Go For A Glide

Summer is here. The sun is shining and the blue ocean is sparkling, inviting you to come out and enjoy the outdoors. The beautiful beaches of Santa Barbara are attractive for anyone looking to enjoy some time in the sun. Beach-goers looking for an adventure can choose from a range of activities such as surfing, scuba diving, and sailing. To truly take advantage of the warm sunny days and enjoy the marvels of the ocean and the neighboring Channel Islands, why not toss aside your worn out running shoes and don your bathing suit and break out the paddle instead?


Imagine this: you are standing before an expanse of glistening blue water. You slide into your kayak and swing your paddle; left, right, left, right, and you glide seamlessly away as the water gently sprays your arms. As you get lost in the rhythm of your motions and the gentle cycle of the waves, you turn around, and feel exhilarated to see how far your arms have taken you. You feel proud of how strong and capable your body is. You are surrounded by a vast sea of blue tranquility. Whether you are an experienced pro, a first time beginner, or just looking for a new workout, ocean kayaking is a great way to explore the dazzling waters, get up close and personal with the sea lions on the wharf, and get in amazing shape all at the same time. Kayaking is great for anyone, but it can be an excellent activity for adventurous couples or families, and a wonderful alternative workout for people who may not enjoy high impact cardio exercise. So next weekend, try signing up for one of the many guided tours around the islands or lessons, or rent a kayak to go explore on your own. Either way, kayaking is guaranteed to give you a great cardiovascular and strength training work out, and an unforgettable experience.

The Kayak Workout

All the paddling you do while kayaking offers a tremendous cardiovascular exercise. Moving the kayak at 5 miles per hour burns about 400 calories. This means that a 130-pound woman can burn approximately 295 calories after an hour of kayaking, and a 180-pound man can burn about 409 calories-. Not only is kayaking an amazing calorie-buster, it also works wonders for chiseling your arms and chest and firming your abdominal muscles. By sitting upright, twisting and bending, you use the inner core muscles as your source of power. So when you paddle and perform a good stroke, you are engaging every muscle in your upper body. By maintaining good form, sitting erect in your kayak with your shoulders back, chest open, and stomach muscles contracted, you are also engaging back and arm muscles. And when you push off the pegs inside the kayak for momentum and rhythm, you are working your quads and lats as well. First time kayakers usually feel sore in the shoulders and lats the next day. But that’s just proof you are one step closer to a chiseled upper body! Kayaking is a wonderful full body exercise that will help you build strength and endurance, and leave you looking toned and fit.

To get the most out of your kayaking experience, you should work on improving your shoulder and upper-body strength and flexibility. The recommended moves for developing your shoulder muscles include upright rows, overhead presses, bent over rows, and push ups. For your core, practice the Russian twist and other lower-abdominal strengtheners. For strong legs, squats and single leg squats should give you power in the kayak.

Kayaking is also a great sport if you are looking for some peace of mind and tranquility. Unlike jogging when you are huffing and puffing, or pumping iron in a crowded gym, with kayaking, you can feel one with nature as you glide across the beautiful ocean. Kayaking lets you spend a few hours under the sunny California sky, observe the various shades of blue and green of the Pacific ocean, paddle past the


lounging sea lions, and enjoy the sounds of the wind and the water lapping against your kayak. The rhythmic motions of paddling offer meditative benefits as well. It is a delightful way to experience the marvels of the Santa Barbara coastline. Kayaking is great way to relax your mind, and great exercise for your entire body.

What to Bring

When you kayak, you will get a little wet, so show up for your kayaking trip in comfortable clothes that you would not mind getting splashed, or in a bathing suit. You should also bring a change of dry clothes to wear afterwards. You will also need water proof sandals or aqua socks. To protect your skin from the summer sun, bring along water proof sun screen, sunglasses, and a hat. If it is going to be a chilly day, you may want to bring some foul weather gear as well.

Kayaking in Santa Barbara

There are many places in Santa Barbara that offer kayak lessons, tours, or rentals.

Paddle Sports of Santa Barbara

Paddle Sports of Santa Barbara offers guided kayak tours around the Channel Islands and around the Santa Barbara coast. You can choose from a range of adventures such as exploring Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara Islands, or the downtown harbor. Their Channel Island trips are “Licensed by the National Park Service for Guided Kayaking Operations.” The tours are open for all experience levels, but if you want some lessons before a big adventure, Paddle Sports of Santa Barbara also offers lessons starting at $75 dollars a person for a minimum of two people. For the more casual kayaker, they also offer rentals, starting at $20 for two hours. For a complete listing of pricing and details on the tours, visit www.kayaksb.com, or call 805-899-4925 for more information.

Santa Barbara Adventure Company

The Santa Barbara Adventure Company offers one-day coastal trips including comprehensive paddling instructions and lunch on a secluded beach. Their trips include “Santa Barbara from the Water,” “Refugio to El Capitan,” “Evening Astronomy Kayaking,” and “Kayak Surfing Adventure,” starting at $85 per person for a minimum of two people. You can also customize your own trip, and receive instructions and lessons. For complete listing of prices and details, visit www.sbadventureco.com, or call 805-898-0671 for more information.


Aquasports offers many guided one-day kayaking trips around the Santa Barbara Coast and to the Channel Islands to Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara Islands starting at $175 for adults if booked 14 days in advance. Aquasports also offers many multi-day trips where you will be kayaking to the Channel Islands and camping overnight, and hiking the islands. These trips start at $290 for adults if booked 14 days in advance. Visit http://www.caladventures.com/Aquasports.htm for a 15% off coupon or call 1-800-773-2309 for more detailed information.

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