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A Beginner’s Guide to Kayaking Like a Pro

Learning to kayak in Las Vegas has numerous benefits. From meeting like-minded people to simply having the option to get on the water anytime you’d like, there are many great reasons to pick up the sport of kayaking. As with any new endeavor, learning to kayak takes time and practice. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to safely and confidently make the most of your Colorado River kayaking excursions.

Types of Kayaks

Kayaks come in many forms. They are designed for use in various conditions that range from tranquil waters such as ponds and small lakes to whitewater rapids and the ocean. Some types of kayaks are easier to use than others, which makes them a better option for beginners.

  • Sit-on-top
  • Touring
  • Inflatable
  • Tandem

Sit-on-top kayaks are one of the best varieties for beginners. They are wide and have a good center of balance, which makes them sturdy and easy to maneuver out on the water. Sit-on-top kayaks are typically less expensive than other kinds of kayaks. While sit-on-top kayaks are wide and stable, they are also larger and slower than other kayak styles, which makes them a better fit for calmer waters.

Touring kayaks are generally longer and narrower than sit-on-top kayaks. They are also lighter-weight, which makes them more transportable and a bit faster. Touring kayaks are a preferred choice for more seasoned kayakers or beginners who have a good sense of balance. Because they are narrower, touring kayaks are a bit more challenging to get into and out of than sit-on-top kayaks, especially when you’re out on the water.

Inflatable kayaks are suitable for kayakers of all skill levels. They are most useful for people who plan to hike to their kayak launch point, as they can be easily rolled up and tucked away. Inflatable kayaks are best suited for calmer waters, which makes them a good option for novice kayakers.

Tandem kayaks are kayaks made for two people rather than one. Tandem kayaks are available in several styles, including sit-on-top and touring. Tandem kayaks also come in inflatable form.

As you’re deciding what kind of kayak to get, there are several key considerations to think about. First, will you be kayaking by yourself or with another person most of the time? You will also want to think about where you will be transporting your kayak to for launches, and how comfortable you feel loading and unloading the boat by yourself. Then, you’ll want to think about how easy it is for you to get into and out of the boat on your own, both on land and in water. Many kayak retailers will let you test out different boats first to figure out which one you want to get.

Gear and Accessories

To make your kayaking experience as fun and positive as possible, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right gear and accessories along for the ride. Weather can change quickly when you are on the Colorado River kayaking, depending on the time of day and the season. Daytime temperatures can be much warmer than in the evening or early in the morning, which means you’ll want to dress in layers or bring a change of clothes if you’ll be out on the water for longer periods of time. The sun can also be strong, which makes sunscreen or sun protection essential. If you are bringing your phone, camera, wallet, or other valuables along for the ride, you’ll want to keep them dry and protected with a waterproof bag or pouch. If your eyes are sensitive to the sun, wearing polarized sunglasses with ultraviolet (UV) protection is strongly encouraged. No matter what you wear, your clothing and footwear should be water-resistant or waterproof.

Personal Flotation Devices

For safety reasons, wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) when out on the water is highly recommended. Like kayaks, PFDs are made in various styles to suit the different kinds of water that you’ll be kayaking in.

Type I PFDs are heavy-duty flotation devices made for use in rougher water and the ocean. Type II or Type III PFDs are a bit more comfortable. They are not quite as cumbersome as Type I PFDs, which makes them a better choice for calmer waters where you’ll likely be rescued more quickly. While Type I, II, and III PFDs are made specifically for kayaking, you can also get PFDs made for multiple activities, such as Type V. If you get a Type V PFD, be sure to check that it is suitable for kayaking before making your purchase.

Finding a Suitable Time and Location

Once you’ve found the right boat and accessories, it’s time to get in the water. To kayak safely and successfully, you’ll need to research places to kayak based on your skill and comfort level. Remember that you must find a place that’s accessible to the public, too. Calm waters, which you’ll find on ponds and lakes, are recommended for novice kayakers. Beginners are advised to avoid rivers and oceans as they’re starting due to stronger currents and choppier water. If you are driving to your destination and plan to launch your boat, you’ll also need to figure out parking at the launch spot and determine if there is a launch fee.

No matter where you decide to start your kayaking adventure from, keep an eye on the weather. It’s best to choose a day when skies are clear for maximum visibility. Try to kayak on a day when winds are minimal, and make sure to avoid kayaking if there is a risk of thunderstorms or severe weather in the area.

