Kayaking in Stockholm

Paddla kajak i Stockholm

Kayaking is a fun outdoor activity and the best way to experience Stockholm. Kayaking is not difficult, but for your own safety and the safety of others on the water, it is important that you know which rules apply, especially when you are on busy waters, as Stockholm's inner archipelago quickly becomes on fine summer days.

Before the paddle trip

Before getting into the kayak on the water, there are some important steps to consider that should be completed on land.

  • Double check that you have all the equipment required, and that it fits you
  • Adjust the footrests according to your height
  • Check that the rudder reacts
  • Close all hatches
  • Have a predetermined route

There is no clear answer as to exactly what equipment is required, as each kayaker has his own idea of ​​what is appropriate to carry in the kayak to be prepared for the situations that may arise. At Långholmen Kayak, all customers receive a paddle, life jacket, canopy and map.

You can read more about what is good to think about before the kayak trip here .

Kayak Stockholm

Rules at sea

Once all the preparations are complete, the adventure can begin. However, it is important to know which rules apply on the lake because as soon as you sit in a kayak, you are part of the sea traffic.

The most important rules to know as a kayaker are that right-hand traffic applies on the water, and that as a kayaker you have a duty to yield to all motorized sea traffic. "Biggest first" is usually a good rule of thumb.

Always stay close to shore when kayaking, partly because there won't be better paddling further out, and partly for your own safety if you should capsize with the kayak and have to swim to shore.

If you fall over

A common concern among less experienced paddlers is that kayaks are unstable and easy to capsize. This is not true if you are paddling a kayak that is wide enough and suitable for you based on your experience level. If you feel unsure, it is good to ask for help from kayak sellers, renters or a more experienced friend.

Even for the best paddler, however, the accident can happen and all of a sudden you are upside down in the water. This situation can be experienced as scary and dramatic, but as long as you keep calm and know what to do, there are rarely any consequences other than wet clothes. Below we discuss three different approaches to handling your overturned kayak.

1. Swim to shore
One method that always works, regardless of whether you are alone or with company on the water, is to swim to shore with the kayak. Once you've capsized, pull the canopy handle if you're using it, surface, then turn the kayak hull-side down. Use the kayak as a buoyancy aid and swim to shore. Once on land, turn the kayak upside down again to drain out the majority of the water. You can empty the last water with a sponge or towel.

2. Mate rescue
If you are paddling with a friend, which is highly recommended, you can help each other get into the kayak from the water. There are many different techniques for this, some of which are demonstrated in the video below:

3. Eskimo turn
The Eskimo turn (also called Eskimo turn or roll) is the most advanced maneuver for handling a capsized kayak. In short, it's about turning your own kayak back from an upside-down position in the water. Eskimo turning is something you have to practice, preferably with a guide, but you can also practice it yourself. The instructional video below is good for those who want to practice alone or with a friend.