Kayak for beginners

Russian kayaks

Kayaks are compact long rowing boats that are actively used today in tourism, water sports, for family walks, fishing, and hiking along difficult river routes. Their distant ancestors, the baids, were collected by the northern peoples from the bones and skins of animals, tight-fitting the skeleton. Modern kayaks are made of duralumin, multilayer plastic, plywood, composites and can be monolithic, collapsible (frame), inflatable. They are divided into single (kayaks), double and triple.

Traditionally, kayaks are operated with foot, knee, backrest and two-bladed oars. Beginners in these matters should first master the technique of such control, and then go on a long voyage. Otherwise, it may happen that the boat, instead of following the proper course, starts spinning in place or overturns, even if it has excellent buoyancy. But first of all, you need to choose a suitable kayak option.

How to choose a kayak for a beginner

Before proceeding with the selection of a kayak, it is advisable at least in general to get acquainted with the features of specific models. First, they are divided according to the landing method. There are sit-in models in which the rowers are located inside the deck in cockpits that are shaped like a borehole with locks. They are maximally protected from water ingress by special devices called skirts, and are obscured by sides. Such kayaks can be operated during the cold season. There are also sit-on-top models with rowers seated on top of the boat. There are no skirts in such models, and people are completely open to wind and spray. Kayaks with a similar fit are convenient for swimming, diving, spearfishing, but only suitable for warm weather. In cold weather, you can quickly freeze on them, if you do not put on additional bulky equipment.

Frame kayaks are quickly disassembled and assembled, when unfolded they take up little space, do not create problems during transportation, but it is undesirable to walk on them along rough rivers with waterfalls and rapids. Due to the loads, the central part of the frame may shift, and the boat will become uncontrollable. But for teaching beginners to use oars and stops on calm water, this option of kayaks is quite suitable. They have excellent stability, obediently keep their course, do not prowl, are equipped with unsinkable tanks and very rarely turn over.

Inflatable boats consist of cylinders that can be inflated in a few minutes, can carry quite heavy loads, can absorb shocks, do not sink, never turn over. They are practically safe for beginners, but they have low stiffness and sagging, which degrades the driving characteristics and slows down learning. In order for it to be successful, it is better to choose an inflatable kayak with a stiffening frame or load the boat evenly along its length. It should be remembered that such models have a large windage due to low draft, and with a strong side or head wind, they cannot go on a straight course. For windy weather, you need inflatable boats with fins, pedal drives and steering.

Monolithic kayaks cannot be disassembled, have a solid solid body, are equipped with anatomical comfortable seats, and are highly durable. They are very difficult to break through even with powerful collisions with sharp stones. Only dents remain on the case, which can be easily removed by uniform heating of the surface. Monolithic models are very good for teaching. The rowers in them are tightly pressed against the hull, feel the boat and can transmit to it the movements of their body. This makes it possible to effortlessly make a roll, sharp turns and decently master the so-called "Eskimo coup". It is needed when the boat is overturned upside down (overkil) to return it to its normal position without leaving the cockpit.

Before choosing a kayak, beginners need to decide on the nature of the water bodies on which they want to go on it. The best option is inexpensive plastic models up to 4 meters long, impressive width and supports for feet, knees and hips. They are stable, reliable, can be used in calm and stormy waters, are lightweight and come in a variety of forms.

Beginner's equipment and clothing

A lifejacket is an obligatory piece of equipment for a beginner kayaker. If the boat is supposed to overcome rapids or sail along a fast river, it is advisable not to forget about a protective helmet. As for clothing, it depends on the weather. For hot days, shorts, a long-sleeved T-shirt or shirt, and a light tracksuit are fine. In windy rainy weather, a waterproof windbreaker with a warm sweater and tight jeans will become very comfortable. It is important that the clothes are not too heavy and did not throw movement. As shoes, soft sneakers or rubber boots will be good, which can be worn with warm woolen socks. In general, going on the kayak in a fairly long hike, you need to take with you two sets of upper things in case one of them gets intoxins.

Movement speed on kayak

Review of Russian kayaks.


Kayaks are small junior boats of increased maneuverability, invented in the distant antiquity of the peoples of the North. Initially, they were collected from the bones, they were binding to the whale mustache and were tightened by the selected seals or walruses. Modern kayaks produce out of duralle, plywood, polyethylene, plastic, composite materials.

There are quite a few enterprises in the world that produce high-quality and variety of models of such boats. Russia is no exception. She has already been engaged in a fairly long time making kayaks that are in demand not only in the country, but also beyond.

Kayak manufacturers in Russia

One of the most popular Russian manufacturers is Triton, which produces such popular models like "Ilmeny", "Ladoga", "Vyun", "Svir". The company has been working in this direction since 1989 and regularly presents new models created on innovative technologies.

It was famous for his kayaks "Pike" and the Moscow producer "Stalker". This is a design bureau engaged in the development of models adapted for Russian operating conditions. Stalker produces compact, light inflatable high-strength kayaks that can develop speed inaccessible to other models of this type.

