Man Splashes Wave Kayaking

IMPROVING YOUR KAYAKING SKILLS

Improving your kayaking technique ensures you can paddle faster and more efficiently with less strain on your body. When you go kayak fishing, you’ll have to multi-task. Here are some tips you can follow to help improve your kayaking skills.

SCHEDULE YOUR TRAINING

Kayaking is a physical activity. If you train for it, you’ll undoubtedly improve. Training for kayaking is fun, especially if you have an end goal. What you need to do is to set up your training schedule. If you’re not that busy, a couple of days during the week will do. If you are, once a week will suffice. When training, do sets of forward and reverse sweep 360 degree turns, as well as reverse paddling, draws, side slips and sprints. Those are the skills you need to master.

PRACTICE FREESTYLE CANOEING

Freestyle canoeing allows you to focus on conserving your energy. It’s about quickly turning your canoe with minimal effort. And to top it off, you only get one blade to pull it off. You’ll need to learn this so you can apply it to your kayaking techniques. If you’re kayaking more efficiently, you can focus more on fishing, thereby increasing your chances of getting better results the next time you go kayak fishing.

EXPERIENCE IS KING

The main difference between a good and bad kayaker is the amount of time in the seat. Even if you take all the courses and lessons you can afford, if you don’t get out on the water in all kinds of conditions, all that training will do nothing for you. You need experience. That’s why you need all the seat time you can get to practice and refine your techniques.

MAINTAIN GOOD POSTURE

Maintaining a good posture is key if you’re to use your body efficiently. When kayaking, sit straight, relax your shoulders and open your chest so you can breathe easily and efficiently. You can also better use the large muscle groups of your torso and legs. Don’t lean against the backrest. If you keep practising this, you’ll notice the improvement.

KEEP YOUR BALANCE

Kayaks come in different shapes, so choose a kayak that’s comfortable and stable enough for you. There are two types of stability you’ll feel when in a kayak, the initial stability and the secondary stability. If the kayak feels stable when you sit straight up in it, that is called initial stability. Secondary stability, on the other hand, is the stability that helps you not to fall into the water. You’ll feel it after you have edged the kayak quite a lot, so that water is reaching the spray skirt or more than that.

The initial stability is somewhat of a disadvantage in waves since it tends to be gripped by the waves. Secondary stability is what you must aim for. When you have the right kayak, you can practice the sideway sculling draw and the bow draw. These exercises are good ways to practising balance.

STAY IN SHAPE

Lastly, you have to be in shape to kayak properly. If you’re in excellent condition, you can paddle longer without getting tired. This is a necessity for all kayakers and will be improved automatically by paddling.

If you feel that you’re not that fit, exercising might be a good idea. You can also easily stay in balance in the kayak if you’re not tired. And if in case you’d you fall in, you won’t be as short of breath, and you’ll be able to hold your breath for a while. So, make sure to stay in shape and do lots of cardio exercises.

Going kayak fishing utilises many skills including balance, core strength and coordination (aside from your fishing skills of course). Kayaking is an activity performed on any body of water, including fast and slow-moving rivers, oceans and lakes, which are all great fishing spots. So follow the tips mentioned above and become a better kayaker and a more efficient angler, too.


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John Steele
johnsteele@dinga.com.au

John loves cooking at home and outdoors, travelling, fishing and discovering a new life. He's got loads of experience he wants to share while he adventures through retirement.