So, You Are Ready To Try Sea Kayaking!
Awesome! At East Coast Outfitters (ECO), we specialize in taking first timers on the water and we enjoy getting people hooked on paddling. ECO has trained sea kayaking guides on the east now for about 17 years and some of them are the most experienced guides/instructors on the east coast. Now we know you will have some questions, so let’s help you out by answering some of the basic questions we get from people that come kayaking with us.
Do I need to take a lesson?
Not necessarily. If you come on a kayak tour with us, our guides will give you a brief, but thorough tutorial so that you can control your kayak enough so that you will enjoy your tour. If you decide that you want to peruse paddling even more – paddle with your friends, paddling around the cottage – then yes, we suggest you find skilled instruction from a place that offers Paddle Canada courses. Ask us! We know some excellent instructors! Want to know more about Paddle Canada? Go here –> www.paddlecanada.com
What clothes do I wear?
Great question. Clothing greatly depends on temperature. I might be more comfortable wearing more clothes when it’s cold out and less when it’s hot. The main idea is wear clothing that is comfortable for you while kayaking. You will be moving your torso, shoulders and arms a lot, so clothing that allows for fluid motion is key. Materials is important as well. What we tell our customers over the phone before competing to ECO is avoid wearing clothing made from cotton (when cotton gets wet it stays wet for a long period of time and that can take heat away from your body – and yes, when kayaking you are bound to get a little wet) and dress in layers – thermal/wicking layer, insulating layer and a wind breaking layer. This way. If you find you are too warm you can always remove a layer. By July, we find that board shorts and a rash guard are appropriate enough, but everyone is different, so find out what works for you.
Weather will be factor as well. If it’s windy, I might want a wind breaking layer or gloves for my hands – even on a warm day. Our guides are trained to assess the conditions and recommend what clothing will be appropriate for the weather of the day!
I am a beginner, I don think I can paddle for a whole half day. Will I be ok?
Yes – is the short answer. To elaborate: when we go on our tours we generally take it slow. Our guides will do their best to teach you proper technique before getting on the water, but it will all start clicking for you when you are actually sitting in your boat and paddling that there’s a lot of movement going on with your body. Our guides will try and emphasize powering your paddle stroke from your torso (your abs or your core), but the forward stroke is a difficult stroke to master so that you can paddle for long periods of time. If, after your tour, you are interested in learning more about the forward stroke we can tell you how!
Also, we like to take breaks. During a half day tour we aren’t paddling for four hours straight. We take many little breaks on the water and talk about the local flora and fauna and we take a longer break on a local island and have a little snack, stretch out our legs and enjoy some of the breath taking view of Lower Prospect.
Our best advice: go in a double. Call up your friends, grab your partner and explore all the bays an inlets at ECO. If you’re a little tired, no worries! Your partner will do the work for a little while. You want to take a picture and you’re worried about your balance, not a problem! Doubles are extremely stable due to a wider hull and length of the boat.
Those are just some questions we get ask by our customers and we know there will be more, but it is always good practice to get as much information as possible before getting on the water. So, if you have more questions, please ask. If you are reading this from our web site, head on over the the contact page and drop us an email. If you are reading this off of Facebook or Instagram, please fell free to ask right in the comments sections.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and we hope this will be a continuing series of short blogs about kayaking and that the topics here will be generated by our customer base. See you on the water!