Kayaking is a water sport that involves paddling a canoe-like watercraft on a body of water.
This sport is of course not going to be fun for everyone.
But if you’re the kind who loves nature or loves adventure, kayaking is an activity you should enjoy.
This content was created to provide you with all the essential information you’ll need about kayaking.
So if learning all these essential information is your reason for coming here, be assured that you’re reading the right content.
Before I start to provide you with this info, for the sake of those who are still doubtful about trying out kayaking, I’ll like to inform you about 4 additional reasons why trying out kayaking is a good idea.
And there we go.
More reasons to consider kayaking
Kayaking is a great activity for people who like trying out new things
There are people who love to try out new things, from time to time —
You may see them swimming in the water of the remotest beach in Nigeria;
You may see them walking the canopy walk at Lekki Conservation Centre;
You may see them playing with the animals at a zoo, etc.
And if you’re one of such people, I’ll like to mention that, kayaking [especially on the Lagos Lagoon] is something you’ll find worthwhile trying out.
Kayaking is a great way to get used to overcoming fear
Fear is one of the primitive means by which we humans respond to threats.
At times, fear can also be a big obstacle to our progress; in other words, there are times when we need to face our fears, so that we may progress in life.
Facing fear isn’t that easy, at least initially. Being able to face fear easily requires practice.
So “if you’re the kind who isn’t good at facing their fears” and “if you’re also the kind who finds it scary being on a large body of water”, you can practise “facing your fears” by trying out kayaking.
Kayaking is a proven way to build your upper body
While most people see kayaking as a sport, the activity is a lot more than that. Kayaking is also a good body-building activity.
I’m not saying that if you engage in it, you’ll become as mind-blowing as Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But I can assure you that, kayaking will make your upper body physically fit, even though the fitness may not be evident from outside.
Kayaking is a proven way to build stamina
Stamina is the ability to keep going under great stress.
Stamina is that ability to continue doing that thing, even when your whole body prefers to take a break.
And a fact is,
We need “stamina” to achieve many things.
If you’ll like to build your stamina and wonder how to do it, kayaking is a great way to start. Kayaking involves paddling. When you paddle for a while, your arms and some other parts of your body start to ache. But if you can continue to paddle, despite how hard it gets, your stamina will grow.
Another reason to consider kayaking is that it can be very useful for building stamina, a crucial element required for some successes.
Gears needed for kayaking
A session-appropriate outfit
You’ll often see people kayaking with any outfit they like, but this isn’t right.
When going kayaking,
Firstly, you’ll have to ensure that you dress appropriately.
As stated above,
Kayaking is a sport, so you shouldn’t dress like you’re going to a wedding or to a club.
Or simply put,
It’ll be much better to put on a shirt and a short, compared to putting on a gown or an agbada.
When going kayaking, especially long-distance paddling, you should dress in a way that prepares you for a capsize.
While preventive measures will be taken to avoid a capsize, there are people who still manage to get themselves into the water.
So to prevent a situation where you fall into the water and end up getting killed by hypothermia [cold], because there’s no one to come to your rescue on time, you additionally have to put on an outfit that can help reduce the rate at which you’ll lose body heat.
If you don’t know what types of cloth can reduce “heat loss rate”, know that there are ready-made kayaking overalls designed for this.
So you can consider getting one of these ready-made overalls.
I understand that some of you may not like the idea of having to buy an outfit, just to engage in kayaking.
For such people,
I’ll like to mention that, in some places, it’s possible to rent these outfits.
If you won’t be engaging in long-distance kayaking sessions, you can ignore putting on a “heat loss reduction outfit” and instead simply put on just something that’s smart.
A kayak and a paddle
To engage in kayaking,
You’ll of course need a kayak.
And when I say you’ll need a kayak, I’m not saying you’re going to have to buy one.
There are actually places where you can rent these watercraft.
But if you have the money, nothing stops you from getting one for yourself.
Where you can find kayaks to rent, see the “Places you can engage in kayaking” section.
And of course,
When you buy or rent a kayak, you’ll also have to get a paddle or paddles.
To go kayaking,
One of the gears you’ll also need is a helmet.
You may be surprised and wonder, “Why do I need a helmet?”.
There are some water bodies where rocks are present around and under.
And if for some reason someone capsizes, while kayaking on these water bodies, it isn’t impossible that they’ll hit their head on one of the rocks.
So to make sure that your head is also protected, in the event of a capsize, it is highly recommended that you put on a helmet.
A flotation device
A flotation device is a type of device that helps ensure that in the event of a capsize, the accident victim doesn’t drown.
A good example of this is something called a life jacket.
