Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An Interview with Rob Nykvist - Kayaker & Durhamblogger Follower - Part 2

Here is Part 2 of a three part interview with Rob Nykvist, kayaker, blogger, and Durhamblogger Follower. (DUAC): "What 5 tips can you give to persons who are interested in getting started in kayaking?"

Rob Nykvist:

"Tip #1, Identify what kind of kayaking really interests you. It is better to have a wide kayak for fishing, a long narrow kayak for racing, a short kayak for narrow twisty rivers, etc. Maybe you want a pedal kayak. Maybe you want to do river camping and a canoe might be a good choice because it holds more gear. Try to go to a Kayak Demo event where you can paddle in many different kinds of kayaks for free. Another option is to go to a kayak rental place and rent a few different kayaks. Try them out and feel the differences."

"Tip #2, Why test out different kayaks? Before you buy, make sure you are comfortable in your kayak. Kayaking won't be much fun if you are not doing it in comfort. Do not buy a kayak if you haven't tried it out first."

"Tip #3, Get a kayak with a rudder. This is especially important if you plan to do any open water kayaking. Rudders help you go straight in windy conditions."

"Tip #4, Use the Buddy system. Find out if your area has a kayaking club and if so, join it. Experienced paddlers in the club can share a lot of useful information that might be helpful to you. Go on group paddles. See what kinds of kayaks people are using. Note what gear they take with them."

"Tip #5, It is essential to learn how to get back into your kayak after a capsize. Weather permitting and in the presence of experienced trainers/paddlers, capsize (turn upside down) on purpose in some deep waters (warm enough to swim in - could be a pool). First you have to learn how to exit the kayak while it is upside down - called wet exit. Now, get back in your kayak by yourself - called self rescue. It may not be as easy as you think. Different kayaks will require different strategy to get back into it. Recovering from a capsize will likely require a paddle float and a pump. How long does it take to get back into your kayak? In cold water conditions, your arms and legs may stop functioning in just 10 minutes. Knowing how to get back into a kayak quickly could be the difference between life and death in a unexpected cold water capsize."

"Bonus Tip #6, Check with your local kayak club to see if they have classified ads. You may be able to buy a used nice used kayak for a very reasonable price from a local person. Try before you buy. They may also include the paddle and other accessories in the price."

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