Paddling Mistakes to Avoid When Kayaking

KayakingWhether you are 8 or 30 years old, kayaking for the first time can get you jittery. Of course, some kayaking skills are counter-intuitive, but anglers need prior training before taking off to the waters. Additionally, a few sensible tips about paddling always come in handy to avoid several mistakes. 

Above & Beyond Alaska, LLC looks at some common paddling mistakes first-time kayakers make on a day trip.

Paddle Hugging

Most beginners hold their paddles too close to locked shoulders and torso. Paddle hugging helps beginners feel in control, but it often leaves them with sore muscles and injured in extreme conditions. Anglers should paddle with the arms stretched out and an upright posture. Additionally, the paddle should be as far away from your chest as possible (forming a paddler's box). This way, anglers are in control, have more endurance and minimize injury.

Lack of Proper Balance

Beginners often flip over during an eddy turn since they tend to shift their body weight to the upstream side of the kayak. It happens so fast that beginners are caught by surprise. When kayaking, it's important to learn how to balance body weight and edge control on either side of the boat.


Kayaking is one of those sports that leave your heart pounding very fast. But, it shouldn't be the case. Whether it is a big wave coming, an eddy turn or you accidentally flipped over, keep calm. Note that kayaking for beginners isn't done on a massive body of waters; thus, you can quickly hold on to the boat while waiting for further instructions from the guide.

Bending Backwards

It is a natural reflex especially when big waves tend to crash the vessel. But leaning backward doesn't always work; it only leaves you vulnerable to the big waves knocking you over backward. Experienced anglers prefer maintaining an aggressive upright posture that allows you to paddle forward even during big waves.

Finally, most first time kayakers are often caught up in having a good time that they end up not listening to their guides. These instructors are conversant with plenty of kayaking skills and tricks hence the need to listen to them.

Keeping a tab on these mistakes helps ensure that your kayaking trip is fun, stress-free, and safe.