Top 2 Kayaking and Canoeing Beginners Tips

March 17, 2023

Connor Merritt

Connor Merritt

Kayaking and canoeing are some of my absolute favorite outdoor activities. Spending a day out on the water with a good group of friends is a blast, and it’s a good way to stay active while keeping cool in the upcoming warm months. I started kayaking and canoeing during my time in the Boys Scouts, and now I try to get out on the water every chance I have. I recently planned a bachelor party camping trip where we spent an entire day on the James River, and the experience gave me the chance to introduce people to the fun of kayaking and canoeing. The whole trip inspired me to share my passion and get kayaking and canoeing beginners to try it out too.

When it comes to kayaking and canoeing, there are two big misconceptions that keep people from trying it out. The first is that it is too difficult or intense, and the second is that people don’t have the equipment required to kayak or canoe. Both of these misleading ideas prevent many people from kayaking or canoeing who would otherwise have a wonderful time, so don’t let either of these misconceptions stop you from getting out on the water this year.


When people think of kayaking and canoeing, they conjure up the image of a thrill seeker testing their vessel against whitewater and rocks to get a hit of adrenaline. While there are certainly intense rapids out there, the important thing to realize is that each body of water has a difficulty classification, and anyone could succeed in the initial stages. Class I and II waters are considered float trips and require almost no maneuvering. Last time I went on one of these trips, I actually passed by people in tubes and listening to music through a portable speaker (definitely not the image most people would think of when imagining a river adventure). Class III is where rapids truly begin, and that’s the first step for anyone who does want to move up into the big leagues — it’s not too dangerous, but you still need to be careful and have some experience. Class IV and V rapids should only be handled by advanced experts.


This is the other big blocker that prevents people from trying kayaking or canoeing, though it is an understandable one. I mean, of course you can’t kayak or canoe if you don’t have a kayak or canoe. This is where kayak and canoe rental services come in. These places make it incredibly easy to just show up to the river with your group and get going without any hassle or fuss. You don’t need to pack, carry, or maintain any gear; in fact, all you need is a bathing suit, and whatever you want to carry on the trip, like food and water. Now you might be worried about price, but It’s not even that expensive. My go-to river outfitters day trip prices start at $26 dollars per person, which is a great deal for a full day of fun.

So, if you want to try out kayaking or canoeing, find your nearest river rental service and make a reservation on class I and II rapids. I guarantee you’ll have a good time.

Find the best kayaks for beginners on iSportsmanUSA.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.


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