You’ve finally got an opportunity to go kayaking and you can’t stop thinking about how fun it’s going to bed. But you keep thinking about something else too…

What if I flip over? 

Well, we’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen. We love kayaks so much that we started renting them and we want to make sure your first time is as fun as possible. 

That’s why we wrote this article answering ” Is kayaking hard for beginners? “!

Let’s take a look if flipping over is something you should be afraid of.

Do kayaks flip over easy?

We’ve all seen the funny movies where people riding down the river flip over and get laughed at.

And we’ve seen the scarier scenes where people flip over and get trapped.

Good news! 

The first one is probably not going to happen.

And the second one DEFINITELY isn’t going to happen because we don’t put beginners in spray skirts.

Kayaks are usually pretty safe and resistant to tipping over. It’s not like a bicycle where you’re balancing, it’s more like one of those hard-to-tip glasses with the curved bottoms.

How likely you are to tip really depends on

A. How hard are you TRYING to tip

B. What kayak you’re using

C. What the water is like

If you’ve come down to Sarasota to do some kayaking, and you call us for the gear, then you’ll be safe from B & C. 

The only way you’re tipping over is if you start reaching for rocks on the river bed.

Now if you take the kayaks down a rapid water river and you’ve got an ultra-light boat… good luck not tipping over!

Do you need to be fit for kayaking?

This question isn’t as straight forward as you’d think since everyone has different definitions of being “fit”.

We like to compare it to riding a bicycle. 

Do you need to be “fit” to ride a bike? No, but it sure does help!

Kayaking isn’t a high intensity workout and is in fact down at an easy, strain-free pace. If you do any amount of consistent swimming, bicycling, or hiking then you’re already in good shape for kayaking. 

We even have quite a few clients that are in their 70s that do kayaking, so hopefully that gives you a sense how what fitness level you’ll need for a day on the water.

If don’t do regular exercise then you’ll either need to reduce the distance you paddling or take more frequent breaks.

How long should you kayak for the first time?

We don’t want to sound like a broken record here, but it really does depend on your fitness level. 

It also depends on the weather!

Does it feel great to be out on the water during a nice summer day?


Does the heat from the sun make you tired much faster?

Also, absolutely!

So while the idea of heading out at dawn at kayaking till dusk has a fairytale feel to it, you’re going to want to be a bit more realistic.

We do have a trick for getting the most kayaking out of your first experience though…


You can head out in the morning for a 6-10 km (2-3 hours) trip, stop for lunch and a long break, then loop back!

We put together a list of the best paddle boarding spots in the Siesta Keys, and they work great for kayaking too!

This method will allow you to get the most out of your first kayaking trip.

You’ll want to avoid being TOO overly ambitious though because running out of steam will ruin the experience.

We almost never see it happen because we talk to our new guests when they rent, but it has happened.

Without going into detail, the guests that DON’T try to take a 10hr trip their first time have a FANTASTIC trip…

So we suggest following their path.

What do I need to know before kayaking?

We want to preface this by saying the following list isn’t meant to scare you. Most of these things are taken care of for you, or covered when you rent your kayak.

  1. Don’t go by yourself. As a general rule we won’t rent out kayaks to beginners that are going to go solo. Not because kayaking is super dangerous but because having a partner makes things extra safe.
  2. Bring extra clothes. This is especially true if you’re heading out in the morning, the water will probably be quite cold and extra layers will feel great. But by the time the sun comes all the way up you’ll want something more like what you’d wear on the beach.
  3. Choose the right boat. You’re probably saying “But how do I know which boat to pick?”, and the truth is you don’t. But simply knowing that the slick racing boat looks cool but will tip over is enough to keep you from making any expensive mistakes when you decide to buy a kayak.

Now there are tons of other things you should know, but if we covered every single point then this article would turn into a handbook!

While it’s not absolutely needed, we would still recommend that you look into taking a kayaking class before you get out on the water. 

Not only will it make you feel more confident, and make your trip safer… but it’s also a great way to meet others that are just getting into kayaking. 

And trust us, you can never have too many kayaking friends!

Kayaking in Sarasota

If you’re in the area, or plan to be soon, you should come by our shop Ride and Paddle!

We serve downtown Sarasota and surrounding areas as well as Lido Key, Longboat Key, and plenty of other nearby areas.

We’ve been renting our paddle boards, kayaks, bicycles, and scooters for years.

Plus, we also offer kayak classes and kayak tours!

If you want to have fun in Florida, we give you the gear to do it!

Give us a call at (941) 346-1797!