling, while others have a deep passion on the high angle paddling. The former means that you will paddle with a slow cadence and waste time, but it is more suitable for the long journeys.
The high angle paddling differs from the low angle paddling with regard of the cadence which is much faster. With this style, you can save a lot of time, but it requires for the maneuverability and the acceleration. In addition, while paddling, you may feel tired or even exhausted, but if you are planing for weight loss, this style is a great choice for you.
The height and the width of the boat
Apart from the paddling style, you also need to depend on your height and the width of the boat to decide which type of the kayak paddle can meet your needs. It means that if you are tall, you should make a choice of the long paddle and the reverse is true for the short people.
Furthermore, you had better be aware of the width of the kayak. Many people think that they can choose the kayak paddle without concern its width; however, this viewpoint can lead to the wrong paddle because the boat width plays a very important role in choosing this equipment. For example, if your boat is 26” in width, then you should choose the kayak paddle with the length of 230 centimeters.
The materials of the blades
Besides the kayak paddle, you should pay more attention to the blade materials. It is undeniable that the lighter the blade is, the more easily you paddle. Generally speaking, the strength and the weight of the paddles should be balance. The weight of the paddle is one of the most important factors that affect your trips. The blade is made from various materials, including the fiberglass, the carbon fiber, the plastic, and the nylon.
The fiberglass blade is the most favorite one of the kayakers because it is not only light, but also durable. Additionally, if you select the fiberglass, you can save a great deal of money because its price is reasonable and it is designed to serve the recreational and touring use.
The same as the fiberglass, the carbon fiber also is light, but it has a special look which can attract the consumer easily. If you focus on the performance of the blade rather than other elements, it will be the perfect selection. Although the price of the carbon fiber is much more expensive than that of the fiberglass, it can support you during the multi-day trip.
The plastic blade is affordable that you do not need to take care of more frequently as other materials. If you are the beginner and you do not have any knowledge related to paddling, the plastic blade can make a great contribution to enhance your performance.
How to hold a paddle kayak
It sounds strange, but you need to learn to hold the paddle kayak, before beginning paddling with the correct technique. Many people usually hold the paddle wrong, so they cannot paddle well during their kayak trip. There are some steps that you should follow to have a good performance.
Firstly, you must have a deeper understanding about the structure of the kayak paddle. This step will lay a concrete foundation on the implementation process in the reality. The kayak paddle is different from the canoe paddle because it consists of two blades which come with the paddle shaft.
Secondly, you need to find out the right direction. This is one of the most popular mistakes of all kayakers. They usually have a tendency to hold the backwards of the paddle at the first time. This behavior can result in being tired because of the amount of the energy consumption with the stroke.
Thirdly, you should ensure that the paddle is right side up. In fact, it is a difficult task for the beginner to distinguish the top and the bottom of the paddle blades because they have the same shape, but the paddle’s top is more horizontal.
Fourthly, in this step, you need indicate the control grip. If you cannot see the offset part, you can place it on the ground to retain the correct grip. The control grip does not have the ability of altering the positions of your hands on the paddle, but it can support you considerably to help the kayak move in the right direction.
Finally, the last step that you need to carry out before starting your adventure is to grasp and hold in the middle of the paddle. You should ensure that the distance between two hands surpasses the shoulder width.
How to paddle a kayak
After choosing your favorite kayak paddle, it is time for you to learn how to paddle in the right way. To start this interesting outdoor activity, you should sit in it at first and then, stretch your legs to find out the most comfortable positions. If you want, you can change your leg position at any time, but you should make for sure that the paddle will not knock your knees.
To place your hand on the paddle, you need to take the shoulder width into the account. If you place your hands at the paddle’s center, the elbows will create a 90 degree angle. In addition, the amount of the paddles between the blade and the shaft should be equal.
There are a wide range of the paddles which have the blade feathered or the offset. The feathered paddle can offer the less surface area than that of other parts. However, it is better for you to take the use of the special technique to utilize all blades in the water. If you handle the paddle by your right hand, you should use the right hand to tighten the paddle. On the other hand, the left hand is opposite to the right hand. Afterward, you will start rotating the paddle blade from forth to the back by using the right hand.
According to people who have already experienced, the basic paddle stroke is a kind of the power stroke which situates the paddle blade adjacent to your toes. Next, you will pull the blade back and then, lift it to take the stroke on the other side. If the paddle blade changes its position, it means that you need to turn the boat or adjust the stroke.
Besides, you should have a good preparation before paddling in terms of the knowledge and skills to deal with the sudden situations. You should remember to sit straight to keep the boat stable and relax. To save your energy, you had better loosen the paddle and let your muscles have a break. Learn more here.
The kayakers usually suffer many common mistakes. For example, they usually have a poor posture, so they cannot rotate the torso sufficiently. In some cases, they can end the stroke too early or too late. Many people tend to push the upper hand forward and do not generate the effective blade angle.
That’s all you need to learn about the kayak paddle. Now, you can know the correct way of choosing the best fishing kayak and the kayak paddle, holding and paddling which are the first things you should be good at. After these processes, you need to be trained how to stop and turn the kayak to make for sure that you have enough necessary skills to prevent from the dangers.