Spring in Alabama means the heat of summer is just a few weeks away!
One of my favorite ways to combat the summer heat is to get out on the water. And the lakes in North Alabama are just the place to do that! They offer all types of water activities from stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, riding jet skis and kayaking.
This year I decided I wanted to go on a kayak adventure. However, I have never been in a kayak before and I am not one to learn on the fly so I went in search of lessons.
I came across Unphiltered Kayaking on Lake Guntersville and a Saturday morning beginner class!
What to expect if you take the beginner course:
It is so calm and quiet when you get to Honeycomb Landing at 8:30am! Phil was there to greet us and had everything all set out and ready to go.
The morning starts sitting on the land learning about different types of kayaks, paddles and the very important personal flotation device!
After getting to know all of the equipment we learned the important 4Ws to consider before you head out on any kayak trip.
Weather – Pay attention to the weather forecast before you head out.
Wind – The slightest wind can alter the direction you may choose to take on your trip. Start off against the wind and then use it to your advantage at the end of your trip.
Water – Water is the most dynamic force out there. It is constantly changing. Respect it and be prepared before you head out to enjoy it.
Waves – Waves can add a level of difficulty to your outing and there are specific techniques to paddling and not tipping. (We didn’t learn much of this but enough to deal with boat waves that day)
Pro Tip: Bring something to sit on for the land portion, there are no picnic benches or chairs there.
Time to head out on the water.
We started in the embarrassment zone, otherwise known as the shallow end, where you learn to get in and out of the kayak. Let me tell you, there is no lady like way to do this!
We stayed close to shore and learned how to steer, did some follow the leader paddling exercises, and practiced how far we could rock the kayak before we fell out.
Confidence was up so we headed out on a leisurely paddle around the bay area and shorelines.
Pro Tip: Wear a hat that will securely stay put, it is windy out there.
We ended the morning with water exit practice. Truthfully this was the part I was worried about. I just wasn’t sure I would actually come out of the kayak. It took me a second (or a few minutes) to get up the nerve to try.
ProTip: Trust your instructor when he says you will pop right out of the kayak, because you will!
Ready to go? Here are a few other important pieces of info:
Unphiltered posts new class and takes reservations through his Facebook page so that’s where you will need to watch for upcoming events. Classes are small so don’t wait if you see one you are interested in.
Wear sunscreen (and a lot of it)
Bring water and a snack, you work up an appetite quickly
Put your cell phone in a waterproof case and then put that in a plastic bag. I forgot this step and didn’t get to take any pictures while we were out on the lake
Get ready to have a good time.
Phil does guided tours to the Hambrick bat cave, sunset kayaks on the lake and more!
I can’t wait for the next time I can get out on the water.