Whitewater Kayaking Tips

When most people think of kayaking, they think of whitewater kayaking and with good reason. Whitewater kayaking is the most exciting, most heart-pounding kind of kayaking you can do. However whitewater kayaking can also be the most stressful and demanding type of kayaking too.

When you're whitewater kayaking, you'll have to deal with waves, waterfalls, swells, eddies, rocks, and other potential hazards- you know- whitewater. It takes skill and a quick mind to navigate whitewater conditions. Serious whitewater kayaking is not for the faint-hearted. Here are some tips to help you through the rigors of whitewater kayaking:

Get Professional Whitewater Kayaking Training

Going whitewater kayaking without proper whitewater training is crazy. A whitewater kayaking class will not only train you how to deal with whitewater conditions, it will train you to recognize whitewater conditions that you shouldn't even attempt kayaking.

Things happen quickly when you're kayaking whitewater. In many whitewater kayaking situations, you'll have seconds to decide how to avoid the rocks or prevent yourself from capsizing. The only way you'll be able to make those split-second decisions is if you've practiced kayaking similar whitewater situations over and over until your whitewater kayaking responses become second nature.

Whitewater kayaking isn't as easy as avoiding obstacles. Your kayaking skills have to be sharp to navigate the whitewater conditions of a raging river. You have to learn to read the whitewater so you don't find yourself broadsided by a wave.

A professional whitewater kayaking class will teach you what kayaking equipment you need and how to use that equipment for kayaking the whitewater safely.

Learn The Low-Brace

You'll be surprised how many times this little kayaking move will save your hide when you're whitewater kayaking. The low-brace is a kayaking technique that'll give you added stability by using the density of the water to your advantage. Here's how you do it when you're kayaking:

First, lean forward a little in your kayak and make sure that your paddle blade is parallel to the whitewater.

Next, bring your elbows up over your hands so you look like you're holding your paddle in a gorilla-like pose. Once you have your grip right, pull the paddle closer to your bellybutton.

When your kayak tips and puts your paddle in the whitewater, you're paddle blade will create enough resistance in the water to stabilize the kayak and prevent it from capsizing. It's harder to do when you're whitewater kayaking than it sounds.

The low-brace has to be performed quickly when you're whitewater kayaking and it takes a little bit of practice to master. Try practicing while kayaking calmer whitewater conditions to help you perfect the skill. Once you get it down, it will save you from turning your whitewater kayaking trip into a swimming trip.

Watch Your Upper Body When Whitewater Kayaking

Have you ever been driving and saw another driver lean their body as they take a right turn? For whatever reason, people have a tendency to turn their body as they turn. This tendency can be disastrous when you're whitewater kayaking. Balance is important when you're kayaking through whitewater. You need to keep your center of gravity above your boat. You need to turn your boat with your body in order to avoid taking a swim.
Whitewater kayaking is the most exciting type of kayaking you can do. It's fast-paced and takes a lot of focus to do successfully. Kayaking whitewater isn't something you can decide to do on a whim. It takes training and practice to be able to kayak whitewater safety.

If you like fast-paced, exciting sports- whitewater kayaking is definitely something you need to try.

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