Flatwater kayaking is a great way to get out on the water and enjoy nature while staying close to home. For those looking for new challenges and an adrenaline rush, the sport of flatwater kayaking is perfect for you!
However, kayakers need to be careful because conditions are very different from bay kayaking. The summer months are the perfect time to try flatwater kayaking.
There are many affordable options for beginner-level kayaks that are designed specifically for flat water environments like lakes and rivers. These kayaks are typically lighter weight and easy to transport, which is perfect for weekend trips. However, you can find a wide variety of flatwater kayaks at your local sporting goods store, but the best option is to go online.
Moreover, flatwater kayaking can be enjoyed by all levels of experience, and it’s easy to find outfitters in your area to help you get started. There are plenty of opportunities to explore and the need-for-speed thrills that come with it! You can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, making them the fastest way to travel across open water. Overall, it is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and wildlife.
Everything You Need to Know About Flatwater Kayaking
When you first learn how to paddle a flatwater kayak, it may seem hard at first. But after practicing on calm waters, you’ll soon get the hang of it! Be patient with yourself and remember that the effort required to move through the water is about equal to walking but without the wind resistance and physical strain.
Kayak in the flatwater is different, where the paddler uses their own legs to propel them through the water instead of using a paddle-like in normal kayaking! This means the paddler must use their upper body strength to move forward or backward without any assistance from the paddles.
Can you use a whitewater kayak on flat water?
Yes! All of the features mentioned above make for a very stable platform on which to ride. In addition, it’s equally as comfortable because of the wide seat and foot loops. Unlike rafting, kayaking offers superior stability to most people, meaning it’s easier to balance your weight between the two sides. You won’t feel as stiff or fatigued after paddling flatwater compared to whitewater. Here’s our cover on whitewater kayaking guidelines.
It’s also quite easy to adjust leg positions according to your preferences since leg loops are already integrated within the design. Your paddles are located along the back edge of the kayak and they’re large enough to accommodate both hands simultaneously. Since flatwater kayaks do require some maneuverability, there is always something for you to try even if you have never done it before.
Flatwater Kayaks Vs Other Kayaks
The main difference between this type of kayak and other types of kayaks is that the kayak itself does not create waves or spray when you move along the surface of the water. While this may seem like it would make flatwater kayaking easier, it actually adds to the challenge because the rider has to stay low enough so as not to kick up spray. To compensate for this, they may choose to work harder while riding the wave.
The Basic Of Flatwater Kayaking
You will be amazed at how much fun you will have when you get into flatwater kayaks at the right level of difficulty. So here is everything you need to know about Flatwater kayaking.
The basic form of flatwater kayaking requires four strokes: forward stroke, backward stroke, downstroke, and upstroke. The name comes from the fact that there are no waves to rise above the surface of the water. However, it’s important to remember that flatwater kayaking isn’t just about staying flat; it’s also about learning how to roll your boat over, which allows you to travel faster than if you were just going straight ahead all the time. This gives both beginners and expert paddlers alike plenty of opportunities for interesting maneuvers and creative tactics.
The Forward Stroke.
First, you stand up in the boat holding onto either side with your hands. Then you push yourself back until you come back to an almost sitting position. Once you’re back in this position, you pull your feet up and lower them back down, then repeat the process. This goes on continuously while you progress forwards. To make it easier, you could hold onto something, such as a tree branch. It’s hard work but it gets easier as you practice. First, get some ideas on things that make kayaking hard.
The Backward Stroke
Now we’ll discuss the backward stroke. Here you first lean forward, keeping your knees bent, and then you slide backward until you come nearly face to face with your front tire. If you are a beginner, try standing on tiptoes. Next, you pull your toes back and lower them toward your bum.
Features Of The Flatwater Kayaks
Here we list the most common features of a Flatwater kayak. A few of these boats even include side pockets for carrying small things. Some are built for touring or fishing but some are only meant for paddling around lakes and rivers. All of these models differ slightly in size, shape, weight, and performance.
Some models may weigh approximately 25-35 pounds each and others may weigh up to 45 pounds. Most manufacturers provide a wide range of options, allowing consumers to pick between light and strong materials and durable components.
A lot of flatwater kayaks come equipped with compartments in the hull for storing extra gear. Some even include a fish box. Other models lack this feature altogether as they are intended to sit low enough in the water to keep the bow pointing towards the front.
Many recreational flatwater kayaks offer lots of storage space for personal items. Side pockets, rod holders, and other accessories may be available. Others come with little room for anything except a seat cushion and footrests. Still, many recreational flatwater kayaks are designed for everyday paddling. Some models are even made specifically for camping and hunting excursions.
Sizes And Shapes Of Flatwater Kayaks
When selecting a model, it’s important to think about whether the kayak has a rounded or flared hull. Round hulled boats tend to handle better rough seas and large swells. They’re also easier to maneuver, especially for new flatwater paddlers. When looking at shapes, consider whether the kayak has high sides or low ones. This usually depends upon what type of waters you’ll be paddling.
