Kayaking is a great way to explore areas of the world that aren't usually accessible. The best place to learn how to kayak is on a lake. And like any activity, the more you practice, the better you'll be.
Start on Dry Land
Practice getting in and out of your kayak on dry land. Practicing the strokes on dry land helps you learn the proper movement.
Proper Hand Placement
Hold the paddle just a little bit wider than your shoulders. This will be the most effective and relaxed placement. Make sure your grip is centered on the paddle.
Don't hold the paddle too tight. This will cause your forearms to hurt, and your fingers and hands to fatigue quickly. You only need to grasp the paddle lightly and loosely.
Use Your Torso
It's a common misconception that only your arms are used to paddle. By using only your arms, you tire quicker. The muscles in your core are much stronger and can last longer on extended trips. To use your core when you paddle, rotate your torso as you paddle.
Use Equal Force
Make sure that as you paddle, you use equal strength on both sides. If you use more force on one side than the other, you will not go straight and instead waste energy fighting to not go in a circle. .
Article Written By Casey Knopik
Casey Knopik grew up in the foothills of Mount Rainier and currently resides in the Seattle, Wash. area. He graduated from Eastern Washington University with a degree in journalism. Knopik has written for "The Easterner," "Sports Northwest Magazine" and many local newspapers. His articles appear on Trails.com.