If you have read my blog about Blue Spring State Park, you already know that this was our first time taking the kayak out on the water. This was a great place to start for amateurs. The workers at the launch site were very helpful. The water was relatively calm and not overcrowded with other boaters. Plenty of room to work out the kinks and learn how to kayak.
It took my husband awhile to get his balance with the kayak and learn how to maneuver it. Evidently it is different from a paddling a canoe. He quickly got the hang of it and paddled up and down the St. John’s River.
My oldest son was a bit nervous going out on the kayak, but seemed to catch on fairly quick. He did a fantastic job maneuvering it around, even with the river current.
We did a little research on what we would need to start kayaking as a fun hobby. We also learned that there are a couple more items that would have been helpful to have. Here is our list of kayak supplies for amateurs below. Experts feel free to add your own advice.
- Kayak Paddle
- Emergency Paddle
- Life Jacket
- Waterproof Dry Bag
- Water Shoes
- Drinking Water
- Bilge Pump
Kayak and Kayak Paddle
I had bought this 10 foot SunDolphin kayak for my husband for Christmas on Amazon. You can find it here. He said it as easy to maneuver once he caught on how to paddle it and keep his center of gravity on it. He thinks a bigger kayak might work better for him in the long run. It worked perfect for my teenage son and was a great fit for him. We may end up buying bigger one in the future. But we are really happy with this one and all the features it had. Great kayak to start off with.
It did not came with a paddle and we ended up buying one at Walmart last minute. It worked well. You can find a similar one here on Amazon.
The man that delivered the kayak happened to be a kayak enthusiast. He told me about where to kayak and how to store the kayak, but his most important advice was having an emergency paddle. He couldn’t seemed to stress enough how important it was to have one in case a kayaker broke or lost their main paddle. So I of course bought one for my husband.
You can find this telescoping emergency paddle here. The bright color makes it easy to spot and the fact that it shrinks down to a compact size makes storing it on the kayak easy.
Even an amateur kayaker knows that a life jacket is very important to have. Don’t go out on the water without one and never let your children do it. You never know what could happen. Find one that fits well and that can be adjusted. Our last minute shopping spree at Walmart yielded a couple of these too. You can also find them here.
Waterproof Dry Bag
This handy bag will keep your possessions dry when you are out on the water. It was easy to use, store and carry. Definitely an important item to have. You can find it here.
We didn’t even think to have these shoes and really wish we had. Don’t make a rookie mistake like us, remember to bring your water shoes. Keep your regular shoes in your waterproof dry bag. You can find some cool ones here.
Don’t forget to bring water to drink, especially in Florida. You will really work up a sweat with all that kayaking. The kayak had built in cupholders and other storage compartments to make storing that water convenient.
To be truthful, I had know idea what a bilge pump was. When I began doing research on kayak supplies and what should is considered essential this pump kept coming up. It is used to pump out the water of the kayak when it is swamped with water. I can understand now why you would want one in certain conditions. What I honestly don’t know is if it is more useful for enclosed kayaks than open ones. I put it my list, although we have not bought one for our kayak yet. I have looked at several and the most recommended seems to be this one because of ease of use. You can find it here.
One Last Thing….
One last thing that would be helpful to have is this handy little step. It hooks into the vehicle door latch. It gives you a step up to the roof of your vehicle. This is so helpful when trying to secure the kayak to the roof.
The only other safety measures that come to mind are those applied to hiking in scouts. Never go alone and have a compass and whistle on hand. Spray yourself down with sunscreen and bug spay. An emergency daypack with medical, shelter and food supplies should be packed as well. I think that’s good advice for kayaking as well. I hope you have a great time kayaking whether it’s your first time out on the water or your thousandth.
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