3 Basic Sit on Top Kayaking Tips for Beginners

A sit on top kayak is the modern version of the more traditional sit inside kayaks. It has become popular in kayaking especially for beginners. It is easy to maneuver and is deemed safer compared to sit inside kayaks especially when it happens to capsize. Knowing a few sit on top kayaking tips, especially for beginners, will help in maximizing the capacity of this type of kayak.

The essential sit on top kayaking tips include the ways to paddle a sit on top kayak, how to get back on top of a sit on top kayak after you capsize and tandem kayaking on a sit on top kayak.

How to Paddle Your Sit on Top Kayak

As one of the basic sit on top kayaking tips, there are a few simple ways on how to paddle your sit on top kayak.

  • Forward Paddling

Forward paddling is the most basic way to paddle a sit on top kayak. The body is rotated to the side where the paddle goes. The blade is positioned as far forward as you can reach with the leading arm still straight and the other arm bent. The blade is then dropped into the water and pushed backward. Then, both arms should be back to the neutral position, and the same stroke is done on the other side.

  • Reverse Paddling

Knowing how to paddle backward is one of the convenient sit on top kayaking tips. It can also be useful when you want to paddle away from the shore without having to turn your kayak around.

Reverse paddling is just basically the opposite of forward paddling. The body is again rotated to the side where the paddle will go with the blade as far backward, and the leading arm bent. The blade is then dropped into the water and pulled forward to start moving the boat. Then, both arms should be put back in its neutral position before doing the same stroke but on the opposite side.

  • Sweep Stroke

The sweep stroke or what is also called the turning stroke is the most efficient way to turn your kayak to the direction you want to go. It is a little similar to the forward stroke but with a few differences. The key reminder is to paddle as far away from the kayak as possible to make a wide arc to make it turn.

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How to Get Back on Your Sit on Top Kayak

Aside from knowing how to paddle your sit on top kayak the right way, one of the sit on top kayaking tips which should be a basic skill when using this kind of kayak is to master how to get back on your sit on top kayak from a capsize.

It is easier to get back on top of a kayak than to get back inside a kayak which is what you must do in the more traditional types of kayaks. However, knowing the best sit on top kayak tips for recovering after a capsize might come convenient. You also need to do this recovery step by yourself no matter how many people you are with.

The basic solo sit on top kayaking tips for capsizing recovery is the BBF or the bellybutton backside feet technique. First, you have to get your belly button over your kayak seat and then flip over, so your backside will be now on your seat. When you are balanced, you can now bring your feet in the kayak.

Make sure that the straps and your seat are adjusted and in place before you attempt to climb back on top of your sit on top kayak.

Tips for Tandem Sit on Top Kayak

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The advantage of a tandem sit on top kayak is that a beginner can join a more experienced paddler or a kid can join an adult in paddling. However, one of the main concerns in tandem sit of top kayaking is knowing who sits where. The seating arrangement can be made based on weight, practicality, preference, or the experience. Here are some of the sit on top kayaking tips for tandem kayaks.

  • The person who sits on the rear is going to be the one who steers the kayak, so it should be the one with more experience.
  • It is best that the kayak is loaded, However, if this is not possible, the rear should bear more weight. A kayak will perform better if the weight on the bow is lighter compared to the weight on the stern.
  • When fishing on a sit on top kayak, the person who has the fishing pole should be on the bow while the one who will paddle and direct the boat should be on the stern.
  • If you are paddling solo on a tandem sit on top kayak, the best position would be in the middle. However, if there is no middle seat, the next best position for paddling will be in the rear seat.

Visit SouthTexasKayak.com and read our tips for sit on top kayaking beginners to know more.