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PADDLING BASICS - GETTING STARTED

 

Know what you want to do:

Why are you kayaking? Where are you kayaking? These factors will influence what gear is right for you.

 

Pick a Boat:

Whitewater – short and maneuverable;
Recreation – stable and open;
Touring/sea – long and narrow, fast but hard to make quick turns;
Cover different boats we have and their best uses.

 

Pick a Paddle:

Recreational blade vs. Touring blade;
Materials:

Carbon;
Fiberglass;
Aluminum;

Paddle Size.

 

Pick a Personal Flotation Device (PFD):

Law requires you to have one with you – recommended that you always be wearing one;
Should fit snugly but allow free movement. Kayaking specific PFD’s are more open in the shoulder;
When cinched down pull up on shoulders – should not rise above ears;
Consider that there are women’s specific models available;
Do a fit demo with a volunteer.

 

Proper Attire:

Consider water temps as well as air temps;
Avoid cotton/Wear quick drying clothes;
Sun protection/eye protection;
Check weather predictions and be prepared for all possibilities.

 

Other gear to consider:

Paddle Leash;
Bilge Pump/bailing sponge;
Paddle float;
Compass;
Sprayskirt;
Signal whistle;
Spare Paddle.

 

Always let someone know where you will be.