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How to Paddle Your Rental Kayak Correctly

How to Paddle Your Rental Kayak Correctly

Paddling a kayak is harder than it looks, even over calm still waters. It is, after all, why kayaking can be such a workout. But many kayakers make paddling harder for themselves because, unbeknownst to them, they’re not paddling correctly. In order to get the most enjoyment from your kayak rental, take these tips to paddle correctly so that your excursion can be invigorating but ultimately satisfying.

Paddling From a Kayak, Not a Canoe

Paddling a canoe and paddling a kayak are two very different things. When paddling a canoe, you’re often holding two oars, each on their own side. You’re also more likely to hold the paddles close to your body. This isn’t very effective for kayaking, and can actually lead to your body being exhausted by the exercise sooner than you’d like. When kayaking, you have one paddle and you move it from one side to the other for balance.

Paddle From the Core, Not the Arms

Another way to tire yourself quickly is by putting the emphasis of weight on your arms. When paddling a kayak, you actually want to paddle from your torso. Start at your core and move outward: your arms will go through the correct motions as a result. This is not only the most efficient way to paddle without overexerting your body, but helps to strengthen and tighten your core, which is great for kayakers who are looking for the health benefits of kayaking.

Relax Your Core

However, paddling from your core is often confused with locking your core. Many kayakers feel that by sitting in a rigid position with their torso and shoulders locked, they’re putting themselves in more control of their stroke and better utilizing their core. In fact what’s happening is that you’re preventing yourself from utilizing your core, and you’re likely going to give yourself muscle soreness. Instead, sit straight but relax your core so that it will be more flexible. This will help you to focus your strength from there as well as exercise those muscles.

Don’t Neglect Your Legs

Yes, your legs are a part of your paddling as well. In fact, along with your torso, your legs should be doing much of the work strength-wise. On the inside of the kayak, you’ll be able to feel foot pegs. Keep your legs together and push against the foot pegs as you bring the paddle down in the water and push back. Try not to lean back against the backrest when you do so, as this will both hamper your posture and possibly be dangerous if you’re leaning back and hit rocky waters.

At The Rental Store 30A, you can trust that our kayaks will never look faded or flimsy. Choose from our selection of up-to-date, durable kayaks, from single seaters to double and triple seaters for the family. How you paddle from there is up to you. If you’re interested in a kayak rental yourself, call us at (850) 260-0001.