Kayak on a Lake

Kayak on a Lake: Things You Need To Know As A Beginner Kayaker

If you are looking for an outdoor exercise where you can enjoy your summer with friends as a beginner, you can try to kayak on a lake. It is the best recreational sport you can do on the water. 

So, what is about Kayak on a lake? What do you need to know? To kayak on a lake means to paddle a small boat called a kayak. It is also interesting to know that you can kayak on the lake with little or no age restrictions. The age restriction is dependent on the locale and the rental company’s policies.

But before we get fully into the subject matter in this article,  you need to know the best Kayaks for your ride as a beginner. Sit back and enjoy this article!

What Categories Of Kayaks Are Best On The Lake?

When choosing a kayak for lakes, there are a few factors to consider. Here are some kayak types that are generally well-suited for lake paddling:

Recreational Kayaks: Recreational kayaks are user-friendly and great for beginners and casual paddlers. They are stable, easy to maneuver, and typically have a large cockpit for comfortable entry and exit. Recreational kayaks are designed for calm waters like lakes and slow-moving rivers.

Sit-on-Top Kayaks: These are popular for lake paddling due to their stability and versatility. They have an open cockpit design where you sit on top of the kayak, making them easy to get on and off. Sit-on-top kayaks are great for recreational use, fishing, and even swimming.

Touring Kayaks: If you’re looking for longer distances and more advanced features, touring kayaks are worth considering. They are designed for speed and efficiency, with a sleeker hull shape for improved tracking. Touring kayaks often have a larger storage capacity for overnight trips or carrying extra gear.

Inflatable Kayaks: Inflatable kayaks are highly portable and convenient for lake use. They can be easily inflated and deflated, making them ideal for those with limited storage space. Modern inflatable kayaks are durable and offer good stability on lakes.

Tandem Kayaks: If you prefer to paddle with a partner or want to bring along a friend or family member, tandem kayaks are a great option. They are designed for two people and often have larger capacities for additional gear. Tandem kayaks are a fun way to enjoy the lake together.

Fishing kayaks: If you love fishing on the lake, this type of kayak is for you. They are specifically designed for fishermen. Offering stability, comfort, and functionality for fishing in lakes. 

Fishing kayaks usually have a wider and more stable hull design, allowing anglers to stand up and cast their lines without tipping over. It comes with some fishing equipment too. 

Best 3 Kayaks On The Lake

Higher primary stability kayaks are more likely to capsize in rough seas. However, in smooth water, kayaks with increased secondary stability are more likely to capsize. Here are three types of best kayaks for you to know. 

1. Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 kayak

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 kayak

Using this kayak gives you a perfect match for your paddling. As you glide through the waters, its unparalleled stability and effortless maneuverability make it an amazing companion. It gives you easy access to the unrestrained beauty of nature.

Features

  • Length is 371 cm, width 74 cm, weight is 22 kg and the weight capacity is 147 kg
  • Has a long sleek hull 
  • Spacious cockpit
  • Adjustable footrests, knee paddling and a 3D adjustable foam padded sitter for comfort

2. Intex Excursion Pro kayak

Intex Excursion Pro kayak

Prepare to go on an exciting kayaking ride with this kayak. Its high-pressure inflation chamber and removable skeg make you glide through the water with full control of your voyage.  

You should use it when the lake is calm and the weather is sunny to avoid struggles with the wind. It is a true jewel among kayakers!

Features

  • The inflatable type of kayak
  • Length is 385.5 cm, width is 91 cm, weight is 17.7 kg and weight capacity is 180 kg.

3. Dagger Zydeco 11 kayak

Dagger Zydeco 11 kayak

If you are looking for a true game changer for your kayaking experience, it is a perfect match. Its responsiveness and superb tracking make it one of the best kayaks on the water. It gives you access to steer the narrow waterways and scour hidden corners of the lake with relief.

You cannot have a smooth summer or recreational experience on the lake if you don’t get the right equipment to kayak on the lake.

Features

  • Length is 340 cm, width is 70 cm, weight is 22 kg and weight capacity is 147 kg
  • Adjustable footrest, large cockpit with knee pads and adjustable seat
  • Keeps your gear dry due to the hatch on the rough bulkhead
  • Has a bungee cord for packing your dry belongings

The Equipment You Need To Kayak On A Lake

The Equipment You Need To Kayak On A Lake

Below are some of the equipment you’ll need to kayak safely.

  1. Kayak: This is the main equipment as without it, others make no sense. Choose a suitable kayak from the list above. Getting a good one assures you of better protection and experience.
  2. Paddle: Choose a paddle with a suitable length and blade design. Lightweight paddle-made materials are often preferred over others due to their efficiency and reduced strain on the arms.
  3. Personal flotation device (PFD): Ensure you put your life jacket on while kayaking. It must be United State coast guard approved and made specifically for paddling activities.
  4. Safety equipment: Put on a head helmet, and goggles for safety. Go with a whistle to attract attention in case of danger. Also, go with a bilge pump or sponge to remove any water that enters the kayak on the lake.
  5. Clothing: Wear your clothes according to weather and water conditions. Put on moisture-wicking and quick-drying clothing. Also, pack a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a dry bag to keep personal items safe. 
  6. Navigation Tools: Carry a waterproof map or GPS device to help you navigate and stay aware of your location on the lake.
  7. Footwear: Choose water-friendly footwear, such as water shoes or sandals, to protect your feet and provide good traction while getting in and out of the kayak.
  8. Dry Bags or Cases: Use waterproof storage options to protect your belongings from water damage. Dry bags or cases for keeping items like phones, keys, extra clothing, and snacks dry during your kayaking trips.
  9. Kayak Accessories: Depending on your needs, consider additional accessories like kayak deck bungee cords for securing gear, a kayak cart or a trolley for easy transportation. Additionally, kayak fishing gear if you plan to fish from your kayak.

