If you have never been kayaking it is definitely something you should add to your summertime bucket list.  While it is compared to canoeing often there are some pretty big differences.  But for the beginner to get off on the right foot, or rather the right paddle you’re going to need the right equipment.  Here is a guide to kayaking equipment for beginners.

The Kayak

First and foremost you’re going to need a kayak.  While you may not be able to discern the differences between models there are plenty.  For a beginner all you need is a simple recreational kayak and they are going to be around 15 feet long.  It will allow you and any passengers to get in and out fairly easily and it has some decent back support.  Some of them have a foot pedal to help you steer in rougher waters.

A Paddle

You do not want to be up the proverbial creek without the right paddle.  Kayak paddles are a bit different from a canoe paddle, a kayak paddle will have a blade on each end.  Kayak paddles will be somewhere between 6-8 feet long, however the length of paddle should be based on your height.  The taller you are the longer your paddle needs to be.  Most paddles today are made of plastic and if you’re new to kayaking grabbing an extra paddle is probably a good idea just in case that yours break.

Wet Suit or Swimwear

The thing with kayaking, even for experienced kayakers you are going to get wet.  If you’re trying it out for the first time in the summer you can get away with wearing shorts or a bathing suit.  As you get more experienced then you might want to invest in a wet suit.  Dress according to the weather but bear in mind the water is always a few degrees colder.

Flotation Devices

You may be the best swimmer in the world but it is better to be safe than sorry.  Grab a flotation device like a life jacket that allows for arm and neck movements.


Helmets are probably not the first thing you think of when it comes to kayaking but better safe than sorry.  You could get hit with a paddle or hit a rock in the water, always protect yourself.

If this is a new sport that you’re trying for the first time it may seem like you need a lot of equipment to hit the water.  Don’t let that stop you from trying something new.  Kayaking is an amazing way to step out from your comfort zone and see nature in a whole new way.  Once you finally try it you may find it to be something you absolutely love.