Kayaks are thought by many individuals to be a great deal of fun in which whole families can travel together and enjoy themselves. However, kayaks are very different from canoes and individuals will need to learn more effective handling. One of the biggest differences a kayak has from a canoe is that a person sits or kneels down in the kayak and is surrounded by a wet skin which is supposed to keep water out of the kayak. In addition, the kayak is lower to the water than a canoe with a different type of paddle which requires different paddling than a canoe.
Kayaks are a good choice for individuals who wish to handle their own boats without passengers, but still wish to travel in groups along with other people in their kayaks. Although some people decide to kayak on their own, it is important for individuals to kayak together in the event that something should happen. If a boater gets into an accident or is injured, he or she will be able to seek assistance from another kayaker.
One of the more intense differences from a canoe is how a kayak is designed to be able to turn over and then be flipped back upwards by the paddling action and paddle movement the kayaker takes. This is because kayaks are very slim in nature and it is quite easy for them to turn over. This is also another reason why the waterproof skin is installed so that the kayaker will not lose any supplies he or she has or fall out of the boat. However, it also means the kayaker will have to take greater care in learning how to use his or her kayak as his or her legs could become tangled in the skin if not being cautious.
Learning to use a kayak properly is based completely on knowledge of how your kayak feels in the water and paddling it. Your paddling is the most important element in using your kayak correctly, especially if you are traveling in moving water where you will need to avoid rocks. If not, unlike the canoe where you are always upright in case you hit a rock, you may be turned sideways and slam right into a rock surface, which could cause an injury or even death.
If you are taking your family kayaking, make sure your children know how to swim before you ever place them in a kayak. If not, you could be endangering their lives. Also be sure they have on floatation devices and that they understand the kayak is designed so it can be tipped over and then righted again. Practice with them so they know how it feels for the kayak to tip and right it again on their own. Although a floatation device may bring them back to the surface, it will only right them on their side on top of the water where the kayak may still be pushing them downwards.