If you fall into a water, with a life jacket on, you may gulp in some amount of water, but within a few seconds, you head should be back up, and you will find yourself floating on top of the water, instead of drowning.
So before you go kayaking, you should also ensure that you’re putting on an appropriate flotation device, e.g. a life jacket. Doing so is in your own best interest, so please take this with all seriousness.
A monitor & a means of communication
While there are stringent rules put in place, to ensure that kayaks don’t capsize, kayaking accidents still happen, often due to faults from humans.
And to prevent these occasional accidents from resulting in the deaths of people, there are additional measures put in place.
One of these additional measures is that, before anyone goes kayaking, there must be a monitor as well as a means of communication among the kayakers and the monitor.
What I mean by a monitor is — a person who watches kayakers as they kayak, so that if there’s ever an accident, they can help to rescue the kayakers.
Monitors stand by the shore of a water body, with a boat [speed boat, canoe, etc], and watch the kayakers.
A means of communication is another gear you should have.
If all of you kayaking and your monitor will be close to one another, you may not need this, but if anyone of you will be far from the rest, it’s important to have a means of communication.
By having a means of communication, it’ll be possible to know when a person who is not in sight is in danger; having this gear can make all the difference between life and death, so take this with all seriousness.
If you wonder what I mean by a means of communication, I’m talking about things like phones [e.g. waterproof smartphone, waterproof walkie talkie, etc].
I think it’s also important to explicitly state that, your means of communication should be such that, it won’t be easy to lose it.
If you’re going to be using smartphones as your means of communication, put them in pockets where they’ll never slip out unknowingly or by mistake.
Whistle is also one of the things you should have, before participating in a kayaking session.
For the people who won’t be kayaking far apart from one another and feel they can’t afford to get a proper means of communication, you must have whistles.
A whistle can serve as a simple means of communication.
It is very affordable and it is easy to carry around, so there’s very little justification for not having them.
For the people who may be far apart, I already stated that it’s mandatory to have a means of communication.
But that’s not all,
It is also important that each of you carry a whistle with you.
A whistle can be very helpful as a backup means of communication.
A whistle can also be very helpful if you’ll like to call the attention of someone else on the water who isn’t connected to your group’s communication network.
If you will be kayaking for more than 16 minutes per session, one of the things you should also get is drinking water.
Kayaking for more than 30 minutes per session will most likely make you thirsty, so unless you don’t mind drinking from the water your kayak is moving on, you should bring along drinkable water.
Multiple first aid kits
First aid kits are among the gears you should have.
With a first aid kit, if something goes wrong, you’ll be able to administer the victim(s) some aid, before they receive proper treatment.
And when going kayaking,
I do recommend having 2 or more kits. 1 kit must be offshore and at least 1 kit must be onshore.
Rules of kayaking
Kayaking is a great activity, but as you must have already realized, it can go from being a great activity to being a dangerous one.
And to prevent it from transforming into a dangerous activity, there are established rules every kayaker must obey.
Follow these rules and you’ll be just fine.
Beginners should seek the help of experts
If you’re just starting kayaking, one of the things you should do is to seek the help of an expert.
Find an expert who will supervise all your sessions, until the expert feels you can now kayak without their help.
I understand that some people may feel like, “But I’ve watched YouTube videos, and I know all there is to know.”.
Truly, you may have watched and learned a lot on your own, but still, follow this rule.
My reason for saying this is that, there are often one or more little but important things self-taught kayakers don’t get aware of when they self-learn, and they often don’t get aware of these vital things unless they try to practice in front of an expert.
Obey this rule.
Ensure that you have all the essential gears listed above
The proceeding section discussed the gears expected of you to have, if you’ll like to engage in kayaking.
And before going kayaking,
One of the rules you have to obey is that you must have all the essential gears.
I’m talking about those gears I said you should never go kayaking without.
If you can,
You should also make effort to get the gears which I claim to be “optional but recommended”.
As I stated earlier, if you don’t have the money to buy all the needed gears, there are places where you can rent them.
Make sure you understand the basics
When going kayaking,
One of the rules you also have to comply with is that, you must understand the basics of kayaking.
You must have knowledge about things like —
- the correct way to get into a kayak,
- the right way to sit in a kayak,
- the right way to hold a paddle,
- the right way to paddle, and so on.
You can learn some of these basics online, but I’ll recommend finding an instructor or an expert to teach you, to ensure that you completely understand the basics.
Avoid kayaking alone [For both short and long-distance]
One of the rules of kayaking says, a person should avoid kayaking alone.
If you’ll like to engage in the activity, there have to be at least two people — you and a monitor [I’ve already explained the meaning of a monitor above].
