Why you should get a kayak? 15 reasons to get paddling!

A man in a kayak holding up a paddle asking why should you get a kayak

If you live within distance of a safe waterway, like a river, lake, open ocean or harbor, you might be considering the different options for a watersport to take up. 

This article will quickly go through the reasons why you should get a kayak so that you can make an informed decision about whether kayaking feels right for you. 

You should get a kayak because there are so many benefits including, it burns hundreds of calories, the equipment lasts a long time, it’s basically free each time you go out, every trip is a different adventure, and kayaking can be a very peaceful calming hobby.

Why you should get a kayak? Answered

Here are 15 reasons why you should get a kayak:

1. Kayaking is growing in popularity

Compared to canoeing, paddleboarding, and rafting, kayaking is the most popular, with the highest number of users out of all these watersports. 

It also continues to grow in popularity. Research has shown that kayaking recently overtook canoeing in popularity, and if you look on Google Trends, you can see that searches for ‘kayaking’ outnumber searches for ‘canoeing’ by a significant difference from 2016-2021.

2. Kayaking is a great upper body workout

You use your arms to paddle after all!

You could be spending hours paddling in one session – this is an excellent exercise for multiple muscle groups. 

The main areas that are worked out are your forearms, lats, shoulders, and arms. 

Apparently, you can burn thousands of calories in one day of paddling, and it’s an even better calorie-burner than jogging is! 

Read more about whether kayaking is good exercise here.

3. You can kayak alone or with friends

Kayaking can be as social as you want it to be, or as lonesome (in a good way). 

Sometimes, I take a mate with me. Sometimes I don’t. 

I enjoy both. 

But each one suits me at different times and meets different needs. 

If I’ve had a really busy week at work and need some time to pause and relax, going kayaking solo is perfect. 

But if I need company and a laugh out on the water, bringing a mate works great.

4. You can even bring your dog kayaking

You don’t just have to decide whether you take your human friends kayaking – you can also take your canine ones.

Kayaking with dogs is incredibly popular among kayakers – there is even an active Facebook group about it (with great photos!). 

People pimp their kayaks with all sorts of dog-friendly modifications. 

Think bedding, cushions, separate bed platforms on the kayak, even floating platforms for the dog – their own little vessel to sleep on. 

5. Kayaking equipment lasts a long time

A pair of running shoes should only last you a couple of years. 

A tennis racket becomes worn and outdated very quickly. 

A kayak, though, is built to withstand the elements thrown at it. 

Granted, kayaks are vulnerable to prolonged exposure to the sun and extreme temperatures, but if you look after your kayak well, you could be using it for years. 

Just be sure to avoid any rocks or other boats out on the water – those are also not kayak-friendly. 

6. Kayaking is basically free once you buy the gear

Buy the kayaking gear once, and every session from then on is basically free. 

Free except for maybe the fuel to drive it, or the energy to cart it, to the local waterside to launch. 

This is the great thing about kayaking – once you have the gear, and you look after it well, you could be a kayaker for the next foreseeable future. 

Unlike other sports, where you have to always update your gear and change what you have, kayaks generally last very well. 

I’ve had my kayaks for nearly five years now and they still look almost new because I’ve looked after them. 

7. Each kayaking trip is different

No two paddling sessions are the same. 

It sounds a bit cliché, but this is true. 

The weather conditions will be different. Sunnier, cloudier, rainier.

The water will be different. Clear, still, choppy, clouded.

The light will be different. Bright, dull, neutral. 

The time of day can be a huge contrast. Dusk versus dawn, I’m still unsure which one I prefer – I love them both for what they bring to a kayaking session.

A woman paddling and enjoying the benefits of kayaking.

8. It’s incredibly peaceful

As you launch into the water for an hour or three of paddling, you jettison life to the side for a bit. 

It becomes about you. And seeking peace and enjoyment. 

After those busy weeks, finding respite in the 48hr period we call a weekend is important.

If you treasure alone time, to be with your thoughts, and to be present, kayaking is for you!

9. You can fish while you kayak

I do a lot of this, and it’s really fun.

Fighting a fish from a kayak is a thrill. You have to land the fish, but also remain dry. Splashes are ok.

If you’re keen on fishing and want to give kayak fishing a go – I’d strongly recommend getting a fishing kayak. 

Fishing kayaks are much wider and they are far more stable than their other kayak cousins. 

10. It’s a mini adventure in a few hours 

Where will you go? 

You don’t have to decide anything until you are on the water. Whether upstream or downstream, across the lake or along the shore, across the harbor or around the bay – it’s all up to you. 

This is a big draw of kayaking. 

It’s a choose-you-own-adventure kind of sport. 

With tennis or croquet, you know where you are and what the rules are. Which way is the ball going? Oh yes, I remember.

With kayaking, you are let loose (safely, of course).

You decide what you want to go and see, what you want to explore a little more. 

And there are no time limits (other than bathroom, food, and water needs). 

11. See parts of your city or area you don’t see normally

On a kayak, you view the world from a very different angle. 

You can reach spots you can’t get to by foot, reach little beaches or banks that you’ve never been to before.

Near me, you have to cross the ferry line to get to the other side of the bay. 

Floating beneath a colossal 1,000 person ferry is a humbling experience! 

They say that new experiences are very healthy for the brain, so getting in your kayak and going to see some new spots can only be a good thing. 

Someone on a kayak enjoying the social benefits of kayaking.

12. Get a natural bronze (if it’s sunny)

Perhaps only relevant for the sun worshippers out there, but when kayaking you can get a pretty good tan. 

You’re out in the sun all day, baking away. So you can pick up a pretty good bronzing.

However, always use sun protection, because you don’t always notice yourself but I g as your doing an activity like kayaking. 

Better to be safe than lobster-ed. 

13. Join a community

The kayaking community is alive and splashing. 

There are so many kayaking groups on Facebook which are incredibly welcoming and encouraging of beginners joining the sport. 

You may also have a kayaking group or club local to you. 

Online and local communities are a great way to learn and get your questions answered by those with tons of experience. 

14. Learn new things

Kayaking builds a variety of knowledge.

Your paddling technique – which can be transferred to other paddle sports – is one of them. 

You also learn things like water safety, for example, tides or currents, and how they affect the conditions on any given day.

You may also learn how the water traffic operates and the rules required to safely paddle along a river or in a harbor. Sneak-peek: it’s not that different from driving on the roads! 

You might also learn new thighs about the wildlife around you or in the water if you’re interested. 

I was out kayaking the other day and a huge bird swooped down and hooked a fish out of the water with its talons right in front of me! 

I looked the bird species up later when back home and discovered it was a white sea eagle. 

15. It’s a great entry-level to other watersports

Kayaking is a perfect entry-level sport for other sports like SUP, whitewater kayaking, or rafting. 

Kayaking is an easy way to get used to paddling and being in the water, before moving on to paddle sports that require a bit more skill. 

If you go for a sit-on-top, these can be really stable so are a brilliant introduction to kayaking. 

Sit-on-top kayaks are the best for fishing from too because they’re more difficult to tip over. 

Or go for a long, stable sit-in kayak as your first kayak. If you want to avoid getting wet, buy a splash skirt! 

Why you should get a kayak? Summary.

There you go – 15 pretty strong reasons why you should get a kayak.

If anyone or a few of these appeal to you, making the small investment to gear up and get a kayak will be worth it. 

It’s one of those hobbies that gives you great life experiences and encourages you to get out into the wilds of the world.

Read more about the health benefits and exercise advantages of kayaking here.

Happy paddling!