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Answering Frequently Asked Questions About Kayaking

Kayaking is an exciting water sport that can be a social activity, a great workout and a fun hobby to take up. If you are looking to buy a kayak or kayak paddles and accessories, we have a great range on our website that will get you started on the sport and are also great updates to your kit. For those who want to know more about kayaking, below are some answers to frequently asked questions.

Two people on a two-seater sit on top kayak

What is the Difference Between a Canoe and a Kayak?

A canoe is paddled with a single blade paddle, and the boat is open, with a paddler kneeling or sitting. Kayaks use a two-handled paddle, and there is a choice of sit in or sit on kayaks; sit in kayaks, the paddler is inside a cockpit. Sit on kayaks have the paddler sitting on top of the kayak, more open to the elements.

What Do I Wear?

When it comes to kayaking, it is best to be prepared for the elements. In the summer, clothes and shoes you are ok getting wet are sufficient, though in winter wearing a wetsuit is beneficial, although layering up with thin clothes and bringing a waterproof jacket will do as well. You should always wear PFD for safety in case you get in the water and find yourself in difficulty.

What Should I Bring?

When you head out on a kayaking trip, there are some essentials you need to bring: bottled water, sunscreen, sealable bags for personal items, gloves, a change of clothes and a hat – cap in summer and warm hat for winter. If you want to take a camera on a trip, make sure you can keep it safe when you are not using it.

Will I Get Wet?

It is highly likely you will get wet when kayaking, even if you don’t take a tumble into the water! Your feet are likely to get wet when launching into the water, and your paddles and people paddling around you are likely to splash you too. If you find you are cold, having an extra layer with you will help.

Do I Need Experience?

You don’t need any experience to get started kayaking, and you can easily pick it up. However, it is important you know how to swim at least 25 metres, in case you fall in the water, though the river bank is never far away.

Do I Need to Be in Shape?

Kayaking is a sport and does involve exercise, but you can take it up whether you are in great shape or not. However, some kayaks will have a maximum weight limit as excess weight can lead the kayak to capsize. Nevertheless, the more you kayak, you are sure to get into better shape, which will lead to longer sessions on the water.

Will I Capsize A Lot?

It is infrequent that kayaks capsize, and when it does, it is often due to people acting inappropriately or a sudden or uneven distribution of weight. Our kayaks are very stable and easy to handle, so capsizing should not be a common occurrence.

Is it Safe for Children?

Kayaking is definitely safe for children, and with our two-person sit on top kayaks for sale, you can easily keep an eye on them. We advise that children are aged four or older go kayaking when they are of an age whereby they can understand and follow instructions.

What if the Weather is Bad?

Kayaking can be an all-weather activity, and in the UK you are likely to come across all types of weather when paddling. Though best enjoyed on warm days in summer, you can still enjoy getting out on the water when it is cold, overcast or raining. Nevertheless, don’t go out kayaking when conditions are too dangerous such as when high river levels, high winds or heavy rain are present.

What Should I Do When I Need Repairs to My Kayak?

At Canoe & Kayak Direct, we have stock of spare parts if you can fix you kayak yourself at home. If you find your boat needs some expert repair, we can advise you on the best solution.

Take a look at some of our other blogs on kayaking for more information and if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us:

Top tips for beginner kayakers

The best apps kayakers need to download

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