50 Fitness challenges to shake up your fitness journey.
How many can you do?
No.19 Kayak on river rapids
Exhilaration is a certainty, fun is likely, but skill is probably a must. Hone your kayaking skills before you try rapids but when you have it mastered the rapids can be so much fun and a solid whole-body workout.
Kayaking uses a lot more technique, power, flexibility and core strength than you might think. Especially working your hips in a way you probably haven’t experienced before.
This one potentially requires you to overcome some fears, the fear of being upside down under water secured (using a ‘spray deck’) into my kayak was one. It took quite a bit of getting used to.
A technique can be applied with a stroke of the paddle and a flick with the hips you can right yourself. The ‘spray deck’ is this uniquely shaped piece of material that prevents water getting into the kayak and secures you with an elastic loop into the kayak. It is what allows you to remain buoyant but requires getting used to when things go wrong, but also has you tied into the kayak. You need to pull the loop away from yourself if you wish to release yourself underwater.
If this sounds a bit much for you, kayaking on lakes and slow-moving rivers is safer and even the sea on a calm day can be paddled on. Anything with a body of water involved can be dangerous so definitely consult an expert or even better go with an expert.
Use the kayaking saying – ‘less than three there never should be’. This in case you couldn’t crack the code refers to the number of kayakers on any outing. With a bit of skill and a short play kayak you can even surf some waves. Why no try kayaking it can open two thirds of the world that is normally closed to you.
Surf kayaking is fun for the experts who have mastered the lake and river techniques. You can surf the waves like a surfboard, using the paddle as a rudder to steer.
My Experience – I used to kayak a lot when I lived in Ireland, have had some great times with friends kayaking on rivers. Springtime was great as there was lots of water in the rivers. Sea kayaking was an experience I don’t think I was ready for, I tried it several times. The last time I did I managed to knock myself out when I caught a wave wrong when trying to paddle out. It slammed me into the ground as it broke. Good thing I was wearing a helmet.
Fun Fact – Kayaking is an Olympic sport with Hungary being the most successful country. Kayaking has also been used during wars for special operations missions by the US and the UK.
Elite Challenge – go to the beach and try surf kayaking
Alternate Test – Try long distance kayaking, allowing you to explore new areas of water
Fit Fifty Challenge – kayak down a river with rapids.