Advice for New Kayakers

February 09, 2023

A compilation of some sage advice for new kayakers, provided by paddlers from the Eddyline Owner's Group Facebook Page.
Advice for New Kayakers
Edited by: K.M. Collins

“If you had just one bit of advice for new kayakers, what would it be?” This seemingly simple inquiry posted on the  Eddyline Kayaks Owners Group Facebook page by Eddyline superfan Rick Barrett produced a wealth of responses and valuable advice. Here are some highlights shared from the 2.5k page members who hail from across North America, and the world. Repeat advice was culled.

“On lakes, enjoy paddling the shoreline rather than doing extensive open-water crossings where the wind and waves sometimes change in a hurry.  Some of my most enjoyable paddling experiences have been cruising along a lake's shoreline in only a few feet of water. In the unlikely event I were to capsize, I'd have no trouble getting to safety.”

“Dress for water temperatures and take the air temperature into consideration. Wear your life vest.  Paddle in easy waters. Understand marine patterns.  I live at the beach, and the water can be completely different than what you would expect. Understand the water before you launch. And in the beginning, try not to kayak alone.”

“Learn to be safe. Boating accidents tend to happen to people who are new to boating, who drink alcohol and boat, and who ignore safety precautions.”

“Invest in the best paddle you can afford. Get professional instruction. Find a PFD designed for kayaking so as to be most comfortable.”

“Boats don't or can't see you.  If it's bigger, they have the right of way (even when they don't).”

“Join an active and safety-oriented local club, and you will have everything that folks are suggesting—free lessons, friends to paddle with and learn from, guides on trips, folks you can borrow equipment from to learn what you like.” 

“Take a class from an ACA certified instructor and ALWAYS wear a PFD.”
“Take a self-rescue course and always carry a bilge pump.”
“Invest in the lightest paddle you can possibly afford. You may own it longer than your boat.”

These are just some of the most popular responses, but there's much more good advice that was brought forth on this thread. To check out the original post, click here.

Stay safe and happy paddlin'!