I’m currently living in the DC area and hoping to get into whitewater kayaking. Does anyone have advice for a newbie to the world of kayaking and whitewater.
Kayak shop and take lessons
Here are some good people:
I have taken a few classes with these folks and was quite happy with them.
Learn to roll ASAP. It will give you confidence in pushing your boundaries and improving your skills.
Yup To The Above…
white water kayaking can get you dead faster than most other types of kayaking. Getting lessons not only on skills but on river reading and hazards is a good way to start. Then join a local club. White water is one of the kayaking venues you really, really don't want to do it alone, unless you got some good skills and know a river well and that river is well within your envelop of skills.
Whitewater kayakers, as a group, emphasize and learn to roll much earlier on then other kayakers. Rolling will allow you to learn and enjoy much quicker progression in other aspects of white water, as well as to avoid the cuts and bruises of swimming down a stretch of rapids.
easier learning curve kayaking
I am from the area, originally learned to kayak and sail there. First: join one of the many clubs, clubs offer trips at all levels, some lessons, and may even have a few xtra kayaks around. I belonged to Monocacy Canoe Club , there are others too.
That said, I suggest learning with a sit on top, and or inflatable. I wish I had. I spent a lot of time learning to roll and not really being able to get out there. If I had a decent sit on top, or inflatable, I could have learned the water conditions better without being afraid of flipping.
THe top sea kayakers in the world use SOTs the tsunami rangers in california, also Rob lyon who soloed around Vancouver island, A helios inflatable took 2nd place last year against hard boats in the San Juan race.
More enjoyment, safety, less flipping,
less equipment to buy( skirts, seasock, flotation).
**Most people with sit in kayaks will tell you these boats are better, you have to learn to roll etc. etc.**
theres a whole site devoted to this:
If you aren't convinced I have a nice sit in kayak for sale, ;)
* I agree with the suggestions to get lessons first, but remember some clubs have excellent lessons without the profit motive.