Water sports are dynamic. They welcome you to the world of rafting, kayaking, and canoeing-in fact, just about anything under the sun. The art of paddling is, however, old. Historians believe humanity first embraced the sport over 3,000 years ago.
Vessels used at the time got engineered using reeds, bamboo, or wood; easy to access materials. The art of constructing these water machines, however, progressed as ancient civilizations expanded. It is because of this the world now boasts about sophisticated vessels like rafts, kayaks, and canoes.
Benefits of Water Sports
Paddle sports bring you closer to nature. They reward you with good health and a ton of rowing experience. But is that all you gain?
Canoeing and kayaking, for instance, improves strength, flexibility, and aerobic fitness. Paddling also encourages mediation. Rafting brings you closer to nature.
It is a lucky escape from the busy urban life. Rowing, thus, averts stress and depression. So this begs the question. What do you need to get started?
Preparing For the Big Leagues
No one gets born a swimmer or rower. These are skills gained and perfected over the years. You must, therefore, prepare yourself for the big leagues by:
Enrolling into a crash course
You need to train before you “hit the ground running.” A suitable course teaches you how to:
- Commandeer different vessels
- Use rudders and skegs
- Dress when in and out of the water
- Swim and paddle
- React during emergencies
- Navigate through soft and rough waters
- Hold the paddle
For simplicity, training prepares you for the unknown. It also equips you with skills vital to your survival. Recall, water volumes rise and fall in the blink of an eye. Learning how to react, therefore, protects you and the surrounding people from harm. You can then borrow a vessel from a friend for further practice. Working with an expert paddler is even better!
Joining a Paddling Club
Becoming a paddling club member will take you to greater heights. Membership makes you part of an ever-growing rowing community. Individual progress is, therefore, a guarantee. You also safeguard the waterways when you are part of a big team.
To add more spice, you are subject to incentives when you work under a group. For instance, you do not have to pay hefty amounts of cash to attend events. Your membership makes you eligible for discounts.
That is not all. Membership also increases your purchasing power. Above all, joining a paddling club encourages social networking. You become part of a community-a circle that advances your agenda.
Buying the right equipment
Most water sport enthusiasts gain rowing gear based on price. They disregard quality and function, hence their disappointments. The good news, however, is that the best paddling devices give you value for cash.
Recall, a kayak, raft, or canoe might be expensive during acquisition, but the device saves you a boatload of money in the long-term because of reduced maintenance costs. Smart spending dictates you to give up a small treasure for gold.
Besides, you must consider the gadgets safety features before purchase. Rafting is dangerous even to the veterans. Poor judgment, coupled with the use of sub-standard equipment is the perfect recipe for disaster. Buying the right gear, therefore, keeps you secure.
Embracing the value of teamwork
You can row a canoe and kayak by yourself, but never a raft. Remember, an average-sized vessel carries 6 to 8 people for stability. The ship’s bulky nature makes it impossible for one person navigation. Allocating individual roles on all members on board, thus, makes work easy.
Front rafters, for example, work on propulsion and navigation. They must stay in sync for them to reach the intended destination safely. Back rafters, on the other hand, paddle hard to keep the vessel moving. As you can see, teamwork is vital for paddle sports success.
Understanding wind speed and direction
Wind speed and direction dictate your kayaking experience. Storms moving against you might cause the vessel to capsize. Severe injury then occurs. Breezes, however, work in your favor if they come from behind the boat. Watching weather reports is, thus, essential.
Everyone talks about water sports from a tactical standpoint, but no one wants to put in the work. The best rafters today honed their skills by sacrificing time and energy to personal development. Sacrifice is, therefore, the ultimate price you must pay for you break even in the world of paddle sports. The tips above are only a guide.