If you have never been kayaking, now is a great time to try out a new hobby. The good news is that kayaking is easy enough for nearly anyone to master. With just a little practice, you can feel safe and confident paddling through the many waterways in and around Siesta Key. Still, first-time kayakers may have a few questions before getting started. Here are some of the most common:
- What is the right kind of kayak for a novice kayaker to rent? Kayaks may all look the same to a first-time paddler, but there are actually several distinct types of kayaks, each designed for specific conditions and paddling styles.
Recreational kayaks are typically wide and very stable, making them a great choice for a new paddler who wants to spend a few hours on calm waters. Although most first-time kayakers don’t need different types of kayaks until they are ready for longer trips, a touring kayak offers additional space to store food and equipment. They are significantly narrower and longer than recreational kayaks and are often used for open-water kayaking. Sit-on-top kayaks are equipped with a low, wide seat and wide design, resulting in an exceptionally stable craft – ideal for kayaking with a child or fishing from the craft. The best way to ensure that you have the right kayak is to tell the outfitter about your experience level and planned trip. They’ll be happy to recommend the best kayak for the situation.
- Will you be kayaking solo or in tandem? Kayaking is a great solo hobby, but first-time kayakers may wish to try out paddling with friends or family. In this case, they have the option of a solo kayak or a tandem kayak that is equipped for two people on one craft. Renting a tandem kayak can be a practical option if either party is anxious and they would feel more confident with a partner. Tandem kayaks are also the best choice for paddling with a child who isn’t capable of kayaking alone. Even if both kayakers have the strength and ability to paddle solo, many experienced kayakers sometimes prefer the companionship that tandem kayaking affords. There is no wrong decision – you can always rent a different kayak on your next trip.
- Should you choose a guided tour or paddle by yourself? Renting a kayak will get you onto the water, but from there you will have to decide what you want out of the experience. A kayak rental company often offers lessons along with the rentals, ranging from beginner to advanced, as well as skill-specific clinics. Taking a lesson can make your kayaking excursion more enjoyable, as you will learn to better and more confidently maneuver through the water. If you want to see a lot of wildlife or visit some beautiful spots, a guided trip may be the best option. Renting a kayak and participating in a guided tour provides instruction and well as insightful information about the environment and history surrounding you.
- Are you prepared to go kayaking? If you decide to pass on a guide or lesson, it is vital to be well-prepared. The good news is that kayak rental companies can help with all the measures necessary for first-time kayakers to have a safe day on the water. In case something unexpected happens, they will know where you launched, where they plan to pick you up, and the color and model of the kayaks you have rented. They will provide you with a PFD (personal flotation device), but you may also wish to pack a small first aid kit, a flashlight, and a whistle – and make sure your cell phone is charged and water-safe. Even if you are only renting a kayak for a few hours, ask for a map of the area you will be kayaking and ask about when either low or high tide will be arriving.
We Have Everything First-Time Kayakers Need
If you are looking to rent a kayak on Siesta Key, Ride and Paddle is the only call you need to make. Our expert outfitters will help you choose the right kayak and provide the maps, information, and tips you need to have a great day on the water. Call today to learn more about our kayaks, lessons, and tours of Sarasota Bay.