Your First Time Renting A Kayak

Posted on: 30 March 2022

If you've never kayaked before, renting a kayak is definitely the way to go. Most rental places charge a reasonable fee, and they rent paddles and flotation vests along with kayaks — so you don't have to invest in any gear. Finding a kayak to rent is just the first step, though. Here are a few tips you'll want to follow as you rent and paddle a kayak for the first time.

Choose a properly sized paddle

A properly sized kayak paddle should be a few inches longer than you are tall. Some rental places will just hand you a paddle without really sizing it. But it pays to take a minute, see how long the paddle is, and ask for a different one if the paddle doesn't seem to be the appropriate length. Kayaking with a too-long paddle can be overly tiring, and a paddle that's too short may leave you paddling too quickly without moving through the water as quickly as you could.

Get into a rhythm

As you paddle, try to maintain a consistent rhythm. Sometimes, it helps to hum a little tune or chant something like "right, left, right, left" as you paddle. After a few minutes of paddling, maintaining the rhythm will start to feel more innate. This should help prevent you from tiring one side of your body faster than the other.

If you're going to fall out of the boat, let yourself

As long as you're wearing your life preserver, falling out of the kayak should not be a big deal. Trying to stay in the boat when it's clear you're going to fall anyways often just leads to more injuries. So, when you feel you're going to fall, pull your arms and legs in and let yourself go into the water. Don't try to brace yourself with your arm, as this could lead to more injuries.

Turn back before you're tired

If you paddle out onto the lake or down the stream and wait until you're tired to turn back, you may not have enough energy to return to the rental place. So, you really want to make sure you turn back before you're feeling tired. It's totally okay to keep your trip extra short the first time around. You can always do more next time. One to two hours on the water is plenty of time for most first-time paddlers.

With the tips above, you should have a lovely first-time kayaking experience. Ask the employees at the kayak rental company for more advice, if needed.

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