kayaking mistakes

5 Kayaking Mistakes Done By Many Kayakers!

Everyone can kayak without any prior knowledge. Sound looks very easy huh! Anyone can paddle that’s true but not paddle efficiently and comfortably with conserving energy for the whole trip. 

If you do not know the basics of kayaking, you will make some kayaking mistakes. You may think that you are doing right. In fact, you may be losing your energy or enthusiasm for kayaking due to not knowing how to kayak comfortably and enjoyably.

In this article, I will share with you 5 common mistakes that people make and tell you how you can become an efficient kayaker. Let’s see what are those common kayaking mistakes.

Kayaking Mistake #1: Side to Side Rocking

Many beginners make this mistake frequently. During their stroke, they frequently rock side to side. It increases the chances of tipping over.

In a running river or high rapids, this type of rocking causes the side edge of their kayak to dip into the waves or rapids, and hence they are easily tipped over.

If this happens, many beginners are not able to come back from that tip-over position. In the end, they are scared of kayaking and lose the courage and energy to start again after swallowing water.

So, how can you prevent yourself from that situation? Don’t worry, a very simple thing can help you in this process. Just keep your kayak flat during paddling.

That does not mean your kayak has to be as flat as your dining table! You may lean towards your forward stroke but not to the side-wise. Just make sure you are paddling while keeping your kayak flat. 

After learning how to come back from the tip-over position, rocking back and forth will not be an issue for you. You become a master of kayaking then I hope!

Kayaking mistake #2: Wrong Paddle Angle

Most beginners do not know about the power angle and the steering angle. They use their paddle almost horizontally to propel their kayak. Yes, they can propel it but it is hard for them to maintain straight kayaking, and loses energy very early. So what to do in this kayaking mistake?

Before starting kayaking, I recommend learning some basics of kayaking so that you have the knowledge and you can apply them during kayaking. 

The power stroke is the stroke that will allow propelling the kayak forward. Put your paddle vertical on the water and place it at the vow area and pull toward the stern. Do the same for another side. Placing a paddle horizontal on the water will help you to turn your kayak left or right direction.

kayaking mistake #3: Not reading the river 

Reading the river before hitting the water is very important. Many of us do not take it seriously and hence ended up very early in our journey. A river consists of rapids, waves, eddies, rocks, sharp edges, etc. 

As a beginner, a river that is full of high rapids and waves can be hazardous. So, you should know how to read a river before kayaking, especially white water kayaking.

kayaking mistake #4: Not wearing appropriate attire

A PFD is a mandatory item for both swimmers and non-swimmers. But many beginners ignore it to wear. Remember that life is most valuable than any other thing in the world. Sometimes swimmers also need to wear a PFD because it will help them keep afloat in case they lose energy to reach the bank of the river.

Cold water kayaking requires wearing drysuits. Not wearing a drysuit during cold weather days may lead a kayaker to hypothermia. So, choose a good dry suit for you before kayaking in cold water. 

Like a PFD, Drysuit there are several other accessories you need to put on depending on your kayaking locations, weather condition, etc.

kayaking mistake #5: Upper body rotation mistake

The basic rule of paddling is to keep the lower body stable while rotating the upper body. But many beginners think that if they rotate their torso, it may make their kayak unstable. Hence, they lose much energy during paddling under such restrictive movements. So, learn how to rotate your torso during the forward and reverse strokes.


These kayaking mistakes are not a matter of concern but they can make your journey tiresome in some cases or you may be injured. If you really think that kayaking is a passion for your leisure time or vacation, you should not fall into those common kayaking mistakes. Do not rush into something at the very beginning. Give some time for learning the basics of any skill set. Then run as you want. Best of luck and Happy kayaking!