4 Important Kayaking Tips for Beginners

Tips for kayaking or canoeing in a group

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If you’ve ever spent any time out on the water, whether it be kayaking, boating, skiing, canoeing or sailing, you would probably agree that the more people that tag along, the merrier. Well, kayaking is no different. If you’re looking for a great activity to do with your friends this summer (and a great outdoors workout), grab a canoe (or rent one) and head out on a river. Have fun out there!


River signals

If you’re kayaking with a new group, you should clarify what system of signals you are going to use before getting in the river. Clarify whether pointing is positive (directing to safe waters) or negative (toward obstacles), how to signal stop, etc. so that all paddlers are on the same page. Your river trip can quickly devolve into a comedy routine if no one is on the same page communication-wise.


Taking Stock of Your Equipment

As is the case with any outdoor activity, it’s important to take inventory of your it might be appropriate to discuss what rescue and/or safety equipment each paddler is carrying on them or in their boat in case of an emergency.

VA Kayaking

Put-in/Portage Etiquette

A general rule of thumb is one person at a time. Once at the bottom, hang around for a minute, help collect gear or spot someone on their climb down. When you’re learning any new skill, courtesy and attentiveness to others is key to avoiding a clash.



Be aware of fellow paddlers

When paddling or carrying your boat be aware of it and make some room for the next paddler. Avoid paddling too close to the person in front of you in case they miss their line. It also helps make it easier to avoid head-on collisions should someone get stuck in a hole. It’s important to not get too far spread out, however, which can make communication difficult. Also, be sure to take a head count at each and every drop. Use a buddy system to start and consider splitting into smaller groups if there is a large number of paddlers.

Rent a Kayak or Canoe with RIT

Ready to spend some time on the water? Up a creek without a paddle (or even a canoe for that matter)? Visit Rent It Today! The most comprehensive rental resource online, RIT can provide listings of rental canoe and kayak companies in your area. For more information, visit www.rentittoday.com!

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