What You Should Know Before Taking Your Family Kayaking
Kayaking, as a recreation, can be fun and exciting. There is no downtime on this activity as it can send your adrenaline on higher levels suddenly and unexpectedly. It is not boring even if you are in calm waters. The picturesque scenery around you is worth witnessing, after all.
Things can even get better if you are bringing your family with you. There's a lot of good things that you can experience when you are on the water, and the closest people to you are there. The memories you can seize throughout the adventure will be undoubtedly priceless.
But of course, you have to consider that kayaking is not close to being ordinary. Therefore, there are things that you need to establish with your family before you start rowing your boat toward the stream. If you don't want to get surprised or appalled to the first kayaking adventure with your family, let’s check the guidelines below.
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1. Who To Bring
Kayaking is a recommended recreation for any ages. However, this doesn't mean that you are just going to allow your child to go boating without any supervision. In the world of kayaking, it is prohibited to bring a child if you are not adequately experienced in the said activity. If your group are all first timers and amateurs, carrying a child is greatly discouraged.
If there is a seasoned paddler with you, make sure that they are the ones that will keep your young ones safe. It is highly suggested that the ratio of adult paddlers to children is one is to one. Of course, there is also a necessity that the children have sufficient trust to their adult members. Otherwise, fear and panic would strike in anytime.
2. Choosing The Place
Kayaking can be done on virtually any bodies of water. But still, there are some limitations that you have to consider whenever you are selecting the place to do the activity. Professionals recommend that novice paddlers should look for waters that are calm and have moderate current.
This specification changes drastically as you are gaining experience in the sport. The more technical expertise you attain, the more challenge you want to face. However, the story will eventually take a 360-degree turn if you are taking your family with you. If all of them are new, you must stick to the entry-level specifications. In this way, you can be safe all the time.
The first options that you have here are bays and rivers because their currents are always minimal. Going to rivers that have slow and peaceful flow is also recommended. As long as your family members feel calm on your route, things would be okay throughout the trip. The number of destinations in which you can go will broaden eventually.
If you are going to encourage your family to do kayaking, make sure that you discuss with them the time limit per each trip. You see, every route should be taken on a minimal time. Nobody would ever tell you to stay in the water for two to three hours. That's too long already.
Given that your family is all first timers, you need to be generous and moderate to the time you are going to be on the water. In this way, they won't get tired and exhausted. Moreover, if you can go beyond the prescribed duration that you set, your members will be happy and satisfied. They would eventually look forward to the next trip.
Specifically, seasoned enthusiasts only suggest a 30-minute to 1-hour trip for first timers. It doesn't matter if you are mostly adults and kids. I do recommend that you follow the said guideline.
It is also essential that your kayaking should be done in short loops, especially if you are with children. Furthermore, you have to consider their experience with boating, physical strength, and swimming expertise. If they lack on any of these aspects, you should consider limiting the time that you have to spend afloat.
4. Skill Building
Kayaking is not an activity in which you can be excellent on your first try. Usually, it will strain and make you feel uncomfortable on your first try, especially if you are not comfortable in the water. Bringing your family to this kind of adventure is an excellent idea if they are water lovers. But if not, you need to train them first.
If you have kids with you that are not yet good at swimming, enroll them in swimming lessons. Various community schools offer courses like this, so you should never have any difficulty on teaching them. Don't worry. Learning how to swim is not tricky as what other people think it is. Your kids can easily engrave this skill into their system. Once they become good swimmers, you can already sign them for kayaking lessons.
To improve their proficiency in the activity, tell your family to do some exercises. If they are interested in kayaking, they will never turn down your offer. Paddling on the boat requires serious physical strength. Their bodies and stamina should be prepared so that they can propel the boat properly. Running and weight-lifting are among the routines that you can do before the big day.
5. Canoe Or Kayak
Kayaking does not necessarily mean that you are going to ride on a kayak. In this sport, you can also ride a canoe. Choosing between these two requires some consideration. You need to know the ability of your family and the adventure that you have in your mind. Moreover, you also need to assess the comfort level of your paddlers. Of course, you also have to ensure that your kids will get the opportunity to paddle the boat.
For children that are 4 to 7 years old, choosing a kayak is a good idea because it offers a comfortable space for sitting. However, their propulsion is limited. Therefore, you can't navigate with them to far distances. Meanwhile, children that are under 7 can choose canoe. The latter is stable and provides a lot of safety gears.
A standard canoe size can fit up to three children and two adults. If you have many members, multitasking would be a lot easier. Some will paddle while others will do the navigation with the help of GPS tools.
Kayaking is an activity that can yield a lot of good memories. It can also develop the physical and social aspect of an individual, as it trains you how to coordinate your muscles and with the people around you. Because of this, it is becoming one of the most popular recreations of many families. Joining this bandwagon will not cause any regrets.
Did you learn from this guide? If you have some questions and suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below!