Learning To Kayak

By: Kent Johnson

The answer is that all of these options can work, and havefor thousands of paddlers. Learning on your own can betricky, and you'll probably make every mistake in the bookbefore you get comfortable, but it certainly is a viableoption. Just make sure you're in reasonable aerobiccondition, have a modest amount of smarts and common sense,and are willing to be patient.

A good kayaking instructor, on the other hand, can make thewhole process much easier--and safer--and it doesn't have tobe a formal instructor from a paddling shop or business.

If you have friends or family who are experienced paddlers,consider asking them for some informal instruction. Just letthem know that you're just starting out, and that you'llneed a lot of patience and understanding for the first fewexcursions. If you have access to a pool that allows kayaksin the water, this can provide a great way to get someinitial training, especially in getting your roll mechanicsdown.

If you don't know any experienced paddlers, consider joininga local kayak club in your area.

These clubs andorganizations can be great resources for all kinds ofpaddling information, tours, instruction, and networking.You may even find someone in the club who's a certifiedinstructor or who's willing to help a newbie get their feet(and all their other parts) wet.

And then, of course, there's the option of finding acertified kayaking instructor. Ask to see the person'sresume, and any certifications and formal training he orshe's had. And before you whip out your checkbook, ask tosee your perspective instructor on the water. Does he or sheseem skilled and confident when handling their kayak? Doestheir equipment look to be well maintained? Do they explainwhat they're doing and why they're doing it?

Most of all, how does this person come across? Do theyappear to be patient and approachable? Do they answer yourquestions quickly and with confidence? Is this someone whomakes you feel comfortable? Without a good rapport, afterall, it's almost impossible to get the most out of anyinstruction, paddling or otherwise.

In the end, the best approach to learning how to kayak is upto you. If you feel comfortable learning on your own, go forit. Just make sure to take your time and always think safetyfirst. If you decide to go with an instructor, take the timeto choose wiselyFree Web Content, and get the most for your trainingdollars.

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