Beginner Kayak Tips: How to Have a Great Time on Your First Kayaking Trip
Kayaking can be a fun and adventurous way to explore the Virgin Islands. Gliding above the sea life, putting your feet up and your hands behind your head for a little sun bathing, stopping at different beach locations to explore…it never gets old no matter how experienced you are. When it comes to kayaking, you don’t have to be an expert to make great memories, and it’s the perfect way to mix exploration with relaxation and FUN. If you’re a beginner and you want to try kayaking for the first time, check out these tips to make your adventure more enjoyable.
- BRING Sunglasses, Hat, & Sunscreen – This may seem like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised how much a simple sunburn can ruin the rest of your vacation. With the water reflecting the sun in your face, it becomes vital to apply a couple of layers of sunblock (use a good larger SPF number, too) to your face, arms, and legs. The tops of your thighs are a spot you’ll want to get the most. Wearing a hat will definitely keep your nose from becoming red like Rudolph’s, and sunglasses will keep your squinting down to a minimum while protecting your precious eyes from harmful UV rays.
- DON’T BRING Your Phone, Camera, & Expensive Devices – Unless you have some kind of waterproof case for these items, our advice is to keep them off the boat until you feel more comfortable. There are plenty of great waterproof cases out there for your devices, so if you want to take pictures and show your friends on Instagram what you’re up to, make sure you have proper waterproof protection for your devices (and these cases should make your devices FLOAT).
- Sit Up Straight (At First) – When kayaking for the first time, it’s best to get in the habit of sitting straight up at a 90-degree angle. When you get more comfortable on the boat, you’ll be able to put your feet up and goof around – but at first keeping a rigid core and working on form fundamentals is the best way to go.
- Use Your Torso – Not Your Shoulders – Just like In paddleboarding, you’ll want to twist your torso when you paddle so as not to use ONLY your shoulders and arms. By engaging your core, you’ll find yourself paddling longer and faster than if you were just using your arms and shoulders. You’ll avoid being sore the next day, too!
- You Fell Out? Don’t Panic – Falling out of the boat or flipping the boat is so common for beginners, and it usually becomes part of the fun! Never panic, because it is relatively easy to get back on your boat. First and foremost, flip your kayak back to the upright and correct position. Next, locate your kayak paddle (it floats), and place it on top of the kayak. After that, look around for anything that might have fallen off your boat (see tip #2). Finally, slowly work your way back up onto your kayak from the side of the boat. If you are having a really hard time, simply and calmly swim your boat back to shallow waters where you can more comfortably get seated again. The main thing is: don’t let the fall ruin your fun! Laugh at yourself, make it silly, and get back on.
- Have Fun! – Kayaking is a great way to explore everything that the islands have to offer. It gives you a fun way to travel and see all the amazing sights and wildlife, and as we said before, you don’t have to be an expert to have a great time on the kayak. Virgin Island EcoTours offers a wide variety of kayak tours for you to choose from, so be sure to check them out and book your trip today!