How to sit in a kayak properly. Kayaks are small turnable boats that are controlled by two-bladed oars, have a small draft, and are highly maneuverable. Nowadays traveling by these boats on reservoirs of different difficulties is very popular and more and more people want to join the army of inveterate kayakers. Not everyone can learn how to drive a kayak from professional instructors. And they are not traditional boats in which you can sit in any way you want, working with oars. Kayaks mean a certain way of sitting that provides maximum mobility, the safety of the boat and makes it much easier to steer.
Incorrectly positioned paddlers in a kayak can get tired after paddling just a kilometer. Also, a bad fit can cause a loss of control and a capsize of the boat, which for beginners in such matters is a big nuisance. So before you go camping you should learn how to land, which determines the tactics of the paddle.
How to sit in a kayak properly
Kayaks are stable on the water, have an excellent balance, and very rarely turn over in calm water. That’s why you can learn to sit in them without any problems. It’s important to keep the paddlers’ center of gravity at or just below the water’s surface. A deeper seating position will lead to overstressing paddling, a higher one might cause loss of balance and the boat passengers will end up in the water.
Almost all kayak models are equipped with adjustable seats and it is not difficult to set them to the most comfortable position. It’s important that one feels at ease and that the kayak doesn’t trot, but moves forward with a light push of the paddle. To do this
to do it you have to take an appropriate position – sit up straight, straighten your chest and relax the shoulder area of your body so that you can breathe freely. You must not lean back on the seat. It is needed to support the lumbar region, not the whole back.
Your eyes should be directed in front of you, not down at the water. This helps to keep your balance and prevents you from tipping over. Looking at the horizon line or the water far in front of you will help to relax completely.
The feet should be firmly planted on the bottom stops and the knees should rest under the bulwarks. This is the position that allows you to control the kayak on a roll and row easily. However, people can’t stay in it for too long, so when paddling quietly on smooth water stretch the legs and rest them on the bottom of the bulwark. Raising the knees upwards is not a good idea. Such a pose would upset the balance and interfere with the rowing. As a result, you will get a lower backache and you will have to postpone the rowing training.
You should sit your kayak perpendicular to the bottom and not lean forward or backward, neither to the left nor to the right. The whole part of your body above the waist should be above the edge of the board. Such a position will prevent rapid paddling fatigue and give you a good view. The back should remain straight and the spine line should be at right angles to the surface of the water with each stroke.
Types of kayak seats
All models of kayaks are divided by the way they are seated, which can be upper (sit on top) or lower (sit-in). In sit-in seating the paddlers are inside the cockpit, in sit-on-top seating, they sit on top of the boat. The pose is the same in both situations, the only difference is that in sit-in the lower part of the body is covered by the boat hull and in sit-on-top, the lower part of the body is completely open. In sitting on top people feel more at ease and can jump in the water and take any stance they want while moving slowly. With the “sit on top” fit, it’s as if they’re soldered into the kayak and always clamped by the cockpit opening. This has its advantages – the boat obeys every movement of the paddler and becomes as docile as possible. You can learn to sit in a kayak on both models. The main thing is to find the right balance point so you can control the boat without any effort and remember the position of your body.
How to get in a sit on top kayak
If the kayak is a two-seater, those who are just beginning to master the basics of sailing on such boats should remember that the one who weighs less should be in the front seat. Otherwise, the bow of the boat will burrow into the water and the stern will scuff. It is difficult to steer the boat in this position. When the two rowers have different levels of kayaking experience, the more experienced rower should sit in the back seat. It makes it easier for him to follow his buddy’s movements, correct him and help him with moving the boat forward or making turns.
Read more about equipment for kayaking