Blazin’ Paddles | Colorado River Kayaking

Once you’re ready to get started, you may be wondering “where can I learn to kayak near me?” Fortunately, Blazin’ Paddles is here to help you learn. Blazin’ Paddles offers tours for kayakers of all skill levels, which is a great way to safely learn to kayak Las Vegas and get a feel for what it’s like to be out on the water.

Fuel for The Soul: Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Kayaking

When they say kayaking in good for the soul, they aren’t lying.

Research shows that kayaking, whether down on your hometown lake or down the Colorado River in Las Vegas, has tremendous physical and mental benefits.

Why Learn to Kayak?

Kayaking is a popular water sport for people of all ages. Kayaks come in many varieties, including recreational, fishing, whitewater, touring, and sit-on-top designs. Along with kayaking solo, you can also use a tandem kayak that seats two people. Kayaks are specially designed for the type of water-based activity that you’re looking to do, which can range from quietly paddling down the Colorado River to tackling challenging rapids.

Physical Benefits

Along with simply being a fun and enjoyable activity, kayaking has numerous health and physical benefits.

1. Weight Management

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but it turns out kayaking can, too. Kayaking can burn up to 500 calories per hour if you’re paddling at an average speed of 5 MPH. Plus, it’s more fun to be out on the water for 60 minutes than stuck indoors on a treadmill or aerobic machine. If you spend an afternoon out kayaking, such as through a scenic and rewarding kayak tour with Blazin’ Paddles, you can burn upwards of 1,500 calories.

2. Increased Upper-Body Strength

Paddling is an excellent upper body workout that can improve your upper body strength and muscle tone. While you rely primarily on your arms to propel yourself through water, you inadvertently use surrounding muscles as well, including the ones in your shoulders, chest, and back. The more you paddle, the more you use those muscles and build muscle tone and strength.

Physical Benefits of Kayaking

3. Toned Legs

Although you might consider kayaking to be an upper-body activity, it can also help develop your leg tone. You also use your leg muscles for kayaking, especially for balancing or when you need to maneuver and change directions. Over time, those muscles will also become toned as you start to paddle more.

4. More Core Strength

Naturally, as the middle ground between your upper body and legs, your core also becomes stronger and more toned through kayaking. Your core plays a crucial role in helping you stay centered and balanced on the water. The motion of paddling works your lower back, abs, and obliques. Even sitting upright in the boat uses your core muscles, which means you get a minor core workout with every kayaking adventure that you go on.

5. Improved Cardiac Health

Kayaking is a form of cardiac exercise, which means that it gets your blood flowing. Cardiac exercise is optimal for strengthening your heart, which improves its ability to pump blood and regulate circulation. A strong heart also produces more red blood cells. As with other types of physical exercise, the more you kayak, the stronger your heart will become, which provides greater physical benefits.

6. Better Endurance

All the hours that you spend kayaking in Vegas add up to improve your stamina and endurance. Kayaking becomes easier the longer you paddle, which means that you will eventually travel longer and longer distances without getting tired as quickly. Kayaking as little as three times each week can boost your energy levels up to 20%. An added perk of increasing your endurance levels is that you’ll also have more energy to perform your daily activities.

Mental Benefits

Kayaking is great for the body, but it’s also a perfect activity for the soul. Spending time outside and physical activity are both associated with lower stress levels, which can in turn reduce your risk of illness and alleviate symptoms of some medical conditions.

1. Mood Boost

Kayaking releases certain “feel good” chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. These chemicals, called neurotransmitters, can put you in a better mood and boost your self-confidence levels. With its ability to make people feel happier, kayaking is a recommended activity for individuals suffering from depression.

2. Improved Focus

The same neurotransmitters that make you feel happier when you’re out paddling can also improve your ability to focus. Norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin are three neurotransmitters in particular that are associated with an increase in attention span and the ability to focus. All three chemicals are released through kayaking.

Mental Benefits of Kayaking

3. Better Memory

Getting regular exercise through kayaking can improve your thinking skills and memory. Just as kayaking can tone specific parts of your body, it can also tone certain areas of your brain. Specifically, kayaking exercises the hippocampus, a portion of your brain largely responsible for verbal memory and learning. Consistently getting out to paddle, even several times each week, will continue to tone and improve the hippocampus region of your brain. Along with toning the area, kayaking also increases blood flow within the brain and stimulates new brain cells.

