If you are interested in the exciting sport of kayaking, then there are some basics you should understand. You can find all the equipment you need at sites like Cabela's and Backcountry.com, but you should have a basic understanding of the sport before you take off on your own.

Take a Course

Kayaking is very similar to white water rafting and canoeing and with any water sport it is recommended that you take a course on safety and maneuverability before venturing out on your own. You can find courses being offered at many waterways that offer water sporting rentals as well as in outdoor stores.

Don't Go Alone

It can be very relaxing to meditate along the waterways in your kayak with complete solitude, but until you are comfortable with the environment, the kayak and the safety rules, it is best that you kayak with a friend or even in a small group. If you are just a beginner, you might not be fully equipped to handle situations that could arise on the water in case something goes wrong.


As with any sport, you should stretch before you begin. Kayaking can be a vigorous workout for those starting out and stretching your arms and legs will give you a great advantage on the waterway. Kayaking is made to create upper body strength so it will work you out fairly well, so take shorter trips to avoid tiring out in the beginning and work your way up to the all day adventures.

Sit in the Kayak Properly

You have to make sure that you are comfortable in your kayak and understand how to properly sit while paddling. Kayaks are extremely easy to tip and having good stability will mean everything once you enter the water. Your core muscles will get a great workout and as you practice, it will become much easier to remain stable in your kayak. Taking a course will show you the proper way to sit in your kayak.

Use Your Paddle

You will need to know the correct way to grip your paddle and the basics of steering your kayak. Unless you want to end up paddling your kayak in circles and wearing yourself out early, take a course and learn the basic rules to paddle control and steering.

Waterway Rules

When you enter into any waterway there will be rules and regulations that need to be followed to ensure safety of yourself as well as the safety of others. Be sure to get a manual of the rules of the waterway you wish to use and understand them before you start your trip. Each waterway will have a different set of rules; oceans, rivers, lakes and other bodies of water all can be different.

The main thing is that you have fun and are safe while enjoying the open water. Kayaking is a fun sport that is great for any age as long as they have the basics.