Self-Service Guide - Kayak

Hello and welcome to discovering Hjälmaren from a kayak!
This guide will help you get started before you set out to expand your horizons.

Read through general safety instructions and terms.

Move the kayak to the beach.If there are two of you, carry the kayak at each end. If you are alone, use a cart. Don't forget to return the cart after use.

Collect your equipment. 

Pick up a life jacket, paddle, bilge pump, and spray skirt.
Life Jacket: The life jacket keeps you afloat if you accidentally fall into the water.- 

Paddle: The paddle helps you move forward, backward, and turn.- 

Bilge Pump: Use the bilge pump to pump out water in case of capsizing. The pump should be securely fastened and easily accessible on the kayak.

Float: The float is used to stabilize the kayak and makes it easier to get back in if you fall out. The float is inflatable and attaches to one end of the paddle, acting as a pontoon. It should be securely fastened and easily accessible on the kayak.-

Spray Skirt: The spray skirt protects you from splashes and rain.

Pack and check hatches.

For the best experience, avoid unnecessary weight and pack items that must stay dry in waterproof bags. Distribute the weight and keep snacks and drinks close at hand. Ensure all hatches are closed before setting off.

Adjust pedals. 

A poor seating position in the kayak will make it difficult to paddle effectively. You will find it hard to maneuver and tire quickly. When sitting in the kayak, you should lean slightly forward with your knees slightly bent. It is important that your knees have contact with the sides of the kayak, which helps with balance. There are pedals in the kayak that you can adjust so that your knees touch the kayak's sides.

The pedals are also used to steer the rudder. You can test by unlocking the rudder. Pull the rope to your right until the rudder points towards the sky. By lightly pressing with your toes, the rudder moves left and right. Adjust the pedals and rudder on land.
Note:The rudder must be raised during launching and landing. If you prefer not to use this function, you can paddle without it and turn using sweep strokes and stern rudder.
Sweep Stroke: Place the paddle far out from the kayak and make a wide arc towards the stern. Keep your arm straight and rotate your torso with the paddle to maximize power and make a sharper turn. The larger the circle movement, the more you turn. To turn the kayak while stationary, make reverse sweeps forward/backward on each side.

Stern Rudder: The paddle can be used as a stern rudder. The rear blade can be tilted towards or away from the kayak to steer it. A drawback of this technique is that it tends to slow you down.

Launch from the beach.

Push the kayak in stern first and place the front of the cockpit approximately where the waterline begins or a little further out, depending on the depth. Place the paddle so that you can reach it once seated. Step into the water and sit on the kayak behind the cockpit with one leg on each side, facing the bow. Slip your legs into the cockpit and try to keep your center of gravity in the middle. Place your hands on each side of the cockpit where the opening is widest and slide down into the seat. Attach the spray skirt and push yourself off by pushing with one hand in the sand and supporting with the paddle in the other. If it's shallow, sometimes you can use the paddle as support in the water.

Now it's time to paddle!

Discover, explore, and enjoy! When your rental period is over, return your equipment, ensure everything is clean, and lock up. Have a great trip!

Safety instructions

Before launching he kayak, keep the following in mind: 

  • Solo paddling involves greater risks; bring a friend!
  • Inform someone you know that you are going out on the water and when you expect to be back on land.
  • Bring a warm change of clothes. 
  • Check that the hatch covers are closed.
  •  Listen to the weather report.- Dress according to the weather.

On the water

  • Use common sense – assess your skill and ability relative to the weather and distance. 
  • Always keep your life jacket on.
  • Ensure you are visible; wear bright clothing and use the equipment provided
  • Pay attention to the weather, your companions, and other traffic.
  • Avoid shipping lanes.