I should add that,
If you’re going to be engaging in a long-distance kayaking session and you’re not a good swimmer, there should be at least one other kayaker who knows how to swim.
Avoid kayaking under unsuitable weather conditions
Kayaking is not an activity you can engage in under just any weather condition [WC].
There are some weather conditions under which kayaking may be dangerous, to not only you but also other people.
Engaging in the sport under certain WCs is one of the top reasons for kayaking accidents.
As regards the details of what types of WC are okay to play in, there are a lot of details about that, but I’ll be postponing their details till the next section.
Avoid kayaking when not in a good health condition
Kayaking is an activity that requires significant mental and physical effort.
And if you’re not in a good health condition, you shouldn’t partake in it.
When you’re told not to kayak when not in a good health condition, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it when you have mild health issues like — catarrh, mild depression, etc.
Be mentally and physically prepared for a capsize
There are stringent protocols put in place to prevent kayaking accidents, but we still hear of kayaking accidents, often caused by human errors.
And one of the ways we ensure these accidents don’t result in the loss of lives is by getting kayakers prepared mentally and physically for a capsize.
Before you have your first kayaking session, the expert supervising your learning should teach you how to be mentally and physically prepared for a capsize.
But you can also consider reading more about this online yourself.
I should discuss the whole thing here, but trying to do so will take too much of space here.
So I’ll leave the details to your supervisor and your personal learning through online articles, books, and YouTube videos.
To give a general idea of what preparing you mentally and physically means —
- you’ll be taught to stay calm and never to panic when you capsize;
- you’ll be taught that it’s best to stay with a capsized kayak, unless there is a danger heading your way; and so on.
Don’t kayak too close to others on water
There is a very good chance that there will be other people on the water —
They may be your fellow kayakers,
They may be strangers on canoes,
They may be strangers on speed boats,
They may even be strangers on ships, etc.
So when kayaking and you see other people around, avoid getting too close to them, even if you know one another.
Raise your challenge gradually
If during your kayaking sessions, you’ll like to know how far away you can go from your starting point, I’ll ask you to raise the challenge gradually.
I’ve come across many situations where people go too far, and they are unable to paddle back to their starting point, because they got very tired on their way back to the starting point.
Finding yourself in this kind of situation can be very dangerous.
So when testing your limit, start with a small distance, then increase it gradually.
Your fellow kayakers or even strangers may need your help.
And according to one of the kayaking rules, you shouldn’t refuse to help them.
Even if you don’t know the person, you should still try to help them.
The only situation I may not recommend helping is if you feel doing so can put you in danger.
But even under this kind of situation, you should still try to see if there are some other ways you can help.
Weather condition rules of kayaking
Somewhere in the previous section [Rule 5], I mentioned that you should avoid kayaking under unsuitable weather conditions.
This section is where I’ll be discussing the details.
Your kayaking session must be when the wind speed isn’t too high
One sign of an unsuitable weather condition is when the wind speed is too high.
When the wind speed is too high, there’s a great chance that your boat will get capsized.
High wind speeds can also create many other unpleasant surprises.
So if you should see that the wind speed is above 10 knots [or 11.5 mph], you should avoid going on a kayaking session.
Your kayaking session must be on a non-turbulent water body
If you’re going to be kayaking on large water bodies, there is a very great chance that you’ll come across situations when the water will be turbulent.
Kayaking under a turbulent condition is a very bad idea, so you should avoid it at all cost.
The fact that you can see speed boats and shipping moving on a turbulent water doesn’t mean you too can; kayaks are more vulnerable, so don’t make the mistake of comparing them to speed boats and ships.
Your kayaking session must be during a broad daylight
If you’ll like to go kayaking, another of the things you have to ensure is that, you should do it during a broad daylight —
You need to be able to see everything around you when kayaking;
Other people have to be able to see you;
You need to engage in the activity when people will be available for an emergency action; etc.
So in short,
If you won’t like to put yourself in life-threatening situations, only consider this sport between the hours of 7 am and 5 pm.
Even if you’re good at the sport, you should still stick with this time frame.
Your kayaking session must be when it isn’t raining
Another weather-related rule is about whether it’s raining or not.
You may have seen pictures of people kayaking in a rain, but this is a very bad idea.
There are so many ways kayaking under a rain can cause you problems —
Doing so can get you very cold,
Doing so can get you greeted with unbelievable water levels,
Doing so will get you exhausted much faster,
Doing so can get you greeted with newly created dangerous spots created by the rain, etc.
Take this rule with all seriousness.
Let’s assume that it started raining all of a sudden while kayaking, what you should do is, paddle out of the water quickly, but don’t go too fast.
