These beginner kayak tips will have you gliding through the water at Outdoor Adventure

Kayaking is an incredibly versatile water sport from relaxing in tranquil waters to the heart pounding experience of kayaking through river rapids, you can even take them out in the surf and catch some waves. Kayaking can also be a great way to build up team building skills as you can try out new routes with a group of friends or colleagues, where you will have to make joint decisions on how to tackle obstacles that arise out on the water.

On our family activity holidays UK and indeed our residential school trips you will start of in the calm waters of the Bude Canal and the Tamar Lake. Both of these locations offer up breath taking views that are teaming with wildlife such as herons, kingfishers, fish and a whole host of other native animals, as well as native fauna and flora.

With that in mind we thought we’d give you three great tips for when you come down and take to the water on Outdoor Adventure’s residential school trips:


Dress for the water, not the weather

Always take into consideration the temperature of the water you will be kayaking in as opposed to the air temperature. It may be sunny and warm but the water could be considerably colder meaning if you tip over you could run the risk of hyperthermia.

Wear layers of quick-drying clothing for your first session as well as hats, sunglasses and sunscreen if it’s bright and sunny. You may think you might not need sunscreen but when it’s sunny the sun reflects off the water straight on to you and can cause sunstroke. Remember to apply high factor underneath your chin, nose and ears!


Make sure you are sitting correctly

You may think your arms get sore, but that’s nothing compared to the pain your torso and back will be in if you’re not sitting in the right position!

Ensure you bend your knees and avoid having your legs straight, this helps to reduce the strain and jerks on your knees, which could start to spasm. Place your feet comfortably on the inner foot paddle rest with enough room to move your legs freely within. Make sure you do not lean back and also too far forward, maintain a straight posture, not only does this keep your torso and back in good condition but will also help with your paddling, allowing for freedom of movement without the early onset of fatigue.



As a beginner, there are basic moves you must learn to enjoy kayaking on your residential school trips, ensure a firm grip on the paddle. Remember these points: Too tight a grip and a too wide a spacing on the paddle will quicken the onset of fatigue and a grip that is too loose will give you insufficient power in your stroke, while spacing your hands too narrow will also reduce your stamina.

People assume that it’s all about your biceps and shoulders with paddling, but the majority of the power comes from within your core muscles as well as your back and torso, so that’s when the correct posture mention previously comes in handy.


Watch the video below to get some great tips from expert kayaker Phil Meyer:


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Why you should have your school residential trip at Outdoor Adventure