1. Kayaking Tips for Beginners

    The sun is starting to rise over the calm water your kayak sits in. The blue, greens, and browns of nature fill your site and all is calm and quiet.  Your To- Do list seems to magically disappear from your thoughts and the only thing on your mind is how beautiful nature is and how much you have to be thankful for. There is truly something to be said about the sport of kayaking.

    But how does one get started? Here are a few tips to help.

    What Kind of Kayak to Buy

    Kayaks come in many different styles, sizes, and price ranges. If you are just getting started, you most likely are looking for a recreational board. That simply means that you will be staying in calmer waters like ponds, flat rivers, lakes, or protected areas of the ocean.

    When selecting your kayak, you can also decide how many people will join you. Whether you want to stick to solo kayak trips only, or plan on bringing (or dragging) one or two more people with you, there’s a kayak that will accommodate what you want.

    The wider the width, the more stable the kayak will be from tipping.  While taking a splash in the water might be the greatest idea in the world on a hot summer day in Florida, you don’t want your kayak to flip every time you go out for a ride, so kayak width is important.

    Also when you check out the price tag, be realistic with how often you’ll use your kayak. This may help you determine how much you’re willing to spend. Make sure to keep your height and weight in mind when selecting to get the kayak best suited for you.

    Where To Take Your New Kayak

    A handful of our communities offer kayak livery, making it easier than ever for you to get started in the sport. River’s Reach, and Forest Creek  are a few, but the options on where to launch your kayak (or canoe) in Southwest Florida don’t stop there! Check out the Water Recreation Guide from Sarasota County that maps out all of the places offering kayak trails.  Wherever you go, take a moment to sit back and take in the natural beauty around you.

    How to Get in (And Out)

    So you purchased the perfect kayak. You took the time to find the place where you want to use it. You put it in the water and think, “ How am I supposed to get in this thing?”

    You aren’t alone. No one wants to tip the kayak, but this process is easier than you think. When you untie your kayak, make sure you hold on to the line. Use your paddle if water is shallow enough to hold the kayak steady as you slowly step in one foot at a time. Don’t forget, that the lower your sense of gravity, the better balance you will have so don’t be afraid to crouch or bend your knees. When you’ve finished your adventure, you can do the same thing in reverse! Of course, if you aren’t afraid to get your shoes a little wet (and muddy) you can always pull your kayak up far enough on the shore to help you get into it easily from there.

    How to Steer

    To begin, watch this short video that will help you get used to the process.

    After you’ve been in the water for a while, you will get the hang of it. If you need to turn your kayak, simply place your paddle on one side of your kayak, the OPPOSITE of which you want to turn into to. Once you have turned, continue paddling normal.

    We can’t wait to hear all about your kayaking experiences! Tell us about your favorite kayak trails and the tips you would offer those just starting out!