Kayaking is one of the fastest-growing pastimes, especially in sun-drenched places with beautiful water like Sarasota. You might be tempted to try kayaking on your vacation, but you may feel tentative – is kayaking hard? Is kayaking safe? Will I be able to do it? These are understandable questions, but any concerns are typically unfounded. Yes, any new activity has a learning curve, but kayaking is not as challenging as you might fear. Here is some essential information for beginners to give you the confidence you need to get out on the water.

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Is Kayaking Difficult?

Kayaking is not hard, even for beginners. Only a few necessary skills are required, which can be mastered fairly quickly in calm water. These include getting in and out of the kayak and learning effective paddling techniques. Most people, even younger and older individuals, quickly learn these skills. Kayaking will use some core and upper body muscles that aren’t typically called on, but you do not need any notable athletic ability to enjoy a day of paddling.

Expert Tip: Beginners to kayaking should rent or borrow equipment a few times before investing in a new kayak and all the associated gear.

A very common concern for beginners is that the kayak will tip over. However, once you’re seated in the kayak and out on the water, the chances of it tipping over are pretty small. Of course, certain conditions may increase the odds of tipping the kayak – such as bad weather or significant waves – but beginners can easily avoid these situations by choosing appropriate days and calm waters to kayak. Those who have any fears of falling in the water may choose relatively shallow waterways so that they can stand if they tip the boat.

Is the Sport Safe For Beginners?

Kayaking is a very safe activity overall, as long as proper precautions are taken. First and foremost, donning a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) is a requirement before launching a kayak. Newcomers to the sport should choose a calm body of water (the bays, canals, and lagoons of Siesta Key are typically ideal), go out with at least one other experienced kayaker, and carry plenty of water and sun protection – as well as a fully charged phone in a waterproof container.

Those who participate in kayaking should know their limits regarding physical activity. Kayaking can provide a workout, after all. The chest, upper back, forearms, shoulders, and core muscles will all be used to propel the kayak through the water. Beginners should keep their trips shorter at first until they understand the physical requirements of paddling for several hours. Again, this is doable for most people – but you may get a little sore initially.

You Should Definitely Try Kayaking!

Kayaking can be intimidating at first, but it is not hard—in fact, it is one of the best ways to explore and enjoy the outdoors. First-time paddlers are often overwhelmed by just how much they love the experience. The scenery, the sun’s warmth, and the serenity of nature easily make up for any trepidation. And while you may be a little tired at the end of your paddle, you’ll be glad you decided to go out on the water.

At Ride and Paddle, we are happy to help beginners get started—from choosing the right equipment to recommending places to explore based on their skill level. We also offer Sarasota Bay kayaking tours led by professionals who will make your first kayak trip unforgettable. Call today to reserve your kayak and get ready for a new adventure.