It’s been a stressful year for us all. And the cold weather certainly isn’t helping. Thankfully, these freezing temperatures will soon pass and you’ll be able to get outside and enjoy some fresh air, nature, and adventure!
We’ve found that one of the best ways to relieve stress, enjoy the outdoors, and even get a little physical activity in is to spend a few hours kayaking on a lake. To us, there is nothing more enjoyable and peaceful than grabbing everything off your kayak wall storage rack, packing up everything, and paddling through the calm waters of our local lake.
If you’re an experienced kayaker, then hit the water as soon as the ice melts! But if you’re gearing up to go kayaking for the first time, you might want to check out some lake kayaking tips beforehand:
Find a comfortable kayak
Don’t make the mistake of buying an expensive whitewater kayak if you’re just going to be lake kayaking. There are a few different types of kayaks and it’s important to understand your needs and where you’ll be kayaking. There are sit-on-top kayaks, sit-ins, SUP/kayak hybrids, canoe hybrids, sea kayaks, and more.
If you’re looking for a nice, relaxing afternoon of kayaking with plenty of stability, a wider, sit-on-top kayak might be your best option. You can talk to someone about which kayak will be comfortable and right for you – learn more here: What Type of Kayak Should I Buy?
Prioritize safety at all times
Kayaking is supposed to be fun, relaxing, and adventurous. But if you’re not careful, it can be very dangerous. You need to stay alert at all times and prioritize safety from the moment you get in your kayak.
It’s recommended to always kayak with at least one other person and maintain contact with them throughout the entire trip. Be sure to constantly be on the lookout for nearby boats, jet skis, and other paddlers/swimmers. Also, it’s best to pay attention to the weather forecast before any kayaking trip. Paddling on the lake through a little rainfall won’t be much of an issue, but kayaking through a heavy rainstorm can cause serious problems and render it unstable.
Also, always, always, ALWAYS wear a suitable personal flotation device (PFD)!
Focus on your posture
Lake kayaking with bad posture will make for a rough afternoon. You’ll be sore, you’ll be exhausted, and you’ll probably be soaking wet because you lost balance. To avoid these issues, sit straight, tight, and with your back supported as much as you can. The balls of your feet should be in the foot guides and your toes should be pointed outward. Your knees should have an upward and outward bend, as well.
It’s recommended to get a feel for your posture and your paddle-stroke before hitting the water. You can just grab a broom and straddle an armless chair, then simply practice paddling from side to side.
Also, be sure to stretch before and after lake kayaking because make no mistake, it’s a serious workout! Kayaking strengthens your core, arms, back, shoulders, and chest muscles – and it even increases your cardiovascular fitness.
Keep everything dry
First, you have to at least understand there is a possibility that all your gear will get wet. It can always happen. But there are things you can do to seriously minimize those risks. But it’s generally wise to keep an extra change of clothes in the car and avoid bringing too many tech devices.
A dry bag can be a great tool for keeping valuables safe. But many new paddlers don’t use these bags correctly. The correct way to use a dry sack and keep everything dry is to pack the sack about two-thirds full, press the air out, fold the top down, and buckle it. Try not to pack to leave while things are still wet, or be sure to air things out when back home.
If you do this, mold, rust, and other issues will be all over your gear for next time.
Have all the proper kayaking gear and equipment
Being prepared is key. You have to ensure that you have plenty of safety gear, including the following:
- Life jacket
- Dry bag
- Paddle float
- Water bottle
- First-aid kit
If you’re planning on kayaking for more than just one time (which you absolutely should because it’s awesome!), it’s best to take a look at some Kayak Lift and Storage Racks for docks and wall hangers so you don’t have to worry about getting everything set up on the day of your next lake adventure!
The warm weather will be here soon. Make sure you’re prepared for a fun-filled and relaxing kayaking day on the lake!