Kayaking in Norfolk – Tips for Beginners

Kayaking in Norfolk - Tips for BeginnersThere are a lot of opportunities in Norfolk for the active vacationer. One of the best things to do in the area is going kayaking. If you like adventure and adrenaline, kayaking is definitely a good sport for you! But a lot of people don’t want to go kayaking if they’re completely clueless. That is why we have assembled a few tips for beginners. Read this article and you will be ready for your first kayaking experience in Norfolk!

Pick the right kayak

There are a lot of questions you need to ask yourself before you pick a kayak. The most important one is whether you’ll be using it in still waters or fast ones. Another is who do you want to go paddling with – alone or with a friend, or maybe as a group? When picking a kayak, other than this, you need to know the difference between kayak brand and kayak type. The brand is only the name of the kayak, while the type is the essential make and shape of the kayak.

There are many different types of kayaks – recreational ones, fishing kayaks, adventure kayaks, etc. Beginners should usually first try out kayaking recreationally. A typical recreational kayak can accommodate one to three people. The ones that can take one person are called singles, the ones that accommodate two people are tandems, and the ones meant for three people are tri yaks.

The difference between recreational kayaks and, let’s say, fishing kayaks like this one, is that recreational kayaks are wider, have a larger cockpit, have limited capacity for cargo, and are constructed out to rotomolded plastics.

Paddling tips

When you get into the kayak, if you’re a beginner, you might get the urge to ‘dig in’ with the paddle. This is both unnecessary and exhausting. Here are some tips on the proper way to paddle.

  • Lean back and be comfortable in your seat. This both keeps the boat’s stability and forces you to move your torso when paddling – which is part of the correct technique
  • Grip the paddle with both hands so that your hands are over the paddle, with thumbs under
  • With each paddle stroke, you should make a downward motion with one hand and pull, while pushing away the shaft with the other arm. This is similar to the leg motion you do while riding a bicycle
  • Take care not to lean your arms too far forward, as this will cause your back and arms to ache
  • When changing sides, the shaft should be completely rotated so it will start lining up your knuckles with the blade
  • if you don’t succeed at first, just be persistent – it’s more complicated than it looks!

Turning the Kayak Around

Turning the kayak around is easy enough. The main thing to do is to paddle only on one side – the one opposite to the side you want the kayak to turn to. You can also make the kayak go backwards by simply reversing the direction in which you paddle.