Exercise! - Kayaking

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06-19-2005, 02:24 PM
I am a fairly fit person and I have always had a dream of kayaking. I have a significant amount of weight to lose, though, and I am scared that a kayak may not support me or that I wouldn't be able to do it. Wondering if any of you good folks have any thoughts or ideas? Maybe I should start with canoeing, but darn, I have the same fears related to that.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance,

06-19-2005, 03:20 PM
Hi there Jenaya!

I have kayaked at 200 or so pounds, in Massachusetts lakes and once around the Seattle bays. The openings on most kayaks are pretty wide, so no squishing, and they should be able to hold your weight certainly. They are sturdy and quite bouyant. It can be a challenge to get IN them as they tend to move around on the water, but if you hold onto the tie-down or dock and the kayak edge (squeezed together with one hand) as you get in, it's easier. It gets smoother with practice :) If someone can stand by and hold it still for you, even better.

I'd start off with a small time, like 30 minutes? Depends on what you do right now for exercise. Kayaking is a big upper body workout, and a bit of legs too, with the steering pedals inside.

The motion of moving the paddle through the air and water takes a bit of practice too heh! Kinda like patting your head and rubbing your stomach... to get it down where you are not wasting a ton of energy and moving yourself smoothly through the water. Not as hard as sculling though - phew! Sculling is a major balancing act. Very Zen. :cool:

Canoeing is fun too... I'd venture to say more leisurely than kayaking usually.

A bit of reassurance: once you are IN a kayak, it is really hard to dump yourself out. Unless you are in white water rapids or something extreme sports-like :lol: Because they are shorter and squatter than canoes, they can take a lot of motion before something dramatic occurs ;)

Wear a life jacket too, just in case... even if you can swim well, it makes it easier to tow yourself and the boat back in if you are not busting your butt to stay above water :)

Give it a try... I'd love to hear how you like it! :D

06-19-2005, 04:42 PM
I've never kayaked before, but have been both white water rafting and canoeing at somewhere around 250 lbs. I've actually discovered something since losing weight. I probably had a better chance had I fallen out of the raft or canoe then. I used to be extremely buoyant. Since losing weight, I sink like a rock. :D :D :D

06-19-2005, 10:53 PM
Thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer. You answered a lot of my questions that I am kind of shy to ask "in person fitness gurus" (god bless you cyber gurus who are always willing to lend a hand and an idea!) I am going to do this during the summer. I will post and let you know how it is going. Heck, I may even be brazen enough to post a pic of me and my kayak! I think I will take a month or so to get myself back in good shape (just had influenza so I have been flat out for a little while). Anyway, many many thanks! I appreciate the good insight and the helpful tips. Maybe I will start out with the canoe and aim for the kayak by mid to late August....Any other thoughts, comments, suggestions are gratefully appreciated.


Scare-D-Kat Jenaya

06-20-2005, 05:56 PM
Please let me know how it goes. This is going to be my next adventure. I'm purchasing a mountain bike to keep at my friends house in Albuquerque and when he comes here we want to get kayaks and do that here. I'm excited about mountain biking and figure that if the tires on the bike can hold me then I won't sink in the kayak :dizzy: !

06-20-2005, 06:28 PM
Hi Jenaya, so glad you are going to do this! There are many kinds of kayacks. The long narrower ones are harder to steer but cruises better. And it doesnt take rapids easily. The shorter squatter ones are easier to steer, but don't cruise-or glide easily, you have to work harder. :) ..When I first started kayacking I started out in a calm lake to get use to the feel of being in a kayack, learning the different strokes and how the stroke type affects how you move the kayack. You can paddle close to the shore line till you get more comfortable.Before you know it , you'll be able to do Class II-III river rapids no problem... and You will Love it!
Canoes can give you a work out especially going through dead water, its like moving a barge ! They can also help you learn the different paddle strokes.

Can't wait to hear about your first adventure!

06-21-2005, 12:27 AM
Yikes, rapids...not me! Chicken. My husband does the white water stuff, not me. I like calm water with shore close by. I am so so so excited though - I have booked the kayak for August 18, 2005. I am going to a lake that is 40 miles away and I am taking my husband along for moral support (I have rented him a kayak as well). My friend has a lakefront home with a great dock so I think I should be able to get my, hopefully much slimmer, butt into it without too much trouble....Ooooo, I am absolutely giddy about it....I will keep you posted.


06-21-2005, 12:30 PM
Ooooh, white water is fun. On my first white water trip, the guides decided to have a little fun with us. They stopped the truck for us to view a waterfall and explained to us that was a Class 5 rapid. LOL

Secondly, after we boarded the rafts, they gave us instructions for falling out. A. Sometimes one will land far from the boat, in which case we toss out this line with the weight attached, they grab on and are pulled back to the raft, then you haul them in thusly. B. Sometimes they fall next to the raft and you haul them in thusly. C. Once in a while you might find yourself under the raft. In such a case, remain calm, look up, and read the instructions printed on the bottom of the raft. ::snicker::

06-21-2005, 07:31 PM
Heck, I may even be brazen enough to post a pic of me and my kayak!

Ahoy, ye kayaking hussy! :lol:

Bring on the .JPGs! :D

Happy waves to you...

ETA: I have been corrected by those in the know ;) that The Proper Term is "Hussy", not "Huzzy." Mea culpa!

06-22-2005, 12:35 AM
Kayaking Huzzy!! Major giggle...you nut! To heck with the Kayaking Princess label I gave myself, yours sounds much more fun. Rose, I will let you know how it goes. Good luck with the biking! Perhaps you will get kayaking before I do! I am really excited but must get the upper body strength up! Almostheaven, Gee, I hope the kayak has instructions on the bottom - but most likely the bottom would be to the top which then puts me to the bottom. Hmm.... I will go to the library and get books and then start talking to a few folks I know who kayak before my BIG DAY! Wahoo...I hope to be around 250 when I go, so perhaps I will appreciate my buoyancy? Nice that there can be something positive about this weight. Sounds like you had an awesome trip with folks with good humour.

06-22-2005, 09:12 AM
Jenaya - I wanted to jump in and add my 2 cents. I love kayaking, your weight shouldn't be a problem. I had the same concerns when I bought my boat 5 years ago. It sounds as if you are renting and not buying but one thing to keep in mind. There are many makes and models and finding the right fit makes all the difference. It is like shopping for a pair of pants, it isn't one size fits all but you find the right fit for you. I paddle a Perception America - paddling.net is a great source for boat reviews, to ask questions, etc. Also, I found that boating actually was very motivational to me in losing weight - just such a great experience that I wanted to get more fit so I could do it more and better. As I remember back my biggest challenge when I first started was strengthening my back. You don't think of that but the position you sit in takes a lot of core strength to hold yourself upright for long periods of time. It didn't take long for this to resolve itself however. Good luck and have fun!

06-22-2005, 09:30 AM
I tried kayaking once, but due to a severe phobia of water, I quickly found out this was not an activity for me. I enjoyed most of my trip until I allowed myself to think about the deep water below me and literally froze in the middle of the lake. My friend who was with me had to practically help me pull my kayak back to shore! Blah!