If you have decided to go kayaking with your friends, please read this list. It can save you a lot of unnecessary drama. It can definitely save you quite a bit of money. People who go kayaking often make at least one mistake. They do not plan to but they end up screwing up along the way. This costs them in one in one way or another.
Here are the eight most common kayaking mistakes that may happen in your trip. Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. There are many other mistakes you could make but these are the most common ones.
Picking a tricky river
This might seem like common sense. I mean, who in the right mind as a beginner kayaker pick a raging river? That is usually a non-starter. The problem here is that you might be picking a river that seems calm most of the year but in that precise time frame that you use it, it can get quite tricky.
Also, there are rivers and other bodies of water that by-and-large look calm but they do have some nasty spots. So, be aware of this do some thorough research on the body of water that you are going to be kayaking on. There might be details that you are not aware of.
Using a badly fitting life vest
A lot of people experience this problem because they just borrow a vest. They think that a vest is a vest. In other words, as long as it floats they are good to go. This is a serious problem because if you have a badly fitting life vest, two things can happen. First of all, it might be so uncomfortable and inconvenient that you just do not use it. This is a bad move. Second, it might cramp your style as you paddle. It might actually be quite uncomfortable when you are paddling. Neither of these situations is good. Therefore, do yourself a big favor, make sure to bring your own life vest.
Selecting the wrong kayak
Kayaks can come in a wide range of sizes and designs. One common mistake is to buy a kayak that is too big. This leads to the kayak being unmanageable. Similarly people may also make mistake of buying a kayak that is too small.
This leads to a very cramped feeling and it can be quite uncomfortable to go kayaking when you feel like you are just squeezed in to such a tiny space.
This is a serious issue because if it is too constricting or too loose or too wide, it can impact your balance. You really cannot afford to keep on tipping while paddling a kayak. It can definitely make your trip less fun as well as more dangerous.
Timing your trip
There are lots of bodies of water scattered throughout the United States. There are tons of national as well as regional parks. You definitely have a lot of options to choose from. With that said, make sure you factor in the weather as well.
It is said that it is usually not a good idea to kayak when it is snowing. Also during certain times of the year, particularly the spring, there might be a massive water flow and this can make what would otherwise be a fairly mellow kayaking trip more challenging.
Also, kayaking in the rain can get a little tricky. Just because it is not snowing, it does not mean that you are out of the woods just yet in terms of safety.
Picking a crowded spot
Now there are lots of great spaces in the United States to kayak and unfortunately you pick a crowded spot, this is when it can get annoying really quickly.
Can you imagine kayaking down the river with hundreds of people kayaking at the same time? It is like you are stuck in traffic. You might start wondering why you decided to get on the river in the first place because you are trying to escape traffic.
You are trying to relax and unwind but it feels like you are just stuck in a traffic jam. So, pick a spot based on whether it gets crowded regularly or not. There are many out-of-the-way places that almost that get very few visitors.
Going with the wrong person
This is kind of uncomfortable because none of us are perfect. But you have to understand that there has to be a nice fit between your personality and sensibilities and the person that you are kayaking with.
Can you imagine kayaking in a two-person kayak with somebody who is just talking and talking?
For example this person is telling his whole life story as well as the biographies of everybody he knows, this can get annoying very quickly. On the other hand, you would not want to go on kayaking with somebody who is like a corpse.
It is just like you see a body of a person that blinks and breathes without making any sound. When you are in the kayak with that kind of person, it is like you are talking to yourself.
So figure out what kind of company you are looking for and then ask your friends and co-workers accordingly.
Expecting the trip to be quick, fun and perfect
It is very hard to be disappointed if your expectations are set up properly. The problem is a lot of people set up all sorts of expectations for themselves in their trip and they end up being disappointed.
From a purely objective perspective or a third-party perspective, it seems like everything went well but these people think that it was an absolute disaster because they wanted the very best experience. So do yourself a big favor, if you do not want to be disappointed, try to minimize your expectations as much as possible.
Selecting the wrong pedal
Nothing is more annoying than feeling that your paddle is not very efficient. Unfortunately, this is precisely where you will find yourself if you pick a paddle that does not fit your paddling style or the specific water flow where you are going into.
There are certain paddles that would be great for very flat and placid lakes and rivers. But if you use those types of paddles in a river where there has to be quite a bit of activity, you might be ending up making things much harder for yourself.
Keep the common mistakes above in mind so you that you can avoid committing them. They actually can negatively impact your experience.