Women now represent about 45% of the kayaking enthusiast population, but at the rate their segment is growing, they will soon outnumber men. Kayak manufacturers, gear & clothing suppliers, and outfitters have taken note of this trend and are eagerly adapting to meet the demand.
So why is the kayak sport so popular with females?
The reasons are many. We will list 10 key reasons why women love to kayak. You may find there are more.
1) FINESSE NOT BRUTE STRENGTH
One reason involves the dynamics of the sport itself. Kayaking is not a sport where brute strength necessarily excels. It is more about technique and balance.
Kayaking expeditions, whether a day trip or a week-long foray into the wilderness, require planning and attention to detail. These are all aspects where women often excel above their male counterparts.
2) LEARNING CURVE
Learning to kayak is easy. Generally speaking, women are of a different mind set than men. Women usually like to take formal lessons on a new hobby or past time. In kayaking, this mind set serves the girls very well. That is because, as previously mentioned, technique outweighs brawn in kayaking.
Most kayak outfitter shops offer lessons for beginners to cover the basics. These lessons usually only take about a morning. From then on a kayaker is safe for most inland water trips. For more advanced open water trips, many outfitters and kayak clubs offer higher skills training.
Note: Click Here to view a list of the kayaking courses we offer here at Frontenac Outfitters!
3) BODY DYNAMICS
Most women are actually better physically suited to kayaking than men. Women tend to be shorter than men and have a lower center of gravity. They are usually lighter than men. These physical characteristics combine to mean that a typical woman will be more stable in a kayak than a typical man.
So the average women will fit into a narrower boat with a lower deck. The smaller narrower boat will be lighter, lower and sleeker in the water. This makes up for the lesser upper body strength a female kayaker might have. When combined with good technique, she will have no problem keeping up with the boys. In fact, the boys may have to start finding excuses as to why they are being out paddled by a girl.
4) THE AMBIANCE
Kayaking allows the participants to really enjoy nature up close. It is totally different from motor boating. There is no noisy engine or smelly fuel. Most kayakers return from a trip talking about the wildlife they saw and the scenery they enjoyed.
Kayaks allow the paddler to go into shallow coves and up narrow creeks to really enjoy nature. The small boats enable the paddler to hear the birds, the water lapping on the shore, and even watch the marine life swim by. One of my favorite memories is from paddling on a glass smooth lake at sunrise on a quiet still morning and hearing the wing beats of a pair of mallards approaching from far across the water.
5) SOCIAL ASPECTS
Because they are so quiet, kayaks enable paddlers to talk and socialize during the whole experience. Kayaking is a great family experience. Kids can enjoy it with their parents from a very early age.
Many kayakers join paddling clubs for the social aspect. Many combine the paddle sport with other social activities. Which brings us to the next point:
6) COMBINING WITH OTHER ACTIVITIES
Kayaking is a sport that is often combined with other activities that many women enjoy including nature appreciation, sight seeing, photography, swimming, camping, fitness, hiking, and just plain hanging out and talking with good friends.
7) HEALTH AND FITNESS
Kayaking is an excellent way to get fit and also enjoy the process. Unlike plodding a dreary treadmill in a crowded noisy gym, paddling a sleek boat in the great outdoors is fun. The time flies past and many pleasant memories are made. Many enthusiasts report on the health benefits enjoyed since taking up the sport. Weight loss is just one. Overall feelings of well-being and stress relief are other pleasant side effects.
8) TIME REQUIREMENTS
Kayaks are not high maintenance. There is no complicated cantankerous engine to worry about. All a kayak needs is a little cleaning and polishing from time to time.
A city-dwelling paddler can take part of a day, load the boat on the car, and slip it into a nearby body of water for a pleasant and relaxing outing. It will still leave most of the day for other activities.
9) PERSONAL FLEXIBILITY
Don’t have a partner to share the experience with you? No problem. Kayaking is a sport that can be enjoyed solo or in a group setting. They are the ultimate craft for the social butterfly or the independent spirit.
Modern kayaks are lightweight and easy to carry. Even a small woman can load one on a car easily on her own.
Note: Frontenac Outfitters has all the equipment necessary to help the independent woman to handle a boat on her own.
10) COST FACTOR
As far as boats go, kayaks are comparably inexpensive. Plus they do not require any gas. After the initial purchase cost, they are very inexpensive to own and maintain.
It is no wonder that women are enjoying the sport of kayaking so much! It really does appeal to the feminine nature.
Kayak manufacturers are making the sport even more appealing to women by building boats especially suited to the female physique. Gear manufacturers and clothing suppliers are making gear sized for women and girls of all ages and body types. They simply cannot ignore that rapidly growing market segment.
Is the sport for you, though? A good way to find out is to come out to Frontenac Outfitters and try it on for size. While you are here, Christine can tell you first hand the reasons why she loves kayaking so much.
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