When it comes to kayaking, there are a few golden rules that every beginner should follow. By adhering to these simple guidelines, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. So, what are the three golden rules of kayaking?
1) Separate your body’s actions
When you are just starting kayaking, it is important to get comfortable with the idea of separating your upper and lower body movements. This means that there should be a distinct separation of movements at the hips.
At first, you will probably become most comfortable with this separation when you are leaning forward and backward. However, as you become more experienced, you will find that this separation is also key to balancing your boat on edge and staying ahead of your boat as it spins.
So, if you want to improve your kayaking skills, make sure to work on perfecting the separation of your upper and lower body movements.
2) Use your torso’s strength
As an experienced rower, I can attest to the importance of torso rotation. When done correctly, it allows you to utilize the power of your entire upper body, rather than just your arms and shoulders.
This not only makes each stroke more effective but also reduces fatigue by engaging more muscles.
The key is to maintain a strong core throughout the entire movement. Start by hinging at the hips and keeping your back straight as you reach down to grasp the oar. As you begin the stroke, twist your torso toward the direction of travel.
This will help you to engage your stomach and lower back muscles. Continue twisting until your opposite shoulder is facing forward, then reverse the motion to complete the stroke.
Remember to keep your core engaged throughout the entire movement for maximum effect. With practice, you’ll be able to harness the power of your entire upper body and make each stroke count.
The torso is the most essential element of the body in terms of producing power in a kayak stroke. Kayakers create power by spinning their torsos, which include three elements: the winding up of the body, the planting of a pivoting blade, and the unwinding of the body. Turn your upper body at the hips in the direction you wish to travel. This will get your lower back muscles and abs involved in the stroke.
Your kayak should be turned 180 degrees so that it’s facing the open water. Your body should now face away from your kayak. Plant the paddle blade of your reversed paddle firmly into the water as a pivot after your body is wound up. Draw on your stomach muscles to return the body to its (unwound) position of rest.
The urge to return your body to its resting posture is known as unwinding the body. One good example is that of an elastic band, which expands the farther you pull on it.
Similarly, the more you wind up your torso, the more powerful your stroke will be. Remember to keep your arms straight and use your stomach muscles to initiate each stroke for maximum efficiency.
3) With an active blade, you can keep control of the situation
Today’s whitewater kayaks are extremely responsive, making them very simple to control. As a result, they’re more susceptible to being pushed about by minor river features than previous models were.
Smaller boats don’t track or maintain their speed as well because they can’t navigate through waves or different currents with the same ease as longer vessels. The only way to control them is to have an operating blade in the water. This implies getting your next stroke in the water as soon as possible after completing your current one.
A blade in the water allows you to take an active part in determining what your boat will do rather than reacting to events that occur. Maintaining control in even the most difficult circumstances can be made easier if you keep this rule in mind while paddling.
So next time you’re on the river, make sure to keep your paddle blades active and you’ll be sure to stay on course.
Is there anything more in terms of kayaking rules?
Of course, there are many more rules and techniques to learn to become a proficient kayaker. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.
- Always wear a life jacket: This one is non-negotiable. No matter how good of a swimmer you are, or how close to shore you are, always wear a properly fitting life jacket while kayaking.
- Dress for the occasion: In cold weather conditions, it’s important to dress for immersion. This means wearing a wetsuit or drysuit, as well as layers of synthetic or wool clothing to keep you warm in case you end up in the water.
- Check the weather: Before heading out on your kayaking trip, be sure to check the weather forecast. This will help you determine what clothes to wear and whether or not the conditions will be conducive to a safe and enjoyable trip.
- Plan your route: It’s always a good idea to have an idea of where you’re going before you set out on the water. This way, you can be sure to stay within your comfort zone and avoid any potentially dangerous areas.
- Bring safety gear: In addition to a life jacket, be sure to bring along a whistle, flashlight, and first-aid kit. These items could come in handy in the event of an emergency.
Now that you know the golden rules of kayaking, you’re one step closer to enjoying this amazing activity safely and responsibly. So get out there and start paddling!
Last updated on July 16, 2022 by Duncan Barrett