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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    355

    Red face Kayak tips for women

    Hi! I know many of you here are pretty active. Are there any kayakers? I am going this Saturday with my b/f and I haven't been before. I know he will "teach" me but are there any first hand tips you can give for a new lady trying this out? This is one of his main hobbies and it appeals to me so I want to try to make it something I can do with him.

    When I was younger, I had a pretty severe of water I couldn't see through. I've improved on it greatly, but I won't say I'll be out there with zero fear.

    I've been in a canoe with one other person once, and it didn't go well due to my fear and our lack of paddling skill. That was easily a decade ago.
    2013: Riding a Dolce sport compact for fun and a vintage Jetter with cargo rack for commuting

    www.bike-sby.org: A network of concerned cyclists working to make our city more bicycle friendly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    Flatwater/lake or whitewater?
    Hard kayak or inflatable?
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    355
    flat, pond/creek style water and a hard boat-likely composite. I'll have my own boat because he owns a single seat sea kayak.
    2013: Riding a Dolce sport compact for fun and a vintage Jetter with cargo rack for commuting

    www.bike-sby.org: A network of concerned cyclists working to make our city more bicycle friendly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    Make sure you have a PFD onboard, and since you are a little nervous about the water, wear it. Take binoculars if you have them. Take a water bottle or Camelbak along, and a snack. Wear sunscreen and bugspray (or at least take the latter in case you need it). Don't try to do too much your first time out because you will likely be sore afterwards.

    I always used an old pair of bike or weight lifting gloves as I found that I got rubbed places on the inside of my thumbs after paddling for awhile.

    Other than that, it's really quite easy and fun and not hard to pick up at all, on flat water at least. Just go with an open mind and enjoy!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,632
    If there is an optoin of wearing a spray skirt I would not use it if it is your first time. It may make you feel to confined. Also, if there is a dock near by when you are sitting the boat and in the water rock your hips back and forth to "feel" the rock of the boat before you go out inot "open water". ( While you are rocking your hips hold onto the dock with one hand or have your BF help to stabilize you) Depending upon the type it should have pretty good inital stability.
    As for a paddle go with a standard nonfeathered paddle...meaning no angle. If it has an angle you would have to bend your wrist ( Left or Right) depending upon which side is feathered and there are also lots of diiferent degrees of angle.

    Kayaking believe it or not does not come primarily from the arms..but from the trunk with rotation.

    Most of all Have fun!!!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    Um, how about WEAR the PDF? Especially for a newbie!!!!!!

    I'll be frank. I put PFD for water and helmet for biking in the same category of mandatory safety equipment. Especially for beginners.Especially small craft.

    You wouldn't tell a new biker to make sure you have a helmet along and wear it only if you are nervous, would you? Of course not. You wouldn't tell a beginner to bungee the helmet to the bike, would you?

    Calm water, you swamp the boat, you get a little cold and tired, not wearing a pfd? Sudden weather change, all of a sudden calm water is not calm, boat swamps, no pfd? Things happen fast in the water and a PFD does you no good if you aren't wearing it. The decision to not wear one should only be made by experienced boaters who are confidently aware of the consequences. I think to not wear it, or to only keep it handy is absolutely TERRIBLE advice to give a beginner.
    Last edited by Irulan; 06-14-2012 at 05:32 PM.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,632
    Of course wear a PFD...That is pretty much assumed esspecially where I am from/grew up it was mandatory by the coast guard.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    510
    Wear something on your bottom half that you don't mind getting wet (ungainly falls getting out of kayak quite likely) and maybe a change of bottoms half for afterwards.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    355
    Thank you!! I did not think of all of these things. He did send me to the paddling website and I watched a video about getting in and out of your boat.

    I can swim decently, and will be wearing a pfd. If you live in Maryland and can't swim-for shame! Most people I know from our state were born with gills.

    I am looking forward to the challenge and something new. Appreciate the feedback.
    2013: Riding a Dolce sport compact for fun and a vintage Jetter with cargo rack for commuting

    www.bike-sby.org: A network of concerned cyclists working to make our city more bicycle friendly.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Wear your cycling gloves or pick up a pair of neoprene paddle grips. Paddles will blister your thumbs pretty good if you don't have calluses there.

    If you have a choice of boat you'll be renting, ask the people to talk to you about fit. My boat is too big for me and it just makes it not very much fun, so I don't paddle near as much as DH would like.

    I'm with Irulan on the PFD. We paddle only in very flat shallow water, and I feel okay about my swimming ability, but you just never know. It's why water sports are the most dangerous sports there are. You could hit your head, or sprain a limb, and in the water there's no sitting on the ground for a couple of minutes to collect yourself.

    Have fun!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan View Post
    I think to not wear it, or to only keep it handy is absolutely TERRIBLE advice to give a beginner.
    Where I'm from, the kayaking we did was extremely tame -- flat creeks and rivers with negligible current, and only about 2' deep (had to do lots of portages where it was even shallower). It was also hot as hades, which PFDs made worse. I'd say only about 10% of paddlers we saw wore PFDs -- a bit different from bike helmet use, which appeared to be about 90% in our area. We carried our PFDs under those paddling conditions but didn't wear them. We did wear them on the rare times we took the kayaks to deeper water or faster moving creeks.

