- Use a life jacket and appropriate clothing
The life jacket is essential for any navigation on the open sea. The Kayak company will provide you with one and teach you how to adjust it.
In summer we must protect ourselves from the sun. A kayak route takes between two and three hours, during which we will be exposed to solar radiation, wear a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a t-shirt . In winter, although it may be cold, we should not wear jackets or clothing that, when wet, weighs a lot and sinks us to the bottom; a neoprene thermal suit is the best option stag do ideas.
Wearing shoes is also advisable, although it is not necessary to kayak, but it is if we stop in a cove with stones or rocky bottom. The most recommended footwear is trekking sandals that are fastened, because open flip-flops can always slip off and sail into the sea.
- Carry waterproof bags for belongings
Nowadays everyone carries phones, car keys or wallets that get damaged when they get wet. The route monitor guide carries a bag in the waterproof compartment of his kayak and we can give him these objects so that they do not get wet. Another option is to carry them ourselves in a waterproof bag. Remember to tie this bag tightly, because if it falls, it will be useless if it ends up at the bottom of the sea.
- Take the route with someone who knows the area
Each coastal area has its predominant winds, its currents and its tides. In Cabo de Gata the tides are negligible , but since it is a cape that does have strong winds and currents, an expert monitor who knows the area will advise us and guide us to the best places.
- Check the weather forecast
In this case the wind is essential, we advise you to check the wind forecasts in the area you are going to sail before taking the route, this is the most reliable page for this: windfinder. The companies that carry out kayak routes in Cabo de Gata starting at 12 knots look for alternative areas where they can navigate, for example if there is an easterly wind they go to the area of the cape, if there is a west wind to the area of San Joseph, etc. Do not sail in very strong winds, keep in mind that at sea, as there are no obstacles, the wind usually blows stronger than on land.
- Learn the paddling technique
A well-performed row is very important for our navigation to be effective and for us to make the most of our energy. Semi-flexed arms, separation of our hands greater than that of our shoulders, sinking the paddle into the water but not too much, etc. These paddling techniques are explained by the instructors before starting the kayak route.
- Sit tight and sit up straight
Sitting with your back against the seat of the kayak, place your heels in the foot guides. Some kayaks have several guides depending on our height. The balls of your feet should be facing outward and your heels toward the center of the kayak. The knees should bend upward and outward.
- Row at an easy pace
Don’t give it everything at the beginning, you must reserve your strength. Start at a gentle pace while your muscles adapt to the exercise. Once we have been doing it for longer and we feel comfortable with the movements, we can pick up a faster pace, but at first slow and enjoy the experience . Above all, let us be aware that we must make the return journey and reserve strength for it.
- Stay close to shore and stay alert.
The shore always has to be at a distance less than what we can swim, going further from the shore than we can swim would be reckless because we never know what can happen to us. Stay alert, although kayaking is a safe sport, the sea always has to command respect . Kayak routes, apart from going with at least one instructor, are always accompanied by a safety boat.
- Don’t stray from the group
Apart from the fact that it is dangerous to be alone in the sea, if you move away from the group you can miss the instructions given by the monitor, which at any time can warn us of an area of currents and the place we should pass through. During the routes we must obey the instructions of the guide who is the person responsible for our safety and the one who knows the sea.
- Move in the direction of the kayak, not the opposite.
We are referring to the centrifugal force that we suffer when we turn suddenly, this is more noticeable in cars or on the train. Don’t fight the ship, go with it. If you turn your kayak, follow the movement and direction with your body. Use the kinetic energy of the kayak to your advantage. The kayaks used on the routes are very stable, but it is when we try to make strange movements in the opposite direction to where we are going that we can capsize. Here you can see some kayak models recommended for getting started in this sport.
Back on the beach
We have done about two hours of exercise and stretching is vital to avoid soreness and feeling bad the next day. Remember that we have worked both arms and legs, we must stretch the upper body and lower body .
- Hydrate ourselves
During the kayak trip we have made an effort, and especially in summer, we must hydrate ourselves. On organized kayak routes, refreshments are offered to participants at the end of the route. Likewise, at the stop that takes place in a cove, halfway through the tour the instructor will offer us water and nuts to regain strength.