Kayaking 101

The 2013 Freestyle Kayaking World Championship has come to a close, and folks in the Nantahala Gorge are settling back to a life of quiet beauty in the North Carolina mountains. But the recent feats of athleticism and adventure have sparked a renewed interest in canoes, kayaks, and hand-propelled boats in the hearts of many nature lovers. Kayaking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and with the beautiful views from our Reflection real estate, it’s not hard to see why. Whether you’re sweeping down the rapids of the Ocoee River or paddling the placid waters of Lake Nantahala, here are a few tips to get you started on your kayaking excursion.


The key to any new venture is starting out safely and slowly. Stock up on sunscreen, grab your life-vest, and store a safety kit in the bottom of your boat. Chances are you won’t need your flashlight and bandages, but it’s better to have them on hand—along with your phone or radio—just in case you hit some turbulent waters.


Although picking your kayak is probably more fun, researching your paddle is an important consideration when heading toward the lake. Kayaking involves physical exertion, so it’s important to find a paddle that works with you. Choose the right size, style, and synthetic material for your strength and skill. When you’re prepped to go, use short, powerful strokes to propel you across the lake surface. Practice often to develop your muscles and improve your form and endurance.

Whether you’re training for canoeing competitions or simply enjoying the meditative relaxation inherent in the warm sun and clear waters of Lake Nantahala, learning to kayak is a great way to enjoy your North Carolina home. Stop by Lake’s End Marina for canoe rentals, or buy your own kayak for your cabin home. The summer is coming to a close, but today is the perfect day to seize the sunshine and voyage to places unknown.

photo from flickr

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