One of my favourite ways to getoutgotravel.
All we can say to start this section off is, if you haven't tried it, do yourselves a favour and have a go.
So again we start at the beginning and I guess not quite the beginning as I used to row in a coxless fours team as a kid but since migrating to Australia and living on the Gold Coast with so many waterways, creeks and the beautiful sea so accessible, it was only a matter of time before I retook to the water and purchased my first kayak to dabble and play.
So our first tip here is why kayak at all. Are you kidding me!
Tip 0312 Why kayak at all
Kayaking is so forgotten about and up until less than 3 years ago, here on the Goldie was hardly ever taken up at all.
My dear neighbour Phil and I would go out many days every week and explore all the local waterways we could find and research. Then extend our adventures far and wide in the total disbelief that no one else was doing the same.
Every time we set off we would be the only ones exploring the vast amount of kilometres out there with not a sole in sight. Even on a weekend, no one would be about and quite frankly we were both astonished that no one out there was taking advantage of this wonderful unseen beautiful countryside.
Having spent many years now kayaking, I guess you could say we have picked up many tips along the way and again evolving into our new found hobby we share our next tip of what type of kayak works best for us.
Tip 0314 Distance and speed verses quality recreation
The great thing about kayaking is that anyone can do it, no matter your age or level of fitness. In fact there are very few disabilities that could stop you getting out there and having fun.
Tip 0313 What type of kayak to purchase.
There are so many kayaks out there and you really need to work out what you are doing it for, recreation, fitness, going solo, speed and a whole host of other reasons.
We talk mainly here about recreation with a certain level of fitness and a key issue here also is speed and distance verses quality recreation.
Tip 0315 Safety in kayaking
Safety is always something to be aware of and many will have a fear of falling into the water. As long as you have the correct gear and are sensible, there really is not much to worry about.
Many of you would welcome a good dunking after a long paddle and a good workout anyways and if you are concerned about getting stuck under your kayak we highly recommend the sit on type.
You can seriously make your paddle as easy or hard as you want and for those of you just kayaking for recreation there are many tips we can share here.
Tip 0316 Tidal kayaking.
You can opt to paddle with the tides when on moving bodies of water, like creeks to the sea, rivers and estuaries, or just take it easy on the many damns and lakes around.
Tip 0318 Group kayaking
You may be a novice, cautious or social kayaker and seek to kayak as a family, with friends or even meet up groups, of which there are now here at last plenty and for your own particular area or country we recommend looking to the internet for groups with similar interest. If not start one yourselves.
The key is to make the most of your kayaking experiences and there are many ways in which you can do this.
Tip 0317 Still water kayaking
We found that there is more wild life around the more shallow waters of creeks and rivers, as against the deeper water areas of damns, lakes and the sea.
Tip 0319 Getting the most from your trip
You have your kayak now and there are some key things that you will either need or should take with you on your trip.
Obviously you will be needing a paddle and again there is a lot of new technology out there for best performance but really especially as a beginner, you really only need a basic paddle.
Tip 0320 What to take with you.
For any paddle no matter how far, we recommend you take some basics, like gloves, hat, fluids and your camera.
Tip 0322 Hydration as you go
As you kayak more and more you will go further and further and instead of always going on a return trip, it is a good idea to take a one way trip.
Tip 0321 Mind your fingers on your rigging
You may have handles on the side of your kayak or rudder lines with clips and for the novice kayaker it is inevitable that you will run your paddle close to your kayak and catch your fingers along the side. This will soon stop.
Even the shortest of trips please take care and make sure you take plenty of fluids as this is a strenuous activity and you will need to hydrate regularly.
Tip 0323 Plot your vehicles each end
With two or more in a group you can travel great distances without struggling to return back to your initial set off point, this comes in handy in tidal situations too.
Tip 0324 Research your route
Like any form of travel research is the key and none more so than kayaking. Often the waterways you intend setting out on are remote and need careful planning.
Story 23 Kayaking on the Tweed
Having carried out research on a section of the Tweed River NSW, my mate and I decided to take a 16km kayak downstream between two points. Working out at a pace of 6km per hour we estimated our trip to be 3 hours maximum and carried plenty of water and energy bars to easily sustain us for the small trip ahead.
Some of the research was done by satellite pictures, showing the passage as wide and full of flowing water and as we drove the route by car, this showed true and there we were at the start.
We set off down the winding stretch of water and was in full paddle mode when at the next turn we had run aground and decided to carry our kayaks downstream a few hundred yards to the next section.
Again we set off with an urgency but again after a kilometre or so we had run aground yet again. Past or so we thought the point of no return uphill, we carried on down and down with little change to the river.
It took us nearly 8 hours to get to our destination and severely dehydrated we ran into the village store and downed several large bottles of water.
Our satellite research was out dated and as we had driven up the route prior we had only seen the larger areas of water and thought the rest was the same.
The moral of this story is, double check everything and always take more fluids than you actually need.
As you develop a love for kayaking you will inevitably start planning long trips, and maybe even more challenging adventures. a quick throw in tip here is to customise your kayak
Well again we could go on forever in this section but will leave this here for the moment and will continue as this site evolves. Hopefully with some additional input from you our followers in our forum.
Tip 0329 Things can go wrong
No matter how much or how long you kayak for, things can go wrong and like in tip 0320 what to take with you. We thoroughly recommend you have some sort of backup plan or means of contact whilst out and about kayaking.
Make sure you leave details of your route and how long you are going for and always allow for the unexpected.
Tip 0328 Kayak camping
And with lengthy trips comes camping out and all that comes with it, a whole new adventure.
A picnic by the water's edge, a stroll along the banks of the river, even wading through the rocks at the end of your upstream kayak to a waterfall, brook or weir.
Tip 0327 Lengthy trips
Knowing your approximate speed in general will help you plan more lengthy kayaks and as with anything the longer the trip the more adventurous it becomes.
The beauty of being out there in the middle of nowhere brings a certain calmness, tranquillity and expectation of what is going to be around the next corner. You can really lose yourselves and be at one with the wilderness.
Tip 0326 Getting rid of your "Numb bum"
The more you get into kayaking the further you go.
Tip 0325 Customising your kayak
There are many things you can do to make your kayak more comfortable or better to use.
Long journeys sitting in one position can and will cause what we call "numb bum." There are two easy solutions for this occurrence.