Kayaking equipment is extremely varied and can go from basic and vital requirements to random bells and whistles. While both men and women can benefit from basic equipment, certain elements require special consideration. Finding the right kayaking equipment for women implies checking for more details, but it’s certainly not impossible. So, what do you have to pay attention to?
Life jackets for women come with a few extra features to make life comfortable. Basically, they often come with split paneling for the chest to keep it secure and safe. Some models come with a low profile, which implies less foam around the breasts.
Other than that, a good jacket will be slightly shorter in the front than in the back – excellent for a woman’s body, but also for kayaks with high backrests.
Failing to get a specialized jacket will cause a lot of discomfort, as the bust will be split and pushed up. It will also feel bulky as you try to paddle.
The Right Paddle
Paddles are often overlooked in the process. While many kayaks come with paddles, the more dedicated kayakers will inevitably invest in high quality items as well. Choosing the right paddle can be challenging with so many options, sizes or materials.
If there’s one rule for women, that’s the grip size. Typically, women have smaller hands. While they can grab a regular paddle and use it, chances are you’ll need one with a thinner shaft.
Years ago, you could only find one size standard for people with small hands. Today, you’ll find a wide variety of sizing standards. Make sure you can grip the shaft comfortably and can go paddling for a few hours without feeling any tension or pain.
While men can also get spray skirts for their kayaking experience, this accessory is more popular among women. Its main role is to prevent the water from invading the kayak, but also to offer some extra protection against wind and low temperatures. It will maintain the bottom half of your body at the right temperature too.
Spray skirts can be worn under a life jacket. You put them on like you put skirts, then attach them to the cockpit rim. They always feature an emergency opening mechanism, such as a loop or a cord.
While many women go kayaking barefoot, having some sandals with you will pay off when you hit the shores. You don’t want to slip on wet rocks. Sandals should feature a strap around the heel for stability. You don’t want them coming off as you swim.
When paddling in cold weather, opt for neoprene, wool or fleece socks, as they’ll keep your feet warm. Neoprene is the best material for insulation.
The Right Clothing
Stick to clothes that will not absorb moisture. From this point of view, avoid cotton. Always dress with the worst scenario in mind and consider both the air and water temperature.
Bottom line, certain kayaking equipment for women comes with some special features, while other elements are common in both men and women. Take your time to analyze the features of each piece of equipment for a smart decision.