No less popular among the Russian consumer and the company "Equipment", manufacturing such solid small vessels, like "Tymen", "Valdai", "Hatanga", which are used everywhere for alloy, fishing, hunting, long-distance expeditions .

Excellent inflatable kayaks, canoes and kayaks produces Timetrial (Time Trial), founded in St. Petersburg in 2000. Her sports boats participate in all competitions held in Russia.

Podolskaya company "Workshop FMK" also belongs to the leading Russian manufacturers of kayak. Its a series of boats go under the female names - "Marinka", "Lena", "Dasha" - and are distinguished by great reliability, durability and multifunctionality.

A large range of excellent plastic kayaks produces the company "Water Spirit". Its products are intended for fishing, hunting, walking, tourism, for extreme rafting and are supplied with all the elements necessary in one way or another.

Good collapsible kayaks are offered by the manufacturer Splavspb. u from St. Petersburg. His Viking models occupy the leading positions in the line of Russian small vessels.

Advantages of Russian kayaks

The main advantage of domestic kayaks is, of course, their cost. Prices for Russian models start at 10,000 rubles, while the cheapest kayaks of foreign brands cost about 30,000 rubles.

It would seem that the kayak and the canoe are very similar to each other: an elongated and pointed shape, similar design solutions and applications, such as boating, sports, fishing and hunting. However, there are still differences. Let's take a closer look at which ones.


Kayaks originally appeared among the peoples of the North for hunting sea animals and were always closed (with a deck) for protection from the piercing cold spray of the Pacific Ocean.

Modern kayaks usually provide for the possibility of installing an apron, they can be either open or closed, or with a removable apron, such as in the Chub kayak.

This is due to the fact that kayaks were originally used for rafting on cold rivers, in contrast to the "heat-loving" canoes, which were always open (without a deck).


Canoes are usually wider, but less comfortable for a beginner to land on. Seats are provided in the kayaks, which means that the rower will not get tired for a long time. In a canoe there is no such "element of comfort" the rower usually rests on the knee, and puts the other leg bent in front of him or sits on the banks.

The Indian canoe had one advantage over the Northern backgammon kayaks - they were easy to carry on the shoulders, which allowed the Indians to be mobile. Modern kayaks do not have such a disadvantage, there are also very light kayaks.


The rowing techniques on these boats also differ. For a kayak, oars with two blades are used, for a canoe - with one.

This makes steering the kayak a little easier, especially considering that many modern kayaks have steering controls. There is no steering gear on the canoe, control is carried out only by oars.

Kayaking and canoeing is the perfect weekend getaway for those who love nature, splashing water and peace of mind. Although it is generally accepted that these small vessels are only intended for short excursions, practice has shown that this is far from the case. Their low weight is their main advantage. They have a shallow draft and can safely pass through shallow water and areas with a clogged bottom. If you are planning to travel by kayak or canoe, our practical tips will help you with it.

Where and how to sleep during the transition

Unlike traveling by boat, which in most cases is equipped with a cabin, when traveling by canoe or kayak, you need to think about your overnight stay. The best options are sleeping bags and a tent that you can pitch on the beach. Therefore, before starting your journey, carefully work out the route and make sure that the coastline is accessible for most of the trip.

If you are traveling from hotel to hotel, then book in advance the hotel where you plan to stay overnight. It is best if it will stand next to the river, and also have a guarded pier or parking for boats and boats, where you can leave your kayaks or canoes. Finally, check and double-check the weather forecast so that rain or thunderstorm doesn't catch you off guard. It is better to postpone the trip than sailing in bad weather or dangerous conditions.

What to take with you

If you are traveling by canoe or kayak, make sure you have enough airtight bags to pack your cargo. For experienced travelers, this will not be difficult. If you are going on a kayaking trip for the first time, you can buy or rent them from specialized stores and stations. A good rule of thumb is to put dry items in a dry bag that keeps water out. The main danger in this case is not rain, but the accidental overturning of the ship.

In addition to sealed bags and packaging, take the following items and things with you:

  • Camping equipment (tents, sleeping bags, tarps);
  • First aid kit, scissors, sunscreen and insect repellent;
  • Personal flotation device;
  • One dry change of clothing for each;
  • Warm clothing and raincoat for each;
  • Ladle for each boat;
  • Meals;
  • Map, compass and GPS with programmed route;
  • Waterproof boots and a pair of lightweight camping shoes;
  • Matches;
  • Products for garbage packaging.

When packing cargo, it is important to distribute weight not only between boats, but also inside them. Place the heaviest load in the middle of the boat or evenly distribute it at the ends. Throughout the journey, the total weight of the cargo will change, so make sure to place it correctly at all times. Also, securely secure the load so that it does not sink to the bottom in case of accidental overturning.

Camping features along the water

When camping by a body of water, it is important to be very careful about where and how you make the restroom. Many tourists use a solid waste pot or bucket. Another option is a shovel and the ability to move away from the river bank a sufficient distance so as not to contaminate the water and the bank with feces. Rubbish, like food leftovers, must be disposed of. If this is a paid campground, you will find trash bins or waste bins on site. Otherwise, pack all trash in specially prepared bags.

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