4. A Good Night’s Sleep

If you regularly toss and turn at night, taking up kayaking may improve your symptoms. Exercising during the day naturally makes you tired, which helps you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly through the night. Overall, you’ll find that your sleep quality improves, and you wake up well-rested the following day, ready to go kayaking again.

If improving your mental and physical health while kayaking the Colorado River Las Vegas sounds appealing, it’s time to contact Blazin’ Paddles. Blazin’ Paddles, a professional kayaking company in Las Vegas, offers tours of various lengths for kayakers of all ages and levels. From a Hoover Dam kayak rental and tour to sunset paddles, there’s a fun kayaking experience for everyone at Blazin’ Paddles.

Blazin’ Paddles | Kayaking in Las Vegas

On your next visit to Las Vegas, take in the moment while kayaking on the Colorado River. In addition to gaining the physical and mentally benefits of this outdoor activity, see the sites and wildlife along the Black Canyon with either our half-day, full-day, or twilight tour with a Las Vegas kayak tour.

Kayak below the Hoover Dam and soak in natural hot springs on the full-day kayaking tour.

Look for wildlife and experience Emerald Cave on our half-day kayaking tour.

Begin Living Your Best and Healthiest Life With These Expert Tips

Written by: Kimberly Thomas http://ushealthcorps.org (Photo via Pexals)

With many COVID-19 restrictions lifting worldwide, the thought of getting back to a more normal way of living is on the horizon. Although mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing, and remote activities are likely to stick around for a while, individuals are finally starting to get out and enjoy life for the first time in a year. Many are also looking for ways to start this new chapter in the best, healthiest ways possible. If you’ve been looking for tips to look and feel your absolute best in 2021 and beyond, the experts at Blazin’ Paddles have fantastic strategies that you can begin using immediately.

Spend time outdoors.

kayaklasvegas

As restrictions lift and risks decrease, it is now possible to get outside and participate in fun activities that were largely unavailable for the last year. You can now go on a kayak tour with Blazin’ Paddles, rent bicycles, visit public parks, attend outdoor yoga classes, and so on. Not only is engaging in outdoor recreation healthy, but the simple act of being outside can do wonders for your physical and mental health. In fact, research has shown that spending time in nature can improve your energy levels, boost your immune system, reduce chronic pain, provide you with your daily dose of vitamin D (which is essential for the proper functioning of numerous systems in the body), and enhance focus.

Become your own personal chef.

Over the past year, getting takeout and/or delivery became the norm. If you’re still getting more of your meals from a delivery app than your own kitchen, it is time to make some changes for the better. No matter your skill or experience level, preparing well-balanced meals is an excellent way to stay healthy. What’s more, you won’t have to spend a fortune to get the foods you need to create amazing dishes. There is likely an assortment of healthy meals you can create using foods and ingredients that you already have in your pantry. Take a quick look through your current ingredients to make simple (yet nutritious) dishes.

Liven up your wardrobe.

In addition to making healthy choices for your mind and body, it is also important to do things that make you feel comfortable and confident. One effective — yet often overlooked — way to look and feel your best is to liven up your wardrobe with new clothes. If you are still working from home, or sticking around home more than you’d prefer, find comfortable clothes that don’t sacrifice style. Explore new and favorite clothing retailers for a beautiful yet comfortable dress, fun tops made from soft fabrics, and pants that work well for staying in or going out.

Work with wellness experts.

Take your efforts to look and feel your best this year to the next level by hiring your own personal wellness experts. As you strive to live a healthier lifestyle, enlisting the assistance of health, nutrition, and/or fitness specialists can get you on the right path, provide you with expert advice, and keep you accountable. You can easily find wellness services from qualified professionals through online job platforms where you can weigh and compare reviews, schedule availability, and costs.
Now is one of the best times to begin living your best and healthiest life. By making a few changes to your daily routine, 2021 can be the year that you look and feel more incredible than you ever imagined possible.

Blazin’ Paddles hosts adventurous kayak tours in Las Vegas that take paddlers to the Hoover Dam, Hot Spring, and beyond. Experience the fun of a half-day, full-day, or twilight tour. Learn all about your next adventure today!

8 Best Outdoor Adventures Around Las Vegas

Las Vegas may be best known for its nightlife, but its natural surroundings are just as notable. Las Vegas is surrounded by some of the top recreational areas in the United States, including the famous Hoover Dam and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the oldest and largest national recreation area in the country. From kayaking to hiking and more adrenaline-pumping activities, consider these options for enjoying the city’s surrounding beautiful natural places.