While this list covers some essential gear items, it’s important to assess your specific needs and the conditions of the lake you’ll be kayaking on. Adapt your gear accordingly to ensure a safe and enjoyable kayaking experience.

Dangerous Conditions in a Lake While Kayaking

When kayaking on a lake, it’s important to be aware of potentially dangerous conditions that can arise. Here are some hazardous situations to watch out for:

Strong Currents: Some lakes have strong currents caused by inflowing or outflowing rivers or underwater topography. These currents make paddling difficult and potentially lead to capsizing or loss of control. So avoid areas with strong currents if you’re not experienced in navigating them.

Strong Waves: Large waves can occur on lakes, especially during windy conditions or in open areas. These waves can make kayaking challenging and increase the risk of swamping or capsizing. Be cautious when encountering strong waves and adjust your paddling technique accordingly.

Strong Winds: Strong winds can create challenging conditions on a lake, making it harder to control your kayak and potentially pushing you off course. 

Check weather forecasts before heading out and avoid kayaking in strong wind conditions, especially if you’re inexperienced or the winds exceed your comfort level.

Squalls: Squalls are sudden and intense storm systems that can develop rapidly over a lake. They bring strong winds, heavy rain, and potentially dangerous conditions. 

Keep an eye on weather conditions and seek shelter immediately if a squall is approaching. It’s best to wait for the storm to pass before continuing your kayaking trip.

Lightning: Lightning poses a significant risk when kayaking on a lake during thunderstorms. Water is a conductor of electricity, making you vulnerable to lightning strikes. 

As soon as you hear thunder or see lightning, seek shelter on land and avoid open water until the storm has passed. It’s essential to prioritize your safety and not take any chances with lightning.

Techniques On How To Kayak On Lake

Do you want to know how to kayak on a lake as a beginner? I guess you’re excited to try out this sport. Note that as a beginner, you do not need any previous experience to kayak on a lake. All you need is to know the guidelines, techniques, and how to swim.

Get ready to learn!

  1. As you enter the water, look for a good launch place preferably a gradual slope or a place set for kayak launch. Be careful of rocks, and submerged obstacles that can damage the kayak or cause you to capsize.
  2. Next is to pick up a paddle of proper length. Then know how to hold the paddle. The shaft is the part you hold on a paddle.
  3. Position your hands on the shaft so that they are slightly further apart than shoulder-width apart. If you’re just starting out, it’s important to remember to always use the ideal paddle grip.
  4. The side of the paddle that should be facing you should be the concave side. Keep both knuckles pointed forward as you place your knuckle blade into the water. 
  5. Keep a loose yet secure grip on your paddle shaft. This makes you not to exert too much energy while putting more power into your paddle.
  6. Your back should be straight as you sit in the kayak and your legs in front of you and ensure you do not feel uncomfortable. Bend your knees slightly and rest them against the side of the kayak.
  7. On the footpegs of the kayak, place your legs and bend your knees slightly. You can adjust your footpegs if your knees are so close to your body or your legs are too straight.
  8. Fasten your abdominal muscles as you bend forward and rotate your torso to drop the paddle near your feet in the water to move forward.
  9. Jerk the paddle back toward you and remove it from the water. This should resemble one swift motion in the water from your feet to your seat. Use this strategy on both sides.
  10. Put your paddle in the water and hold it there if you want to stop your kayak. Your kayak will drag against the water, slow down and stop.
  11. If you want to swerve to the left, paddle only on your right and vice versa.

Safety Tips For A Beginner To Follow While You Kayak On The Lake

For you to be safe and enjoy your ride without any injury, kindly abide by these rules.

  • Don’t go alone: Never go alone to kayak on Lake but in case you go alone, let someone on the shore be aware of your whereabouts. 
  • Get a basic skill: As a beginner though you do not need any experience but it is good you acquire basic kayaking skills. They include proper paddling techniques, maneuvering, and self-rescue methods. 
  • Know the weather forecast for the water: This is to be on the safe side. Strong winds, thunderstorms, or rough waters can pose risks. Be sure before you move!
  • Have adequate snacks and water: Bring adequate snacks and water to keep you hydrated. It will also keep you energized throughout your voyage. You can only enjoy the ride when you are well-energized.
  • Put on your PFD: Ensure you put on your PFD before you start to kayak. It gives you buoyancy. It also keeps you afloat when there is an unexpected capsize or emergency.
  • Learn basic first aid skills: These skills keep you until help comes in, in case of an emergency. Also, learn the fundamentals of self-rescue such as flipping the kayak, etc. 

FAQs

Now have a look at the questions people ask about kayaking on a lake and their answers.

What should I do if my kayak capsizes on a lake?

Be calm and try to stay with your kayak. Stand up or swim to shore while holding onto your kayak if the lake is shallow. Flip your kayak back upright, re-enter it, and make use of paddle or float-assisting rescue techniques to get back in if it is deep.

Can I rent a kayak for lake kayaking?

Yes, you can. Many recreational facilities and marinas offer kayak rentals.

Is kayaking on a lake safe?

Yes, it is safe once you follow the safety precautions.

Final Words

This article has discussed all you need to know about kayaks on the lake, including the best kayaks for you. Kayaking on a lake offers a captivating way to connect with nature and find tranquility amidst serene waters. 

While being mindful of the weather, boat traffic, and crowds, kayaking on a lake provides a memorable experience. So, grab your paddle, immerse yourself in the beauty of a lake, and embark on a journey of serenity and exploration that will rejuvenate your spirit and leave lasting memories.

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