“See that line where the sea meets the sky — it calls me!”
Viewers have been raving about Moana since it came out a couple months ago, and if you’re anything like me, you might be a little inspired to play in the water too. Moana was mostly about sailing, but kayaking is a little more accessible while also satisfying those Moana-induced boating urges 😉 It’s a pretty amazing sport, and we’ll tell you all about it!
Who: This one isn’t even a question, really! Anybody can pick up kayaking at any time, whether it’s just for a day or a new lifelong hobby. Kids can kayak, adults can kayak, you can pick your intensity level – just make sure that your very first time you are in good company before heading out on the water!
What: A Kayak is a type of boat (duh!). While this sport can take you to absolute extremes it remains easy to pick up, good exercise, and a lot of splashing fun 🙂 The boat can be for one or two people, and each individual will have a double-ended paddle to propel and steer the boat with. Also, just a note: kayaking and canoeing are similar but not the same! They both use long skinny boats, but kayaking involves rotating one double-ended paddle to paddle on both sides of the boat, while canoe paddles have just one flat side for rowing.
On the topic of gear, kayaking usually also requires a helmet to protect your head (although on oceans or in Marina del Rey this isn’t really necessary), the kayak itself, the paddle (which should suit how tall you are), a life jacket, and maybe a wet suit.
Where: One of the best things about kayaking is that you can really go anywhere (especially since kayaks are light, small, and easy to carry!). Some people kayak up or down rivers, enjoying the lush greenery on the riverbanks. Families might rent some kayaks to paddle around a local lake for a restful Saturday, and adventure-seekers often do white water kayaking! A lot of people kayak in the Grand Canyon. And then you have the beach bums (like yours truly) who enjoy kayaking in Marinas or on calm oceans – why I moved to LA!
When: The history of kayaks is very, very long- these sleek boats were once carved carefully out of wood and used by indigenous peoples across the world to help in hunting. Wood, bone, and animal hides were all components of kayaks back then. Now, the shape of a kayak is pretty much the same, but usually they’re made of plastic and can be either hard or inflatable.
As for historical style, kayaks used to be used to search for food or transportation, but modern kayaking is quite different. There are experienced kayakers who actually learn to do tricks with their kayak! These tricks are kind of like the ones that freestyle snowboarders do – flips, cartwheels, surfing. Doing tricks like these is sometimes called “playboating”.
Why: It’s fun! But besides that, of course, kayaking is a sport and that means it’s good exercise. Believe it or not, kayaking actually is a good workout for your whole entire body, not just your arms and shoulders. The resistance of the water (and maybe waves) will get you a good upper body workout and stronger grip, but since you’re always twisting to paddle and have to keep your kayak steady, your core and legs will also get tired too.
Bodies of water are sparkling, peaceful, and remind me of summer days just lazing around by the pool. But, they also remind me of days kayaking and laughing with friends and family!