Types Of Flatwater Kayaks
There are different types of flatwater kayaks. Each type has a unique feel to it and each one suits a certain kind of person better than others. And these are surf kayaks, Freestyle kayaks, Multi-purpose kayaks, and sit-on-top kayaks. Let’s take a look at what they do best and why you should choose them over other options.
There are two types of kayaks available for flatwater kayaking: inflatable and rigid-hulled.
Inflatable Flatwater Kayaks
Inflatable kayaks are made primarily from PVC tubing joined together with seams. They’re relatively inexpensive and easy to transport. Their drawbacks include their lack of durability and the possibility of punctures.
Rigid-hulled Flatwater Kayaks
Rigid-hulled kayaks are made from high-quality carbon fiber, Kevlar, and other materials. However, rigid-hulled boats are usually heavier than inflatables, but they tend to hold their shape better.
Setting Up A Flatwater Kayak
To set up a kayak for flatwater, all that you need is to attach the footrests and place them in the proper positions. Next, put up the stretchers and secure them to the sides of the kayak using bungees.
After securing the footrests, place the pads under the footrests as far back as possible. If you want to have a more comfortable ride, you can use cushions instead of pads. These should fit snugly against the footrests. Finally, add paddle holders and place them next to the seat. After doing all this, tighten the straps holding the pads and paddles in place.
If you plan to paddle in large rivers where the current is strong, you’ll need to carry extra paddles and gear. Make sure your gears don’t get wet by storing them in waterproof bags.
Do You Need a Specific Kind of Kayak for Flatwater Kayaking?
Many recreational flatwater kayaks come equipped with high sides. They allow water to run out over the top so that flat-water paddling isn’t too difficult. Most recreational flatwater kayaks will work just fine if you’re just starting out or want something easy to store and carry. However, some people enjoy paddling in deeper water and would benefit from having lower sides.
There are even kayaks that are shaped like fish and are known as “fish” kayaks. Fishy-shaped kayaks make flatwater easier because there’s less resistance when the paddler moves forward or backward. For beginners, however, it’s best to start with an upper-body position.
The amount of storage you’d like varies from person to person. When choosing a flat-water kayak, try to look for one with enough room.
Choose the Right Boat for Flatwater Kayaking
There are many different designs of kayaks used to practice flatwater techniques. Some are designed specifically for flatwater kayaking, and others are meant for surfing or even whitewater. There are also several different ways to position your feet inside the boat.
The most important thing to consider when buying a flatwater kayak is the price. Although we do not recommend purchasing a new kayak if you are just starting out, it’s a good idea to keep your options open until you know what kind of paddling you plan to do. Once you’re ready to commit to a particular style or brand of kayak, try to find a well-used model so you can save money.
Once you’ve decided which models you’d like to purchase, check online to see how much these kayaks cost.
Flatwater Kayaking Tips For Beginners
When an experienced kayaker shares his or her story with you, you will also feel very joy, excited, and excited to start performing kayaking. Here are some firsthand tips or ways of preparation for beginners:
- Set up your mind: First of all, you should remove all of your hesitations or fear from your mind and determine whether you are going for kayaking or want to learn flatwater kayaking. Pay the whole concentration here.
- Should know the basic activities: You should know swimming before kayaking in the flat water. Because it is almost a precondition. Do not try to practice in a turbulent wave at the very beginning level.
- Physical fitness: You have to come out from your stress. Standard weight based on your height, stamina, and flexibility of your body is necessary for this. Keep your knee and body in a good position. At the same time, you will also get yourself physically and mentally stable after you have started this flatwater kayaking.
- Need proper guidance: Learn the basics and practice the technics with patience. Therefore, you would learn, what you should do in which conditions. You will also learn the easy methods first. After that, you will learn the difficult paddling styles, booking, or hard strokes.
- Feel comfortable: You should not feel scared or tense when you are kayaking. Feel passionate and comfortable and just enjoy the whole time.
- Be careful about safety measures: Obviously, you should keep protective or safety kits or measures with you. You can have a look at the kayak safety guidelines from here.
- Avoid over-excitement: Do not get over excited and keep your speed at the limit at the beginning level.
- Inform anyone about your kayaking: As you want to get the flavor of adventure your kayaking, but still of course you should inform any of your family members or friends about when you are going kayaking. You should not go alone kayaking at the very beginning level. Keep at least one partner with you.
- Learn paddling style: You should learn proper and different paddling styles.
- Use proper clothing: You have to use proper clothing and costume which get dry quickly after getting drenched. But be ready for the adventure!
I love flatwater kayaking because I don’t have to think about the current or how fast I’m going. Instead, I just enjoy watching all of nature’s beauty pass by me as I float along on a peaceful lake or river with my friends and family.
Lastly, kayaking in the flatwater is amazing and you can enjoy it over a long weekend. We have planned some great places to go by road trip, so it’s not that difficult, though the roads are not as good as on water so it makes it more complicated. But definitely worth the effort.