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Maneuver the art of kayaking

In an attempt to create more conversations among people an event called Kaunversations on a kayak is scheduled for the coming weekend (August 26) in Vadodara, Gujarat. It is an invite-only event for which the patron has to fill in a form and according to that the organisers send out invites to those interested.

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Many might not know about this water sport, but it is imperative to know that still water is preferred for a good kayaking experience and hence many companies offering kayaking activity open in the months of late October or November, once the monsoon has settled down in the country.

The kayaks are of different types like sit-in kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks, windsurfing kayaks, inflatable kayaks and more. A learner or an amateur does not need to have their own equipment as the travel companies provide the same. However, many do not allow one above the weight of 80-85 in kayaks. Whether swimming is mandated or not depends on the level of rapid you are choosing as a higher rapid level means more chances of toppling from the kayak. The cost of the activity depends on location, adventure level and other factors.

Zanskar River, Leh

If you are in for adventure with some mesmerising views Kayaking in Zenskar River is a must. One can start their trip from the Indus River from Spituk and go on till they reach Nimu. The route will consist of various rapids of grades one to five making sure that your adventure is full of thrill and amusement.

Teesta River, Sikkim

Teesta River in Sikkim offers a combination of calm and strong water rapids and hence is a paradise for those looking for a combination of peace and adventure during their vacation. You will also get to experience the true shades of blue here as the river is clean and pollution-free.

Kundalika River, Maharashtra

A petite river originating from the Sahyadri Hills and meandering its way to the Arabian Sea, Kundalika is frequently hailed as the most rapid-flowing river in the southern region. The rapids here are of grade one and grade two class making it a good option for amateurs and those looking for a weekend off.

Beas River, Himachal Pradesh

One of the most popular kayaking destinations, starting from Rohtang pass the river passes through Kullu and Manali and is ideal for both new and experienced kayakers. The river offers every rapid level and hence it’s up to you to choose your level of excitement with cautiousness.

Brahmaputra River, Arunachal Pradesh

This one is for those looking for some hardcore adventure. The river offers some of the toughest rapids and is not for the faint-hearted. The trips are generally organised from Tuting and include trekking and camping. The rapid levels range from four to six and hence it’s mandatory to move forward with caution.

From experts’ mouth:

We offer training for kayaking at Gateway of India, Mumbai, but we operate only from November to March starting to make sure that kayakers get flat water. The training offered is one-to-one and hence we do not take on more than twenty people in a year. We do not rent out but offer windsurfing in Mandwa. We offer two-day and a five-day course. The two-day course gives basic training while the five-day course offers a complete guide on water, wind, driving and safety. For safety reasons, we do sit on kayaks. For our course, knowing swimming is mandatory and you should not weigh more than 80kgs. The course charges start from 5000.

Rakesh Baradkr, Commodore, Mumbai Sailing Club

We offer kayaking and camping near the Mahi River. For a charge of 650, we rent out kayaks for two hours and have a certified trainer who gives the basic training. The river where we operate is calm and hence kayaking here is a leisure activity. We provide life jackets and a whistle for any assistance. Bringing an extra pair of clothes is suggested. We have single kayaks, with a weight restriction of 75kg, double kayaks with a 180kg weight limit and stand-up paddle with 85kgs weight limit. The stand-up paddle requires advanced training.

Shubhank Takalkar, co-founder, Baroda Kayaks

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