How To Kayak- A Comprehensive Guide For Beginners

A kayak is a small toy that allows you to play on the water. Allows to feel underwater creatures. Provides a sense of beautiful scenery. Enjoys walking, jumping and swimming with water waves. If such scenes call you, then must you read our guide on how to kayak.

Kayaking requires some preparation so that you can paddle safely. It is optional to buy a kayak at the start. Even if your budget doesn’t allow it, there are other ways you can do it and kayakidea can help you in this matter.

Borrow A Kayak From Friend

It is very suitable that you have a friend who already knows how to kayak. You can borrow a kayak from him and can also go out for kayaking.

Rent A Kayak 

Taking a kayak on rent is a budget-friendly way to begin kayaking.  But in this way you get a limited amount of instruction and gear. 

Sign Up For A Tour Or Class

You can also sign up for a page that offers a kayaking tour and you will have all the necessary things that you need for paddling. They will also give in depth instructions.

Kayaking Gear And Clothing 

Suppose we are in a classic kayak where we have hatches, gear and a cockpit. You definitely find a wide and stable boat that doesn’t have a cockpit if you are joining a warm water or weather. 

Essential Kayaking Gear:

If you take a kayak on rent or borrow from your friends, you should take these items. 

  • Taking a perfect size pdf( personal flotation device ) that coast guard approved.
  • Select the right size paddle for you.
  • Taking a bilge pump.
  • Containing a spray skirt. This is optional on warm and calm days.

Proper Clothing 

If you are going to warm water paddling you definitely take these items.

  • Taking a non binding and non cotton swimwear and swim shorts.
  • Check out a rash guard top.
  • Tip : Any non cotton rush Gurage top will work.
  • Having neoprene footwear
  • Choose the best sun shielding hat.
  • Buying a life jacket vest or fleece depends on whether. 
  • What’s used for rain jackets and spray jackets depends on the situation/whether. 
  • Take pants.
  • Water suit is essential when the weather is colder than 60 F. If you are wondering what to wear when kayaking, read our full review.

Personal Items

If you are aware of ten essentials you definitely familiar these items. 

  • Having a great amount of water
  • Plan for longer tours take lunch and snakes
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm, and sunscreen 
  • Don’t forget to take a whistle for signal
  • If you are slow and want to go back, then take a headlamp
  • Dry bags for taking mobile, charger and many other you don’t want to get wet 
  • Watch 

How To Adjust Your Kayak

This is the positive point for comfortable paddling that your kayak is fully adjusted. If you have an adjustable kayak you will enjoy the stable kayaking experience throughout traveling. Before you start paddling, effectively adjust your kayak.

  • It is ok to tighten your butt contrary to your seat back. You can balance your seat as you feel comfortable. You can sit upright for better power and balance.
  • Put your feet balls on pegs.
  • Bend your knees strongly with the cockpit on each side. 

How To Launch Your Kayak

This is the most crucial point to know how to launch your kayak. Take care of your hull from dragging especially sandy, cement and rocky surfaces.

  • Request your friend to transport your kayak to your put in point. keep your kayak on the shoreline. If you are launching a longer kayak or in a river you can launch it in a parallel way, as this is perfect for that situation. Otherwise you launch your kayak in a perpendicular way.  When kayaks are set perpendicularly, their bows are pointed away from the shore, while their stern are pointed toward it. Remember that the bow and stern are both afloat fully.  
  • Set your paddle blades in front of the cockpit under the deck line. 
  • Catch the cockpit and survey the kayak. 
  • Seize your cockpit and set up the butt comfortably on the seat of the cockpit. Now you can straighten your legs and also put your feet on the cockpit.
  • Put your butt back into your seat. Keep your feet on the footpegs. 
  • Now use your paddle to move forward to prevent your kayak from previous incoming waves.  You can also set up a spray skirt if you have one.

If you get out from the kayak, set your steps of reverse and triggers, and use your paddle to move in the launching position.  If you are confused about how to get in from the dock you can check out our review on how to launch a kayak.

How To Hold Your Kayak Paddle

Hold your paddle in both of your hands and place it on top of your head. Your hands are ready to get started. Bent your elbows at 90 degrees. Follow the given points to hold your kayak in an efficient way.

  • Set your paddle blades inline together.
  • Longer edge will point on the top of each blade.
  • Set the scooped side of paddle blades in front of you. 
  • Set your knuckles on the top of the paddle for an in line process.
  • Take a deep breath and keep calm.

Basic Kayaking Strokes 

Strokes and navigations are the basic things to do while kayaking. These are the parts when you are learning how to kayak.

Forward Stroke

Forward stroke is mostly used by every paddler. So use a good technique that gives you benefit. 

  • Turn your body and place the blade toward the boat next to your feet.
  • As the blade moves, pivot your torso. Follow the blades in the water with torso and eyes. 
  • Kick out the blade from water when your hands get as far as behind your hip. 

To repeat, you simply immerse the out-of-water blade next to your feet. (Your torso will already be wound correctly.)

Technique tip: To maintain the paddle shaft at a comfortable angle as you stroke, “check the time” on an imaginary watch on your upper wrist.

Reverse Stroke

It is also known as braking stroke. If you stop somewhere, you can go back to it. Forward stroke opposite of reverse stroke.

Sweep Stroke

Used to turn your kayak. Repeating the forward stroke in the same direction enables you to turn calmly the other way. It’s like a forward stroke except that you change the direction of the blade to carve a wider arc around the sides of the boat. Sweep stroke turns the boat on the opposite side as you turn the stroke on the right side and it will turn the boat on the left side.

Rudders And Skegs


If you are using a boat with a rudder then you can control your boat using foot pedals. The rudder sits at the back of the kayak. rudder helps you to move your kayak left or right.if you want to turn your boat right push your foot peg to the right similar to push your foot peg left and your boat move in the left direction.  


We use skeg for better tracking. It’s a tracking fin that is fixed and drops down from the bottom of the hull. The skegs are widely used in windy conditions. They help us to straighten our direction on the water.

Beginners mostly used skeg and rudders incorrectly. Most of the time they forget to pull up both skeg and rudders in shallow water. This point needs to focus as it can be damaged at all. To deal with this situation you can leave them unemployed. Without rudders kayaking will increase your paddling techniques. And if the situation is too difficult such as windy and stormy, you don’t need to paddling without an expert guide, so that can explain to you how to kayak accurately.

Some Safety Precautions For Kayaking

When going kayaking, you need some essentials to bring with you, such as clothes and gear. Else if you need to follow some safety measures.

  • If you are unable to take a guide along with you, you can take a person who can provide you assistance and summon somebody to help.
  • Make a togetherness pact
  • Know the distance limit of your kayaking
  • Research hazards
  • Aware of your water temperature 
  • Don’t forget to take pdf 
  • Carefully using a spray skirt
  • Check your whistle 

It is suggested to take rescue classes if you ever want to kayak. Learn how to navigate, cover tides, surf and currents so that you are able to deal with trouble. 

Tips For Your First Time Kayaking

Planning to go kayaking without any help or guide,take it easy.

  • Select small and calm water places such as ponds that have no more powerboat traffic.
  • Avoid mucky, rocky and steep shorelines. Select the gentle sloping sandy beach to launch your kayak. 
  • Select a sunny and windless day. 
  • Start paddling in breezy conditions.
  • It is better to plan your trip for one day. Longer day trips may cause fatigue.


It is not necessary to be a pro kayaker to start kayaking . If you ever want to do kayaking, you can read any good guide. A person can do everything, just have the courage to work, the passion and the will.

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