Kayaking and Paddle Boarding, while they’re very different in many ways, are alike in the fact that they are both activities that give you an incredible adrenaline rush on the water and truly makes you feel alive. The chaotic energy of the river stream, rapids and waterfalls are enough to satisfy the adventurous spirit and gives you a beautiful outdoor experience that will leave you in awe of it all. Kayaking and paddleboarding are fantastic activities to do in remote destinations where gorgeous, natural landscape surrounds you. Kayaking and paddleboarding are not only an athletic activity that will give you a great workout, we think they’re the key to a great outdoor adventure that will create lasting memories. Don’t get us wrong, kayaking and paddleboarding are totally different sports and you are not to mistaken one for the other! We’ve got a little guide to give you some insight into everything you need to know about Kayaking and Paddleboarding and what makes them different but equally lovable! We’ll start with Kayaking: Kayaking Kayak, a word that means “hunter’s boat” was initially used as a vessel to catch food from the water’s edge by Inuits. They had originally been from pieces of driftwood and whale bone that had been wrapped in animal skin, but quickly evolved in to fibrous glass boats in the 1950s. Today most kayaks are made from Polyethylene plastic. There is quite the selection when it comes to type of boats, but the most common is the classic model that allows the paddler to sit inside the boat, securely sealed from falling out due to the rush of the rapids. Don’t get confused with a canoe! Besides the obvious differences in design, their paddles are what set them apart. Kayak paddles are comprised of two blades while canoe paddles are shorter with just the one blade. There are two person kayaks as well. How to choose a kayak? Remember what we said about kayaking being the true definition of outdoor adventure? Well, what keeps things interesting with kayaks is that there are different styles and ways to use the same boat. Your ride will depend on the type of water, the speed and basically the way you intend on maneuvering yourself around. These are some of the styles: Freestyle: This one is aimed to the kayakers that have already been able to master the art of kayaking and want to take it to the next level. Like freestyling in breakdancing or skateboarding, with Kayaks you can learn to freestyle some impressive tricks. Yes, backflips are a thing with Kayaking. White water Kayaking Warning: This form of kayaking is not for the faint at heart and geared towards those with a love for the rush and thrill of a rough ride. Think powerful rapids, waterfall drops and fast-paced river rushes. Kayak Surfing If catching waves is your thing, kayak surfing will give you a unique experience that is similar to traditional surfing with a twist. Equipment needed Having the right gear and kayak accessories is important because your safety is important. Helmet Your head is one of your most precious parts of your body and nothing can replace it. Being jolted to and fro on a speedy ride down the stream is all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. Prevent this and protect your noggin from the harsh impact of nearby rocks and cliffs that you could accidentally crash into. You’ll need a helmet that is durable and there are even some with added visors to protect you from the sun. Kayak paddle What paddle you choose is dependent on your height, width of the boat and what style you prefer. Kayak paddles are twin blades and generally around two metres long. Wet suit No one likes being cold and wet and no one likes Pneumonia either. We’re not just being dramatic, when kayaking it’s important you protect yourself of chilly temperatures from the immersion of water. There are many brands to choose from so decide on material, insulation, flexibility, etc. Spray deck A spray deck is what keeps you safely tucked into your kayak. Without it, you’ll be in an open cockpit and kayaking just won’t be possible. We suggest you seek assistance when purchasing this as it is crucial you the kind that suits your needs. Buoyancy Aid Using a lifejacket may seem silly to you since you may already be a good swimmer, but if you are in a situation where you are injured and can’t easily swim to safety it’s going to be needed. There are specific Kayaking buoyancy aids that are designed to fit yourself in your boat, so look out for those. Paddleboarding Stand Up Paddleboarding or SUP for short, has become increasingly popular in recent years. Maybe it’s because this sport is very accessible to people of all ages and skill, given that it’s a lot more slow-paced than kayaking or an extreme sport. But by no means does that mean Stand Up Paddle boarding is boring! There are some incredible health benefits from SUP since this aquatic exercise is totally a full body workout. Not only does it teach you the skill of balance and up your cardio game, it strengthens your core as your legs are balanced on the board while your arms and shoulders are doing the paddling. It’s crucial that you keep your abdominals tight while keeping stability to avoid toppling over into the water! So that means you’re putting your lower back to some good work too. Also, if yoga is your thing, you can actually do yoga on a stand up paddleboard too! Some tips Use a leash Using a leash when paddle boarding is a very safe choice to make when paddling. It’s optional, but we’d highly suggest it. There are different types of leashes and attachment points depending on the style of paddling. Be prepared for the weather It’s important to know the weather conditions when you’re out on the water. Knowing the forecast for wind goes a long way since a sudden change can be dangerous if not prepared. A sun that’s beating down on you is a recipe for disaster and a sunburn so always use sunscreen. A hat and sunglasses is a bonus. How to choose a paddleboard There are different types of boards in various sizes. Some are more stables than others and your body type will determine which is best for you. Medium length ones are usually 9 to 12″ and there are inflatable boards that make transportation 10x lighter. Alternatively, you can just rent one if you’re not ready to shell out the cash. Which should I choose? To paddleboard or kayak, that is the question. Both are incredibly fun but differ in many aspects. If stability is truly not your thing, you can depend on a kayak to keep you grounded since you’re sitting down. However, they are more difficult to get back in to whereas a paddleboard would be less of a procedure. Kayaks are made of a much more durable material, so where you are plays a significant role in what makes the most sense. Paddleboards are more prone to bending and are not intended for shallower water where rocks may exist. However, paddle boards are ideal for portaging and have a useful handle to keep it by your side- Far lighter than the heavier larger kayaks. So really, there is no one answer: Choosing between a SUP or kayak solely depends on what’s right for you. Choose your own adventure and paddle your way through the great outdoors!