Friends meet at the kayak rental to pick up their boat and paddle in the sea

Kayak Rentals: A rising trend among tourists and locals

September 12th, 2020
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Rising trends and popularity in kayaking

Covid-19 has led to a rise of popularity in kayaking. More people are spending their summer closer to home, leading to the discovery of nature nearby. Hiking, biking and offcourse kayaking have become popular activities to do when exploring. Fortunately the US has several great locations to discover while kayaking.

How to find the best places to kayak near me?

The internet is a great source to find amazing places to kayak. With so many listicles to be read, it isn't hard to make your own wish list of kayaking locations. However, keep in mind different types of water require a different set of skills. Don't paddle whitewater if you don't have the proper experience.

Check accessibility

When looking at a map, it is not too hard to find bodies of water you can paddle. However, if you are a beginner, it is important to check how accessible these are. Go for an ideal put in location such as a dock. This should have ample space to prepare your kayak and launch it. A parking space nearby is an extra plus.

Connect with the kayaking community

Facebook groups, fora and kayaking clubs are a great source of information for those who wish to find hidden kayaking locations nearby. They are often not only great for new routes, but also to make new friends.

Paddlingmaps

This application works amazing when it comes to finding kayaking locations. Each route comes with a description and level of difficulty.

What to ask when renting a kayak

So you want to rent a kayak? That is great. There pretty much is a kayak rental at every stretch of water in the USA, so it shouldn't be too hard to find one. However, if you want to rent a kayak, it is important to know what you want to do with it. Also what is your experience level?

If you are a novice kayaker that wants to make a short trip, you can opt for a recreational kayak. These are simple and cheap. Experienced paddlers that wish to go on a longer trip, better choose a touring kayak. If you wish to paddle along the coastline, a sea kayak is what you are looking for.

Fancy a multi-day trip? Opt for a touring or sea kayak which has watertight compartments to store your luggage.

Kayak specifications

The longer the kayak, the faster it will go. On the other hand, short kayaks are more manoeuvrable. Also a small kayak will improve your speed as well. Downside is that it might be easier to tip over.

What experiences can you expect to have as a beginner?

Kayaking is a very versatile water sport. For example, you can let yourself float over the water and enjoy the landscape. You can also throw yourself into the wild water and set up an active paddling trip. With the right kayak that is no problem. As a result, this hobby has something for everyone.

However, if you are a beginner, it is important to know your limits and capabilities.

Anyone who is thinking about going kayaking should of course have no problem being close to the water and should be able to swim safely. Not every kayak trip immediately leads you into the wild water. Relaxed kayak trips on calm water (slow moving or still water) are also a good opportunity to leave everyday life behind and enjoy nature.

So that you can enjoy the kayak sport, you have to feel fit. When paddling, the muscles in your upper body, shoulders and arms are the most stressed. The dynamic paddle movement continuously strengthens your muscles and improves your motor skills. That is why you must be able to move the back, shoulders and arms without hindrance. So if you have problems with this, it is better not to go paddling for a while.

To stay safe on the water, you first need a suitable kayak. Whether you want to go paddling alone or with the whole family, determine which kayak type you need. Therefore, get advice in advance in a specialized shop, at a kayak school or association. For the first trips you can of course also simply rent a kayak. This way you can try out paddling at your leisure, without having to buy everything right away.

What to bring?

  • Dry clothes.
  • Plenty of food and drink. On a hot day you get thirsty on the water!
  • Don't forget the sunscreen and sun hat or cap, because there is little shade on the water.
  • Mosquito oil, because there are often mosquitoes on the water.
  • Furthermore, I always put on Teva sandals, with which I can get in and out of the water from the boat. Water shoes are also sufficient.
  • I always bring a rope too. Then you can tie up the boat if you moor in a place where you cannot pull the canoe on shore.

During your trip

A golden rule: never let go of your paddle on the water. It seems logical, but it still happens to many novice kayakers when they want to get out or put on a sweater, for example. Without a paddle you are adrift!

Put your luggage in a waterproof bag or barrel, so that everything stays dry.

Kayaking trends in 2020

Last year, we had plogging, the combination of jogging and picking up litter, that originated in Sweden. This year, it seems that the kayaking community has picked up this trend as well. In Europe, more and more kayakers are exploring water bodies and rivers while cleaning them up. Even kayaking organizations often offer free kayaks in exchange for cleaning the rivers they paddle.

GreenKayak, a Danish NGO that strives to reduce the amount of waste in rivers and lakes, has recently added new locations in Hamburg, Copenhagen and Bergen. Kayakers can rent two-person kayaks here for free, in exchange for collecting rubbish at the surface of the water. They also ask the volunteers to share their experience on social media with the hashtags #greenkayak and #milløkajakken.

The initiative is the result of plastic waste, which is a major problem in countries around the world, and many organizations are launching initiatives to combat environmental pollution. This also applies to the travel industry. GreenKayak also has locations where kayaks can be borrowed in Aarhus, Odense and Præstø. The kayaks are very effective in waste collection because they are very flexible and get close to areas that are otherwise difficult to reach. There is room for two people and they are very stable, no previous kayaking experience is necessary to borrow one. Volunteers are provided with life jackets and equipment to collect waste before embarking on the trip.

While the initiative is waiting to be picked up in the US, it should not stop you from collecting litter while paddling.