New guy

Someone suggested I try kayaking as a fun activity. I know basically nothing. What advice can you give me to try it out? There is a lake not far from here that rents kayaks so I’ll try that out first before I spend any money. In the meantime I want to learn about kayaks, gear, how-to stuff, etc.

can you swim?
It might not be an absolute requisite, but it’s a good start. An easy first step might be to watch some of the videos on this and other sites.

Where you live might determine what kind of paddling is available to you. Visit a good kayak store and soak it all up. Yeah, maybe

rent a boat, but maybe you could get lucky and find someone with a loaner for a time, or two.

Don’t go cheap; the better the equipment, the better the experience.

share where you’re located
many of us have multiple kayaks and don’t mind meeting someone for a first trial.

Places to read
Start with the Gear Guide on this site - shows in the banner above each page - for a basic run-thru on types of kayaks and gear.

Also go here for more in-depth info. Don’t be put off by the name - it is mostly basic stuff.

I good easy read beginner book that should cover all you want to know (gear, strokes, terms, etc) is:

You can also dig around the web on multiple sites and eventually come up with same info as well but sometimes it is nice to just learn from a good book by someone well respected in the sport.

take your time …
…many 1st timers think they can paddle like they have been doing it for yrs …dont be surprised if you tire easily @ 1st …or if U go in circles because one arm is stronger than the other…concentrate on even left/ right paddle strokes. Basic rule …wider boats are more stable but slower …narrow boats are faster but can be tippier, especially for new paddlers. wear your life vest , dont stick it under the deck bungee cord. good luck & have fun