    I didn't suggest that she shouldn't wear it as you imply...I said that she should carry one and that she should wear it since she was nervous.

    Maybe I should have said that she MUST wear one. I just don't like to dictate to people what they MUST do.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,172
    Quote Originally Posted by lovelygamer View Post
    Hi! I know many of you here are pretty active. Are there any kayakers? I am going this Saturday with my b/f and I haven't been before. I know he will "teach" me but are there any first hand tips you can give for a new lady trying this out? This is one of his main hobbies and it appeals to me so I want to try to make it something I can do with him.
    There are quite a few of us Maryland TE'ers who are flat water kayakers.
    I have 2 kayaks - and 2 canoes. Some day perhaps we'll actually put the bikes aside and use the boats!

    Check out this site for some intro articles and "how-to's" for kayaking. Tips, tricks, all that stuff...
    http://www.paddling.net/guidelines/

    If you are a confident swimmer and you're in protected waters, it's okay to leave the PFD on the boat. If you're not a confident swimmer or if you are in exposed water (chop, current), wear it. If you don't have a place to bungey it to the boat's deck, or you're unsure what to do with it otherwise: wear it. Chances are good, he won't take you anywhere where you're likely to get more than your feet and hands wet - unless you choose otherwise. Your PFD in MD is supposed to have a whistle on it.

    Spray skirts are great for keeping biting flies off your legs - but they can be hot. And you can't scratch any itchy bits.

    I found that TEVA sandals hurt my heels in the boat. I do better with full-cover water shoes. Mine are super-cheapies I thing I got from Target. They're also like 12 years old.

    A hat is important. Full brim - ball cap - anything to keep the sun off your face and neck.

    Bring water with a good sealing lid, as it will probably do a fair bit of rolling around between your legs. A Camelbak just gets in the way of the seat - which can be notoriously uncomfortable. The makers all say they've done this and that to make their seats oh-so-comfortable. They lie.

    Wear crappy old bike gloves to protect against chafing and rubbing or blisters from the paddle.

    Have fun. I can't wait to get out to paddle!
    Last edited by 7rider; 06-14-2012 at 05:14 PM.
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    759
    We go on "lakes", well here in Arizona they are man made. We have a Wilderness System tandem and just love it.

    So much fun to pack a lunch and go out for the day!
    Lisa

    Bacchetta Ti Aero
    ICE B1
    Bacchetta Cafe Mountain Bent

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    355
    So, were looking at buying a kayak for me. We figure the rental charges will add up fast. Leaning towards a Perception Impulse 10 right now. The one I went in last weekend was a 12.5.

    I'm wondering about weight limits. This one lists 275. I'm 215 now, so I guess I would need to watch the cargo I put on with me-generally this wouldn't amount to much anyway?

    Sure, I might lose weight in the future because I refuse to let myself be higher than I am now but I am just thinking about all of this in my mind. I am a HUGE safety nut (used to be a paid professional).
    2013: Riding a Dolce sport compact for fun and a vintage Jetter with cargo rack for commuting

    www.bike-sby.org: A network of concerned cyclists working to make our city more bicycle friendly.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,845
    Wear your pfd - carry a whistle on it (coast guard requirement), don't use a sprayskirt till you've practiced a wet exit. IF you're paddling in DC waters, you are required to have a boater's safety certificate.

    Consider joining the Chesapeake Paddler's Association or hitting up their beginner series (membership is not required to paddle with them, but it is only $10 a year) Next spring, I'd recommend you look into going to Sk102 & SK102, the first is a classroom based instruction on kayaking, what to buy, what to wear, etc. The latter is water based instruction for a weekend (strokes, rescues, etc. - $35 for dinner, camping, and about 9 hours of instruction by volunteers, many of whom are professional kayaking coaches)).

    Here's the beginner series (which if any of the rest of you who aren't beginners want to join, it's more of a leisurely paddle series)
    http://www.cpakayaker.com/news/192/1...cement_detail/

    When you're signing up, mention to them that you are a beginner and have never wet exited - they will come early to teach you how to do those things.

    Brian & Jenn B are doing a paddle at Fountainhead on June 30th. Both of them are cyclists, and Brian happens to be a professionally certified kayaking coach who has been volunteering for CPA for years.

    You might also want to hit one of the "piracies" which are weekly evening paddles at various locations around the area - again, someone there would be happy to help you with strokes & wet exits. There's 4 locations in Maryland (Riley's Lock on the Potomac, Pier 7 in Annapolis, Baltimore & the Eastern Shore (Paula who runs the eastern shore piracy is a professional coach & excellent with beginners).

    As for what boat to buy... What's your long term goal? If you want to put in a lot of mileage or get serious about kayaking, you may outgrow the boat you're looking at fairly quickly. If you just want to putter about & watch boats, you'll be fine. But maybe look at something longer - the perception carolinas or the wilderness systems tsunamis... Buying used off craigslist makes a lot of sense when you're just beginning.

    Btw - Tulip - CPA has started a Richmond area piracy that paddles on the James every Wednesday night. The pirate queen, Mary Larson, has a couple spare boats & is willing to bring one for other people... My friend Julie's also got a spare boat she could bring if you wanted to head out with them.

 

 

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