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Summertime is finally here! Hailing from snowy Chicago, one lesson I have learned is that when warm weather comes around, you MUST take advantage of it. Kayaking in the summer is the perfect way to get some fresh air and exercise and enjoy beautiful coastline views.

My favorite way to start the summer season is with a nice paddle; there’s nothing like being out on the open water with the sun shining down upon you. Below are a list of reasons why you should get out and try these amazing activates this summer…soon, you’ll be hooked!

Canoeing and Kayaking:10 Reasons to Get on the Water This Summer

Kayaking this Summer on still waters is the perfect way to get exercise and explore these sandy shores.
Kayaking this Summer is the perfect activity to explore the outdoors! Photo Credit: Roman Pohorecki (Pexels)

1. It Won’t Break the Piggy Bank

Unless you plan on making canoeing and kayaking a staple in your summer routine, there is no need to purchase your own equipment. Rental shops can be found at most piers and beaches, and are inexpensive compared to other water sports (ranges from free to $15 at most shops).

Besides lifejackets, materials are one-size-fits-all, so no need to worry about shops running out of your gear!

2. It’s a Short and Sweet Adventure

Once in a canoe or kayak, you are in total control of thereat. This deciding speed, direction, and most importantly, time.

The excuse of “I’m too busy” no longer applies; getting out on the water is simple, and a nice paddle can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, leaving plenty of time for much-needed ice cream eating and movie-watching.

You can try kayaking this Summer to explore beautiful geologic formations like these rock islands in the ocean!
Explore the open ocean and amazing rock formations by boat! Photo Credit: Ricardo Esquivel (Pexels)

3. Get Much Needed Alone Time

I’ll just come out and say it- sometimes you need a break from friends, family, partners, social media etc. Getting out on the water always puts me in a tranquil state of mind in which I can clear my mind and refocus.

The rhythmic motion of paddling can be quite calming, and dare I say, reduce stress levels?! If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself! A daily dose of fresh air is can always boost my mood.

4. Or…Enjoy Guided Tours of Your Own City

However, if you are nervous about going out on the water alone, there are plenty of guided tours that will happily show you the way. Tour can last anywhere from 20 min to hours, and guides have a great sense of the local ecology.

Great for groups, families, and corporate retreats, canoe and kayak tours are a unique way to interact with nature and travel in a group to ensure a safe and successful adventure.

Try kayaking this Summer with friends and family- it is an activity for all!
Try kayaking this Summer with friends and family! Photo Credit: Johan Bos (Pexels)

5. You Can Get Tan and Toned

While beautifully golden skin and toned arm muscles should not be the main reason one starts kayaking, it certainly is a nice bonus! Canoeing and kayaking is exercise that you don’t really “feel” unless you are doing it for a while (perfect for exercises-resistant people like me).

So, if getting fit was on your New Years Resolutions list (everyone) then try out canoeing or kayaking!

6. It Fosters Community

Lovers of small boats (i.e. canoes and kayaks) are a tight-knit community. While paddling can be a solo experience, never doubt the strong support from your fellow canoers.

Some boathouses have teams, clubs, or memberships that meet to paddle and share their love for the outdoors! Join in on the fun and meet some new people- its beats watching Netflix and ordering pizza for the third time in a row.

Kayaking can be an urban activity right near your city!  City skyline kayaking is also beautiful.
Kayaking in an urban setting is convenient and beautiful! Photo Credit: Dan Nguyen (Flickr CC)

7. You’ll Gain Useful Knowledge

Learning how to paddle is a great skill to have! Canoeing, kayaking, and other water sports share the same mechanism for paddling, so why not help yourself and learn?

Also, guided tours give great details about the area in which you are paddling. Whether learning about water resolvers, water pollution, or sea level rising, canoeing and kayaking can be a great way to communicate environmental issues and see their affects firsthand.

8. It’s A Gateway Water Sport

If you have been resistant to trying any kind of water sport, canoeing and kayaking are two easy places to start. With wide, low, and stable bases, these boats rarely capsize, so no need to worry about a man overboard situation.

In addition to stability, canoeing and kayaking are great first water sports to try because you can set your own pace. Whether you’re seeking to make some waves or prefer a nature paddle, you are in total control- you got this!

Explore the red rocks of the Grand Canyon by boat- it will be an unforgettable experience!
Kayaking helps you explore epic natural landscapes. Photo Credit: Rick Smith (Flickr CC)

9. Kayaking is Pet-Friendly

No more worrying about torn up pillows and accidents in the house this Summer! Most rental shops have no problem with a furry companion keeping you company while out on the water, and who better to join you on this adventure than a fearless feline?!

10. You’ll Explore New Nooks and Crannies

Traveling by canoe or kayak provides the unique opportunity of exploring places larger boats cannot reach. If you are a nature lover or love the thrill of discovering something new, traveling by canoe or kayak is the perfect vehicle for going into the unknown.

Additional Resources

What to Pack to Go Canoeing and Kayaking this Summer

  • Swimsuit: Wearing a swimsuit is essential for being out on the water! When canoeing and kayaking, chances are you are going to get wet, so best to be prepared! Click here to compare styles and prices for our favorite swimsuits.
  • Sunglasses: Being out on the water is beautiful, but the water can really reflect light! Make sure to bring a pair of sunglasses and croakies to keep them from falling off.
  • Hat: It’s best to keep the sun of your head to keep you cool. Whether you prefer a nice bucket hat or a vintage baseball cap, keeping cool will ensure an awesome trip.
  • Water Bottle: Keeping hydrated is no joke! Paddling is a great way to exercise and relax, but that means it takes a lot of energy too! Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout your trip with these cool water bottles.
  • Sunscreen and Bug Spray: Don’t let the elements stop you from having an amazing paddle! I recommend bringing sunscreen and bug spray in the boat with ou to ward off any pests and sunburns.

For a more complete packing list, check out our ultimate kayaking packing list to help you prepare for all of your outdoor kayak adventures. These essentials will make your time kayaking and canoeing in San Diego an unforgettable experience!

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