Regardless of which body of water you choose to kayak in, it’s a good idea to plan out a route ahead of time. If you’re kayaking in a lake or pond, be aware of shoreline areas which you won’t be able to easily access in the event of an emergency. If you’re kayaking down a river or stream, make sure you choose a route with typically calm waters. It’s best to stay away from areas which could become more challenging if you accidentally paddle too far, especially if you’re new to kayaking.
You should also be aware of the many forms of wildlife you may encounter in both fresh and saltwater kayaking excursions. Oceans, inlets or bays may contain sharks or jellyfish. Rivers, streams or lakes could contain snakes, alligators or be frequented by other potentially dangerous wildlife on the shoreline, depending on where you’re kayaking. Before you journey out into the water, discover what species of animals you may encounter and how you can safely share the water with them.
Kayaking is the use of a kayak for moving across water. It is distinguished from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle. A kayak is a low-to-the-water, canoe-like boat in which the paddler sits facing forward, legs in front, using a double-bladed paddle to pull front-to-back on one side and then the other in rotation. Most kayaks have closed decks, although sit-on-top and inflatable kayaks are growing in popularity as well.