How Does Kayaking Help Team Building?

Kayaking is a popular outdoor activity. For your heart, joints, and upper body strength, it’s an excellent choice. Even if you’re only a recreational kayaker, kayaking has many things to offer in terms of health and wellness. If you’re a part of a team and looking for a gluing event, kayaking may be a great option to look into! Are you interested in trying this exhilarating (but calming) water sport? Kayaking team building may be for you. Let’s take a look!

Couple kayaking together

Importance of Kayaking Team Building

Relationships are formed and teamwork is established when individuals work with each other or share experiences, which helps them overcome problems and minimize stress at work. Have you thought about how kayaking with a group to help teamwork?

For the most part, most people are unfamiliar with paddling. Yes, you may have kayaked before, but doing so with your team and coworkers will give you a wonderful opportunity to get to know each individual differently, as you probably haven’t done before. You’ll learn to interact and collaborate with one another in a low-stress, enjoyable environment while taking in the natural world’s splendor excitingly and uniquely.

You’ll start as a group of people learning to paddle a kayak or taking in the scenery. Still, you’ll be one big group by the end of the activity, reminiscing and laughing about the most beautiful experience. Tandem paddling is the most acceptable way to develop a team, even if you’re not going corporate. It not only creates lifelong memories, but it also creates lifelong friendships.

A kayaking trip will be your best pick if you’re seeking the ideal concept for team building, a group vacation, or any other type of corporate event. Kayaking will be the perfect approach to bringing team members together, whether for a reward or motivation for the most competent workers, a stress reduction or wellness excursion, or group orientation sessions.

Tips for Paddling with team or different group

Group of kayakers

Understand the Paddling Style

The paddling style is the first thing to look for in group kayaking. Is this going to be a quick and easy paddle? Will there be a day of practicing in bad weather?

Before they turn up to paddle, almost everyone on the team will have a good idea of what they’re getting themselves into. They know what to wear, what food to bring, how much water to bring, and who to contact if they wish to invite anyone else. This is also true for the paddling experience.

Frequently, groups will state that if you want to be part of a team, you must understand how to navigate the waters.

Pull Tabs on Everyone’s Skirts

If you’re kayaking with a team that uses spray skirts, this one is for you. This is something I do all the time and pass on to inexperienced paddlers. It’s important because it’s too easy to look around before you go off and see that everyone pulls their tabs.

It’s all too easy to make the error of tucking it away. Simply look around to ensure that everyone’s tab is out, making it easier to drag the skirt out. It’s not critical for safety since you can get a skirt off the coaming without it. However, if you’re upside-down and grab for the pull tab and it’s not there, it might be a horrifying situation.

Communication is Essential

The next one I find to be extremely crucial, and it varies significantly from team to team, is communication. Communication gadgets and hand signals are to be discussed within the team. Everyone has their own set of hand signals.

There are a couple of signs that are universal in nature. People often say that tapping your head signifies “are you okay?” and then tapping again means “yes, I’m okay,” or that holding a paddle straight up in the air means “come to me,” and holding a paddle above across usually implies “halt or stay in place.”

Different groups may have different signals, so it’s always a good idea to figure them out ahead of time so that you don’t have to start figuring out what others are saying when you’re out on the lake. That includes having communication equipment as simple as a whistle on your personal floatation devices, which every member should have. However, due to the type of kayaking you perform, this can be taken a step further.

My group always has VHF radios, and most of the groups I participate with when kayaking have VHF radios. Every group appears to use one of the numerous leisure channels, but you must first determine which channel they use. Even if you don’t plan on listening to the radio throughout the day, it’s usually a good idea to discuss it beforehand. “Can you tell me if we’re on channel 68 or 69?”. Discuss it ahead of time, plug it into your radio, and put it away.

Health Condition of Team Members

This following issue may be a delicate subject, but I believe it is critical. That is if you have any health issues. I mean that we often want to keep our medical conditions private. However, when you’re kayaking, you essentially have a group that will look after you if something goes wrong.

They ought to know if you have a medical issue so that they can assist you if something goes wrong. Do you have any injuries, for example? Do you have any injuries that you’ve recently sustained? Do you have diabetes? Do you have asthma? Do you have any sensitivities to certain foods, such as peanuts? If so, do you carry an EpiPen with you, and if so, where do you keep it if something happens while you’re out on the water?

If there is a team leader, you may often share those things in private with them, and they will be able to judge and decide when to release the information when necessary. However, whoever is in charge of the group’s safety takes this into account. That could have a significant role in decision-making.

Delegate or assign Responsibilities

The next tip involves assigning or delegating responsibilities to different team members to encourage inclusiveness. I usually do this during my training because you can’t be omniscient when you’re a team leader and have to look after several individuals.

You can’t recall doing everything. I’ve been using this idea of delegation whenever I’m on the water, whether with a group or just buddies, because it lets you know what’s going on in the team without having a single person do it everything.

Perform Routine Headcount

Headcount is another vital tip and a critical one. I usually perform this, notwithstanding the condition. When you’re in a large group, it’s pretty easy to lose track of a kayaker. One often doesn’t look back for a while or to the sides, especially if the waves are taking a toll on you.

Headcount is critical, and having someone in the team, whether you or someone else, state ahead of time, “Okay, who’s going to keep a record of the team today?” This fits perfectly well with delegating team members to handle things. Whoever is in charge of performing routine headcount can account for if someone is missing while you concentrate on other things.


The following advice, which can also be assigned, is timekeeping. Whether it’s for safety reasons or because everyone needs to return by a particular time, timing is crucial. Importantly, timekeeping helps you keep watch of currents and waves because you know some regions you can cross or specific types of currents you can only utilize to your advantage.

The simplest approach to keeping track of time is to designate a person in the team to be in charge of it throughout the day. That’s great if you’re navigating somewhere and need to get to certain places at certain times. In addition, it also works well if you plan to paddle for a particular time. For instance, if you want to paddle for two hours before returning home, you need someone to keep track of the time.

Bring Extra Supplies and Equipment

The next one might also fall under delegation, but it depends on your paddling team. This is what it means to bring extra items to a gathering. So it goes with food, beverages, gear, clothing, and so on. We kind of understand who’s going to bring extra stuff in my group since they just bring extra stuff all the time.

For an extensive checklist of equipment you should bring kayaking, I recommend you check out my guide which you can find by Clicking Here.

I usually bring additional garments in extra-large sizes, regardless of whatever group I’m kayaking with so that if someone falls into the water, there is a replacement. Extra water is also something I think is really vital to pack, especially on hot days. The same may be said for food. I always carry a little extra food with me.


The kayaking team building process is critical, especially if you don’t know how to work with a team. Besides this, kayaking is an adventure for everyone. While you might like kayaking on your own, doing such activities with a team at times is crucial.

Whatever the situation might be, kayaking is fun and can improve your health and physical capabilities. I have shared essential tips when paddling or kayaking with a team or group in this article. Now it’s time to take these tips and bring them to life!

Vanessa Hopkins

Hi, I'm Vanessa. Long-time kayaker who's proud to be part of this community. I strive to provide our visitors with insightful guides with the aim to improve their kayaking experience. I've been working with SunshineKayaking for over 5 years, providing world-class services.

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