Kayaking

This past Saturday I had my first kayaking lesson, and it was awesome!
I’ve been in a kayak before, but it was more of a tourism thing, and we didn’t learn any specific stroke or technique. I remember enjoying it, though, so I thought it’d be fun to give it a try for real.
Saturday was a gorgeous day – sunny and not too hot. We learned about the different types of kayaks and paddles, and then we all tried out a few kayaks before deciding which one fit the best. I was in a sea kayak, which tend to be longer and have higher cruising speed than white water kayaks, but can be harder to turn.
After some more land-based chatting, we each got into our own kayak and off we went. We learned a few different strokes: forward, backward, draw and sculling draw (to move sideways), the sweep (to turn in place), and the stern rudder (to turn while going forward). We also learned how to raft together our kayaks for safety purposes.
We spent a lot of time practicing, which was amazing. I loved being on the water in my own little kayak-bubble, concentrating on my movement and technique, and enjoying my surroundings.
At the end of the lesson, the teacher demonstrated the wet-exit – basically how to get out of your kayak safely if it capsizes.
Gotta say, I was really nervous about it. I’m not a huge fan of putting my head under water, especially when I’m in something. But, after three attempts at rolling the kayak over*, I went under and got out pretty quick. 
Looking forward to the next lesson in a couple of weeks!

*It was actually nice to know how hard it was to tip it over!

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Comments on: "Kayaking" (5)

  1. yay, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Now I can take you kayaking if you visit the West coast 🙂

    I also hate hate hate wet exits due to hating having my head under water (at least, hate being under water in the ocean – I'm fine in a pool. I haven't done much lake or river swimming). But yeah, it is really, really hard to tip a sea kayak; I've only seen it done by accident twice, both times in unloaded single kayaks (loaded ones and doubles are even harder to tip). Once was when my friend was almost hit by a kite surfer and had to take evasive action, and the other was when Mr E Man was showing off in the early days of our relationship and was leaning waaaaay too far out to make his strokes and let a wave hit him broadside at the same time.

    I took a bracing stroke course in a pool once – it's a technique you can use to stop a capsize, although it was ages ago and I'm not sure if I could remember and execute it perfectly in an emergency! If your local centre offers something similar, I recommend it – it does boost your confidence.

    Happy paddling!

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  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like the wet exit! I figure I can do it once or twice if it means I get to take a kayak out for free whenever I want 🙂

    Too funny about the Mr E Man story! What men will do sometimes, right?

    I have another lesson in a couple weeks where we're supposed to learn more safety-related techniques, so maybe that will be one of them?

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  3. I LOVE kayaking. I've mostly done the low key paddle around a bay in the sit on top type kayak, though. Exiting those is easy. If it tips, you fall out. That has only happened to me once, and I was surprised to discover that yes, I COULD heave myself back in from the water. My husband and I have been talking about how old our littlest one will have to be before we can take the kids out kayaking with us in double kayaks. We think another year or two, probably.

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  4. Cloud – I haven't tried a sit-on-top kayak, maybe I'll see if they have one at the club. That would be so much fun to go kayaking as a family!

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  5. “I was really nervous about it. I'm not a huge fan of putting my head under water” – Same here! And the wet exit is the part I dreaded most. I love leisure kayaking though; the manner of just pleasantly paddling and sailing through the calm lake, and watch the hues of green trees and blue sky blended in the water. Xavier@FawnHarbor.com

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