1. Kayak the Colorado River

To literally “get your feet wet” in the region’s outdoor scene. Blazin’ Paddles, a kayaking company based in Las Vegas, offers Black Canyon kayak tours on the Colorado River. Half-day to full-day Las Vegas kayak tours are available for kayakers of all ages. Your Black Canyon kayaking adventure may include wildlife sightings, a stop at natural hot springs, and a chance to cool off in the river on hot days. You can also go on an evening kayaking excursion down the Colorado River with the chance to watch the sunset as you roast marshmallows on the beach.

Book your kayak tours here: https://www.blazinpaddles.com/

2. Red Rock National Conservation Area

Red Rock National Conservation Area is a beautiful natural recreation area located just 30 minutes away from the city. The area has hiking trails for all ages and skill levels. Rock climbing is also an option at Red Rock. If you prefer sight-seeing from your car, you can go on a longer 13-mile scenic drive that starts at the outdoor visitor’s center. Younger visitors will enjoy the Children’s Discovery Trail, which has various ecosystems to explore, along with several cultural spots, including Native American remnants.

Outdoor Adventures Around Las Vegas

3. Bootleg Canyon

If seeing Las Vegas on two wheels is your cup of tea, a trip to Bootleg Canyon for quality biking is a must. Bootleg Canyon is another destination that’s just 30 minutes from Las Vegas. The Canyon contains over 20 trails with varying degrees of difficulty. If you don’t want to bring your bike or don’t have yours with you when you visit, you can rent bicycles at Bootleg Canyon. Along with riding the trails on your own, you can join a guided tour of the Canyon’s trails instead.

4. Red Rock Canyon

Chock full of quality climbing opportunities, Red Rock Canyon is the premier rock climbing destination for Las Vegas residents and visitors alike. Red Rock Canyon has more than 2,500 climbing routes ranging from easy to challenging. Whether you choose to stay within your comfort zone or push the limits, you’ll enjoy dramatic scenery and possible bighorn sheep sightings as you tackle the Canyon’s vertical trails. Red Rock Canyon is just a little over a 30-minute drive from Las Vegas.

5. Snowboarding at Lee Canyon

Most people don’t think of Las Vegas as a prime place for winter sports, but a trip to Lee Canyon will show you otherwise. Lee Canyon, nicknamed the “Coolest Place in Las Vegas,” is an hour’s drive from the famous Las Vegas Strip. Lee Canyon’s trails are open for hiking during the summer months, but they are typically covered with snow from December through early spring. When the snow falls, the Canyon has 24 trails maintained for snowboarding and other snow sports, including tubing.

6. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is appropriately named, considering it has six hot springs located within its boundaries. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park has hiking trails, a picnic area, and living history events that showcase the lives of settlers and pioneers who once lived in the region. During the winter months, the adjacent Mount Charleston at Spring Mountains National Recreation Area is popular for snowboarding, skiing, and tubing.

Outdoor Adventures In Las Vegas, Nevada

7. Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam, which was built in 1931, is the most recognized dam in the United States. Along with seeing Hoover Dam from the water through the full-day Las Vegas kayak tour, you can also check out the famous national attraction on foot. Guided hiking tours are an option if you’d prefer an educational outing at Hoover Dam. Bald eagles, coyotes, and bighorn sheep sightings are all possible on land and from the water. Before or after touring Hoover Dam, you can also do some shopping at the visitor’s center gift shop. Once you’ve finished exploring the dam, be sure to stop over at Boulder City, which is an equally historic stop. Boulder City was built around the same time as the dam to provide lodging for workers while completing the dam’s construction. Hoover Dam is within an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, making it a perfect day trip from the city.

8. Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park is the largest and oldest State Park in Nevada. Valley of Fire has many great hiking trails to explore, which gives you plenty of opportunities to marvel at its stunning natural beauty. Comprising the State Park’s majestic landscape are the sands of the Mojave Desert, red sandstone formations, and many types of desert plants. Valley of Fire State Park has several particularly notable trails, including Elephant Rock, Petroglyph Canyon, and Fire Wave. Petroglyphs dating back 3,000 years are also popular attractions for visitors of all ages. Before embarking on a hike, you can stop in at the visitor’s center to get more information about the hikes available at the park and learn more about the area’s natural history and topography.

There are dozens of unique and unforgettable ways to explore Las Vegas’s spectacular natural areas at any time of the year. Many top recreational destinations are located within easy reach of the city, which means you can make time for exploring nature in addition to enjoying all the sites and attractions within the city’s limits.

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