Winter kayaking & tricks for beginners - everything you need to know
To begin kayaking, you will need your own kayak, paddle, and personal buoyancy aid (PFD). It is important to always wear a life jacket when kayaking as it will keep you afloat in the event of a capsize accident. It is wise to choose a kayak that is appropriate for your skill level and the type of water you will be paddling in, as well as the activity you most want to do from a kayak. For example, as a beginner, you want to start with a stable kayak that is easy to maneuver.
Before you get out on the water for the first time and try to make it all by yourself, it's a good idea to learn some basic kayaking skills, how to hold and use a paddle, how to sit in a kayak and how to steer the boat. It is also important how you enter it and how you move around in it. You can learn these skills from a friend who has kayaking experience, you can watch a video online or book a class and follow the instructor.
Once on the water, the most important thing is to stay calm and focused. Kayaking can be a challenging and physically demanding sport, especially the first few times, so it's important to get moving and take breaks when needed. Always be aware of your surroundings and be aware of potential hazards such as rocks or other boats.
All that has been said so far is many times more difficult in winter, simply due to the frigid air and water temperatures and the general uneasiness and worry that comes with shorter and gloomier days. This is not to say that kayaking is not possible in winter. On the contrary, the picturesque, snow-covered landscapes make for a completely different experience than you already know.
Kayaking in winter
Kayaking in winter can be a challenging but rewarding experience. It is important for beginners to understand the potential risks and take proper precautions before venturing onto cold, cold water. The best we can do is give you some tips and tricks so that you can have a safe and enjoyable time kayaking in winter. So get ready. Here you come.
1. Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature
Even on a relatively warm day, the water temperature can be much colder than the air. It is important to wear a wetsuit or dry suit to insulate your body and keep you warm. Better safe than sorry.
2. Wear gloves and a hat
Your hands and head are particularly vulnerable to the cold, so protecting them is important. Waterproof gloves and a hat provide warmth and comfort, allowing you to enjoy the day more and longer.
3. Use a splash skirt to keep water out of your kayak
A splash guard is a piece of waterproof fabric that attaches to the cockpit of your kayak and prevents water from getting in and getting you wet. This is especially important in winter when the water is cold and your body can lose heat quickly. It's no fun being dunked in cold water!
4. Use a bilge pump to remove any water that splashes into your kayak
A bilge pump is a small hand-operated pump used to remove water from a ship. It's a good idea to have one on hand in case you need to use it. Colder water requires quicker maintenance than regular summer temperature water because it does more damage.
5. Stay visible to other boats and watercraft
In winter, visibility can be affected by fog, snow and other weather conditions. It is important to wear brightly colored clothing and use lights or reflective tape to be more visible to other boats and watercraft.
6. Use a float plan
A swim plan is a document that includes your planned route, the number of people in your group, and other important information. It's a good idea to leave a float plan with a friend or family member in case something goes wrong and you need to be located.
7. Be aware of local weather conditions
Before you hit the water, check the weather forecast and be prepared for potential hazards. Be prepared to turn back if conditions become too dangerous.
8. Be prepared for emergencies
It is important to carry a first aid kit, whistle and other safety equipment in case of an emergency. It's also a good idea to carry a signaling device, such as a flare or mirror, in case you need to attract the attention of other boats or vessels.
9. Practice self-rescue techniques
Knowing how to do a self rescue is important in the event you capsize or become separated from your kayak. This may include getting back in your kayak, staying with your kayak, or swimming ashore. Practice these techniques before hitting the water.