If you’re in the process of planning your next vacation and you’re wondering about possible new activities and adventures you might want to try, consider kayaking. While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, there are a lot of good reasons to include it in your list of options. One of the great things is that kayaking is available in many locations around the world, whether you’re going to be near the ocean, sea, rivers or lakes. Almost any decent sized body of water will offer an opportunity for you to try kayaking. And for the most part, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly and easily you pick it up.
Often times people think of kayaking as the little bullet type of shell shooting down some major white water rapids. While this is certainly one approach to kayaking, it is best left to the adrenaline junkies who really know what they’re doing. This is not the type of recreational activity we’re talking about here (at least not for the moment).
Another form of kayaking that may come to mind involves very long rigs that almost look like the kind of boat used in rowing races in the Olympics (skulls). These are often called ocean kayaks, though they can just as easily be used on large lakes. These too take a bit more skill and practice. The nice thing for people who use this kind of kayak is that you can store a significant amount of gear inside the hull, so that you can go on multi-day camping trips bringing along all (or most) of your normal camping supplies.
But again, that is probably not what you want to be considering at this point, if you’re a beginner. Instead, you want to look at the basic, sit-on-top variety of kayaks. These are usually made of a single piece of hard, blown plastic with a somewhat recessed area in which you sit. Usually you will also have some kind of back support such as a foam back rest attached to each side of the kayak. This makes things much more comfortable as you can lean against it.
With this variety of kayak, you are not ‘strapped in’ with a spray skirt or any such thing. You are simply sitting inside what is essentially a narrow dug out canoe made of plastic. The beauty of this kind of kayak is that they are very easy to learn how to use and they are very stable. The risk of tipping one over and falling into the water are really quite small as long as you’re not doing anything ridiculous. Many people who were nervous or hesitant about trying one of these little boats out have come back with enormous smiles on their faces after going for a little spin on the water. Many of them make the comment that it was much easier than learning to ride a bike! Plus, they had no where to fall, so that was even better!
Being in a kayak like this opens up an entirely new world for people who normally find themselves limited to enjoying the water from the shore. Sitting low on the water – practically IN the water – you get a sense of being one with it. With no motor to make distracting noise or sails to flop around and mess with, many birds and other wildlife are curious and approach you, giving you one more new level out outdoor enjoyment.
For those people who fall in love with this form of recreation, it’s nice to know that it’s not terribly expensive to get your own kayak, and it’s fairly easy to transport them on a car. Many car bike racks have adaptors that make it easy to convert it into a kayak rack. So if you get the taste of kayaking on your next vacation, now you know that you can most likely bring it home with you to enjoy in your own neck of the woods.