I have to admit that as a kayaking instructor I prefer a manual over a professor.
Almost all my time spent learning early sports I used books and videos and inevitably got attached to years of practice through reading dozens of books and going through content by experts to learn everything I’ve learned.
It is true that is often difficult to find a good kayaking instructor. But it’s invaluable to be able to learn from a person, and not only learn from their experience but also use their skills to guide yourself and teach yourself.
Sea kayaking is a very complacent sport. We can kayak with a 90% awful technique and the kayak will still move forward. Under these circumstances, it’s very difficult for a beginner to become good at kayaking without first getting the input and the value out of a good education.
Until you get into trouble. Of course, or go rowing with good kayakers you will not know the value of this education.
Kayaking requires the mastering of a series of disciplines before we can consider ourselves real kayakers. We have to not only dominate the movement of the ores, props and twists, but also the tides, winds, waves and currents. Also to become increasingly adept at kayaking, we must know about meteorology, cartography, digital and traditional navigation, first-aid, communications, and camp and kitchen fluency.
Are you already thinking about taking a course? Congratulations! It’s one of the best investments you can make. It will allow you to start with a boost forward and also to save money by avoiding mistakes when it comes to investing in equipment. A simple basic one-day course will put into perspective what you need to buy in terms of brand, design and specification. We tend to spend a fortune on buying equipment and too often we don’t actually use it to its full potential. There is nothing worse than buying something that we don’t use to its full potential and sellers [who usually are not kayakers] don’t have many scruples when it comes to recommended uses and benefits or are sometimes removed from reality just trying to make a sale.
There are many cases of kayakers frustrated by a poor choice of equipment and a bad technical start. On the other hand safety is a huge benefit. A thought in the summer is in a small placid lake you won’t need too much technical knowledge and help, but in a large lake or sea a good kayaking instructor on safety may well save your skin or that of your fellow adventurers.
Finally, there are the body mechanics- as in any sport the wrong repetitive or poorly executed effort can lead to injuries.
Good body mechanics and technique will not only give you many years of enjoyment, but will also add to the health benefits and promote the growth of useful muscles.
Today we can find in our midst. Several sea kayaking schools offering courses, instruction, and training for all levels. Whether for recreational purposes or for international certifications for those who want to get better or get certification needed for their job, these are perfect.
Even so, and despite the fact that like all learning not everyone likes to be taught a course training can be a huge benefit.
If you are part of this group of people an alternative for you would be to join a club. If you join a club you can learn from experienced kayakers while doing this you can also initiate studying using videos and asking questions whenever you can.
Here you can find some useful points of interest and club listings in your neighborhood.
Alex R. Thompson Alex is a teacher and owner of a kayaking club with over 20 years experience kayaking in Austin Texas. We thank Alex for taking the time to share his experience with us.