Thinking about kayaking in cold weather? Here are all the things you need to know when kayaking in winter.
Planning on kayaking in the water for the very first time? Here is everything you need to know before you take the leap.
Kayaking is an excellent sport for people who enjoy water sports. It’s easy, fun, refreshing and gives you a complete new perspective of the marine life.
It’s more like riding a bike. Within a few hours, once you paddle, you will have complete control over your speed and your vessel while you are enjoying watching nature up close.
There are various types of kayaking such as white water kayaking, flat-water kayaking and sea kayaking. It is up to the user that which kind of sport he enjoys the most.
However, there are a few things you need to know when kayaking in winter. It could be dangerous if you’re a beginner and don’t have control over your speed and the vessel you’re paddling. So, we have enlisted all the factors you need to keep in perspective down below.
Read: some best kayaks you may need
Things you need to know when kayaking in winter!
The very first thing that we would like you to consider is getting professional training for kayaking. You’re probably thinking that you don’t really need a kayaking lesson. We mean come one, how hard could it be to paddle a vessel?
But trust us when we say you need it. If you don’t have proper coaching for this sport, you’re going to find yourself paddling in circles for the first few hours. But with a lesson, you won’t have to waste a lot of time and you will paddle like a pro as soon as you’re in the water.
Dress for water and not weather!
Many people, when going kayaking, make this mistake of dressing up for the weather and not the water. It could be a hot sunny day so you will feel it is okay to kayak in your shorts, but you also need to keep in mind that there is a great chance the water is icy cold.
We suggest you wear a wetsuit which in case you fall in the water and there is a great chance you will, you will have lesser chances of catching a cold.
Always opt for the right boat
When shopping for kayaks, you will find a ton of options that include narrow boats, long boats, wide kayaks and so much more.
Your kayak choice depends on the experience you want to have. Suppose you’re going for whitewater kayaking then you need something with more precision and speed. Long and narrow boats will work here.
However, if you just want to enjoy a leisurely day on water, then a wide boat will work just fine.
Don’t forget wearing buoyancy aid
Doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert, wearing a buoyancy aid is essential to your safety.
Buoyancy aids are more like lifejackets, but they allow better movements for paddling and give you room enough to move your hands and knees conveniently.
This is a very necessary kit that every kayaker needs to wear. Even if you’re an efficient swimmer, we still suggest that you wear it because it’s water that you’re going into and things can get dangerous any second without you even realizing it.
Always sit efficiently
We know this might have seemed silly, but it’s true. Many people don’t know how to sit properly in a kayak and because they don’t, they can never seem to kayak properly.
Your kayak might come with ergonomic back, but we suggest that you don’t slouch. Sit straight up while travelling and make sure your buttocks are aligned with your back at 90-degrees. There are also foot pegs on each side of the kayak to rest your feet.
When you’re yakking, stay active and sit appropriately to have better control over the vessel.
Hold the paddle correctly
This is going to seem obvious, but many people don’t even know that they are holding the paddle incorrectly, which is why we had to mention it.
You need to hold the paddle with both your hands and make sure the concave side of the blade is facing you. Once you dip the paddle in the water, the concave side should seep through the water and your knuckles should be aligned with it.
Bring extra clothes always
This is a very simple thing to do, but often people forget about it. Always bring an extra pair of clothes, especially if you’re going to be kayaking for hours. Nobody wants to stay in clothes for too long and in case you are camping at the other side of the river, having extra clothes and essentials will become even more important.
Learn how to rescue yourself and the others
Another very important thing to consider is to know how you are going to rescue yourself if something goes wrong. You’re probably not going to capsize on your very first kayaking excursion if the water is flat and calm, but it’s good to be prepared for the worst.
There are various capsizing drills being taught at kayaking schools. It is vital that you take those lessons.
So, these are all the things you need to know when kayaking in winter. We hope we could shed some insight on all the essential aspects of yakking. If you have any other suggestions in this regard, do let us know through your feedback below.
How cold is too cold for kayaking?
Any temperature that goes beneath 60 degrees Fahrenheit is dangerous for kayaking.
What can possibly happen? Hypothermia. It is a condition when your body loses heat more than it produces. Another possibility is gasp reflex; when your body wants to suck in air without you meaning to. These two can be very dangerous, especially if you are kayaking very far and happen to fall in the water.
When the temperature is between 55-59 degrees, the risk is moderate, between 45-54 degrees there is a high risk of hypothermia and below 45 degrees it's extremely risky.
What should I wear for kayaking in 50 degree weather?
A Kayak drysuit is essential for kayaking under that temperature.
Drysuits with latex gaskets in the wrist and neck keep you 100% dry during complete immersion, while Neoprene gaskets provide more comfort by the neck.
It is very important to get a suit that fits you properly, to minimize the chances of getting water in it.
Can you kayak if you can't swim?
It is not required to know how to swim before kayaking, but it is necessary for safety reasons.
Some water bodies are very shallow and may have a slight current which usually flips boats over.
Kayaking without swimming may also limit you from totally enjoying your activity, as you will not be able to kayak everywhere.
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