Looking for ways to experience nature from the front seat? If yes, kayaking is your answer. However, before you decide to jump into the waters, the most important thing to learn is what to wear. Right clothing and right accessories ensure safety and comfort on the water which automatically makes the experience more gratifying.
The temperature of the water, heavy winds, and the harsh sun are a few natural factors that impact our bodies in many ways. Wearing proper attire will help protect you from those natural factors so you can focus solely on enjoying the sport.
The Basic Kayaking Course for Beginners at Bikat Adventures takes you on the cold white waters of Ganga in Rishikesh. The kayaks we use are the sit-in-kayaks. If you have any questions at all about the kind of attire kayaking involves, we hope that this article answers them all.
List of 8 things to wear (in order)
- Quick-dry underwear
- Wet suit
- Spray deck
- Splash jacket
- Life jacket or PFD (personal floating device)
1) Quick-dry underwear
Quick-dry underwear is the first layer of comfort in kayaking. After kayaking for several hours, the last thing you want to feel is a damp bottom. Discomfort there will cause irritation and will affect your body posture. A right body posture is one of the most important factors to succeed in the sport. Non-cotton sportswear and swimming trunks are ideal for comfort.
2) Wet suit
A wet-suit is a thin bodysuit which will cover your body from shoulder to ankles. It's made of a unique material called neoprene, a rubber synthetic material that can stretch. The suit traps body heat and maintains a steady temperature.
3) Spray deck
A spray deck or a skirt is an accessory you wear to cover the cockpit of a sit-in-kayak and keep your feet dry. It keeps the water from coming in and traps warm air inside the kayak.
4) Splash jacket
The splash jacket is worn on the top of a wet suit. It serves as a windcheater and a raincoat to keep you warm and dry from cold winds and cold waters.
5) Life jacket or PFD (Personal Floatation Device)
A life jacket is the most critical lifesaving equipment in kayaking. No matter how good a swimmer you are, the waters can be unpredictable and dangerous. The thumb rule in kayaking is never to get into the kayak and water without a life jacket. It has to be tight and worn in such a way that it remains intact on your body. If you feel uncomfortable, you can always come back to the shore, adjust it, and get back to the waters.
A lightweight, durable helmet is an essential accessory to carry in all forms of kayaking. Be it open waters or white waters, there is a slight chance of getting in contact with external factors like rocks and other kayaks. The helmet offers complete protection to your heads.
Human body lets out maximum heat from the feet which is why it is important to keep them dry and warm. Kayaking footwear is made of neoprene, the same material as the wet suit. It traps heat from going out and helps retain body temperature.
8) Sun glasses
Kayaking on the river or sea means exposure to pure UV rays. Polaroid glasses or Polaroid shades are excellent to protect our eyes. Do not forget to wear them with the strap on. The strap will ensure they remain anchored to our faces and do not fall off during rapids.
These are the eight essential things you need to check and wear before getting into the kayak. Remember, the right gear which includes the right attire can make or break the kayaking experience. Check this quick guide before you start. We wish you a comfortable, safe and joyous kayaking experience.