Kayak Paddling For Beginners: Getting Started With Confidence

Is every weekend the same routine of chores and errands? It’s time for a change! Make your weekend exciting with kayaking! Kayaking is an excellent way to stay healthy and active while having fun and relaxing away from the daily grind. 

If you have never gone kayaking, you may want to prepare and learn a few tips before getting into the water. So keep reading! Here you will find some of the best kayaking tips for beginners.

7 Tips To Become A Confident Kayaker & Paddle With Ease

If you haven’t gone kayaking, you might feel nervous. After all, it’s a completely new experience! But don’t worry – It’s easier than you think. Just keep in mind the following, and you will do great!

Choose A Calm Body Of Water 

The key is to start small. You want to choose a lake, river, or cove with gentle waves and few obstacles. For instance, if you live in Seattle, Lake Union is the best place to start.

Rivers: Negotiating Swift Currents

Recommended Kayak Type: Stable, Sturdy Craft for River Floating

Opt for a kayak with a stable design to handle the swift currents of a river. It also needs to turn quickly and allow you to navigate around obstacles.

Calm Waters: Lakes and Easy Rivers

Recommended Kayak Type: Recreational Kayaks

These kayaks are designed for stability, making them ideal for beginners and calm waters. They are easy to get in and out of, providing a comfortable and hassle-free experience.

Rivers and Lakes: Handling Both Flowing and Still Waters

Recommended Kayak Type: Short Recreational Sit-In or Sit-On-Top Kayaks with Skeg

These crossover kayaks are designed to provide versatility in both flowing rivers and calm lakes. A kayak with a skeg allows you to adjust responsiveness based on water conditions, providing versatility.

Be Aware Of Safety Precautions 

Before you get in the water, inspect your kayak, wear a life jacket, and bring a whistle. It is also important to know basic navigation rules, like when to yield and give way to other vessels.

Launch Your Kayak On A Flat Surface

When learning how to get in a kayak, one important step is to make sure you launch your boat in an area with a gradual slope and no drop-off. In that way you will safely enter your kayak without tipping it over. Let’s explore the unique considerations and steps involved in launching a kayak from different settings:

Beach or Ramp

Position your kayak perpendicular to the shoreline, with the front half in the water and the back half on the sand. Alternatively, float the kayak in a few inches of water if sliding is not an option.


Have a friend stabilize the kayak or place it parallel to the dock’s lowest point. Sit next to the kayak, place your feet in the cockpit, and lower yourself calmly into the kayak while keeping your weight low.

Rocky or Uneven Shoreline

Use your paddle for stability. Align the kayak parallel to the shoreline, with the paddle across the back of the cockpit. Sit on the shore side, hold the paddle behind you, and shift your weight smoothly into the seat.

Use Proper Paddling Technique 

To improve your kayaking experience, it’s important to learn how to hold a kayak paddle correctly. Maintain proper posture and technique by keeping your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and gripping the paddle with your hands around shoulder-width apart. Find a comfortable rhythm that allows you to conserve energy while efficiently propelling yourself through the water.

Learn How To Hold Your Kayak Paddle 

A good grip is the key to efficient paddling. Place your dominant hand at the top of the paddle and wrap your other hand around it, so it’s almost like shaking hands with yourself. That will help you get more power from each stroke.

Be Aware Of Wind Direction 

Wind can challenge new kayakers as it can cause your boat to drift or even flip over. Know which way the wind is blowing before you launch, and point your kayak in the opposite direction.

Kayak Rentals For Our Residents At East Howe Steps

Seattle has many attractions, and kayaking at Lake Union offers a unique outdoor experience. At East Howe Steps, we provide convenient kayak rentals for our residents, making it easy to explore the beauty of Seattle from the water. Discover the perfect home with us, offering luxury Seattle WA apartments that cater to your active lifestyle.

We are an apartment complex in Seattle that offers luxury studio apartments with amenities such as controlled access and a pet-friendly environment. Not to mention the extraordinary views you can enjoy from your private balcony. Book a viewing today and discover the perfect home at East Howe Steps.