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Kayaking Tips for Beginners

Kayaking tips for beginners

So, you’ve signed up for your first adventure race or you’re considering it and you’re thinking ‘I must be mad, I’ve never been in a kayak before’ – well never fear, you are not alone!

The joy of the kayak sections is: 

a) we provide the kayak so you don’t have to 

b) it’s only 1km long so it’s a short and snappy part of the event, and 

c) it’s great fun! 

You’ll jump in with the next person who comes along, into the double sit-on-top kayak and off you go! (there are 5 single kayaks for the first five males and females as they are competing for a prize). 

Here are some other tips to help you on the day and in any training, you might be undertaking: 

Sit straight: If you sit straight or lean slightly forward, this will give you more balance in the boat. Also, have your knees slightly bent. 

Paddle grip: Your hands should be shoulder width apart. There should be the same amount of paddle shaft and blade beyond both of your hands. If you’re right-handed keep your right hand tight and left hand loose on the paddle. By doing this your right hand will rotate the blade. 

Forward stroke: Put your paddle in at your toes and pull the back as far as your hips. When you are pulling back on one side you should push forward with the opposite side at the same time. All the power should come from the torso. Try to find a rhythm with your partner in the kayak. 

Turning a kayak: Paddle in a wide arch with the paddle on the side opposite to the way you want to go. 

Talk to your partner: The person at the back of the kayak should inform their partner if they are not in rhythm (as they can see!). 

Relax and enjoy: The more you relax the less chance you will fall in! 

Many of our participants say this is the most fun part of the day, so go for it!


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