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Discover The Joys Of Kayaking

May 9, 2008
There's no better way to spend a summer afternoon than floating along a lazy river with the sun warming your skin and a paddle in your hands-unless its spending that same afternoon dancing with the rapids and emerging victorious. Regardless of what type of sportsman you are, whether you prefer a calm afternoon on the water or a death defying experience you'll remember for years to come, kayaking will provide you with the kind of fun that can last for a lifetime.

For those of you unfamiliar with the sport, kayaking pits man against the elements in a one man boat that resembles a canoe but sports a closed cockpit that keeps the kayaker firmly in control. With a two bladed paddle they can paddle their way through the water, one with nature and in control of their own destiny.

Does that sound a little overdramatic? For the serious kayaker this is exactly what kayaking provides-the opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy a one of a kind experience that they can repeat over and over and over again. Regardless of whether they choose to pack a bag and spend a month traveling down the Mississippi or pack a lunch and enjoy a sunny day out on the lake, kayaking offers something for everyone.

If you're the type of person who prefers to spend their vacations dancing with death and Mother Nature rather than sitting on the shore you'll have to give whitewater kayaking a try. While whitewater kayaking it's just you, your boat and your paddle against whitewater rapids that would send ordinary men and women running for the shore. Being far from ordinary, whitewater kayakers happily launch themselves into the fray and spend a frenzied few minutes fighting to keep themselves afloat-only to do it again at the next bend in the road.

If you want to take it a step further you can hook up with a large group (and a boat to provide a place to sleep at night, since sleeping while kayaking generally ends badly for everyone!) and set off along the coast for a long term sail through the ocean. This type of trip is rapidly gaining popularity among the jet-setting bunch, since it combines the opportunity to go one on one with nature with the chance to see the world as it was meant to be seen-from the front row.

Like all sports there is some risk associated with kayaking, but if you take the time to learn what you're doing under the watchful eye of a qualified instructor before setting off on your own you'll find it's no more dangerous than, say, cleaning out your kitchen sink. (If your kitchen sink looks like mine it's not even close!) There are hundreds of institutions across the country that offer classes in kayaking, giving you the opportunity to learn basic (and not so basic) skills with a skilled kayaker nearby.

Once you've learned how to kayak there are a few rules that you should know before setting out over the waves. First and foremost, never, ever kayak by yourself. Never set out into unfamiliar waters without a map, and never go whitewater kayaking without first figuring out how to handle your paddle!

Kayaking is an incredible sport that is quickly growing in popularity all around the world, offering sporting enthusiasts and water lovers the chance to get up close and personal with nature in a way they never thought possible.

Give it a try. You will probably never have so much fun.

Richard Prosser
About the Author
Richard is the owner of http://www.theprostoresite.com/kayak and many other informative "niche" sites.
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