Mistakes made on kayaking and how to avoid them

Lack of skills and knowledge about canoeing

Choosing a canoeing trip as a way of spending a holiday or even a weekend, we should remember that while lowland canoeing is not an extreme sport, at least one person from our team should have elementary knowledge about canoeing. The most important issues are the method of rowing forwards and backward, controlling the kayak, the behavior of the kayak in the mainstream and during overcoming obstacles, and the emergency situation, that is overturning the canoe.

It is enough if one person from the group has experience in this matter and will train the rest of the participants before starting the rafting. However, if we have never sailed in canoes and anybody from the participants of our trip knows about it, let us not go alone. It will be better to start with an organized canoeing trip where the instructors will advise you and show you how to handle the kayak.

Many times I have met on the river settlements “struggling with the element” and suffering torture, trying to rowing in line and achieve the desired effect. Often, carefree, “Sunday” canoeists are stuck helplessly submerged to the neck in the river next to an overturned or drowned kayak. It is not difficult to master basic skills in terms of canoeing and it is worth asking for help or watching more experienced canoeists. Improving our skills, we will avoid unpleasant surprises, which are often the source of quarrel among the participants. A kayak dump truck or cabin can cause a threat to health and even life and yet we mean a nice time spent and rest on the water.
The maladjustment of the route to the group’s skills and expectations
Canoeing is a very pleasant form of active recreation provided that the route is adapted to the skills and expectations of the group.

For beginners, we should choose a short section of the easy lowland river. Otherwise, the participants will be too tired of long rowing to enjoy the surrounding nature. Similarly, the overly-cumbersome trailing route, fraught with obstacles, full of fallen trees, relocations and places with strong currents will cause frustration to people who are not accustomed to physical effort instead of providing them with rest and relaxation.

In turn, athletic, physically fit people with experience in canoeing will be bored and disappointed with an easy stretch of river, so it is worth providing them with attractions in the form of a more demanding rafting route. Float canoeists successfully cope with a lot of rapids and various obstacles in the river, as well as willingly overcome much longer distance than beginners.

There is no commanding person and no fixed flow pattern
When choosing your kayak friends, you have to choose one person from the group who will be responsible for all logistics, preparation, and run-off. One-man management is necessary at every canoeing trip. It is a thankless and very responsible function, but it ensures the success of every trip, not just kayaks. We are all well aware of the fact that ideas for a canoe trip will be as many as kayakers participating in it and agreement on some issues can be difficult and often impossible. If each of the participants of the trip will individually communicate with the kayak equipment rental company or the company preparing the organized rafting, information mess will be created and it may turn out that the rafting and organizer will be uninformed or the messages will be duplicated.