You should be very attentive and watch out for dangers.
You furthermore shouldn’t panic.
And if you aren’t the only one, you should watch out for one another.
As regards whether it’s okay to kayak shortly after a rainfall, the answer is of course “No”.
Doing so is just as dangerous as doing it during a rainfall, unless you’re a highly-experienced kayaker who understands what additional precautions to take.
Places where you can engage in kayaking
The Lagos Lagoon
The Lagos Lagoon is one of the most ideal places to kayak in Lagos.
The lagoon is a natural one that collects water from the Ogun River and the Osun River.
It empties its contents into the Atlantic ocean.
The width of the Lagos Lagoon varies along its length, with the width ranging from 3 km to 13 km; this means that, there’s room for a lot of kayakers per session.
With the length of the lagoon being over 50 km, people interested in testing their limits, will get the chance to have more fun, compared to many other places.
Fair Acres Country Club
Fair Acres Country Club is another good destination to engage in kayaking.
As the name implies,
The place is a country club, and I’ve already written about it here.
I must mention that kayaking at the place requires a membership fee.
And the reason why I’m still recommending the country club is that, the water there is usually calmer.
I should add that,
If you’ll like to kayak here, you should be ready to buy all the equipment pieces you’ll need, as kayaking gears are not available for rent here.
Kampari Tours isn’t necessarily a place like the Lagos Lagoon or Fair Acres Country Club.
Rather Kampari Tours is a company that helps organize outing activities.
In other words,
If you’ll like to go kayaking, instead of having to find a place and make arrangements for all the gears you’ll need, they will do it for you.
All you’ll have to do is just meet them at the specified location, day, and time.
The best part is,
The company handles the whole thing at very affordable prices.
A single person shouldn’t have to pay more than N5,000 for a 1-hour kayaking session.
So if you’ll like to use the service of this company, head over to their official website for further details.
La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort
La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort is a beach resort located in the Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos.
The resort has room for those who’ll like to go kayaking, and I consider it a place worthwhile of considering.
I should make it known that, you may even prefer this location, as you can relax and enjoy the beauty of the place, after your kayaking sessions.
But just like the other locations, choosing La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort has its drawbacks; the place is not one of those where you can find gears for rent, at least not as of December of the year 2020.
I should mention that,
While it’s further possible to pass the night at the resort, I won’t recommend doing so, for the reasons discussed under an article I already wrote about La Campagne.
Landmark Beach, which is arguably one of the best beaches in Lagos, is another ideal location for kayaking.
At the beach,
You should be able to rent all the gears you’ll need for the sport.
I’ll suggest that, you should first confirm if all the necessarily gears are available, as I haven’t kayaked here for a while.
Landmark Beach is a premium Lagos beach.
So aside from the money you’ll have to pay for the sport, you’ll also have to pay an entrance fee.
For further details,
Consider checking out our content about Landmark.
Lagos Kayak, Ikoyi
Lagos Kayak, which is located in the Ikoyi area of Lagos, is another location to consider.
I’ve not been there, but I have friends who claim the place to be a good one.
I was also told that, there are kayaking gears available, so you shouldn’t have to bother about making the arrangements by yourself.
7. Omu Resort
Omu Resort, which is a well-rated resort in Lagos, is another place you may consider.
I haven’t also been there, but with the positive remarks I’ve heard about the place, I have no choice but to also mention it in this content.
For further information about the place, consider visiting their official website: OmuResort.com.
Consider getting loaded with energy
Kayaking is an energy-demanding activity.
So before going for the sport, consider loading up yourself with energy.
You can take any proper food you like, but don’t take something that will make your stomach too heavy.
If you’re the type who likes to take energy drinks, you can consider the option.
But when I say “energy drinks”, I’m not talking about things like Pepsi, Coca Cola, Bigi Cola, etc. I’m rather talking about real energy drinks; for instance, I personally consider the likes of Fearless and Energy Monster.
Come with a face cap and sunshade
While there is no rule that says you must come with a cap and a sunshade, this is a tip I think you’ll appreciate.
To get the best out of your kayaking session, you’ll need to be comfortable, and these items can be very helpful in providing that.
Consider learning how to swim
While it is allowed for people to engage in kayaking, without having to know how to swim, I will suggest that, you should first learn how to swim.
People get very scared when kayaking, and I’ve discovered that learning how to swim makes people more comfortable.
Swimming lessons are now very affordable, so money shouldn’t be a reason not to be able to learn it.
The things discussed above are all the essential things I feel you should know about kayaking in Lagos Nigeria.
But it won’t be a bad idea to consume more content [texts, images, and videos] about it.