Paddling on a magnificent mountain lake, connecting with the wind and the spray of water coming off the bow, and the sense of harmony and thrill it brings, is kayak sailing at its finest. It’s what some people live and breathe for. Like riding the perfect wave, or enjoying a beautiful sunset. It doesn’t get much better than that.
One of the ultimate ways to explore the hundreds of lakes, rivers, bays and harbors in California, is under your own power, paddling a kayak. Kayaks are used mainly for a leisurely paddle without being too hard on your body.
Many kayakers tend to loathe the wind because it becomes too physically challenging to paddle, but sailors tend to love it. Anyone paddling a kayak will soon discover the power of wind. While paddling against the wind can be very backbreaking, paddling with the wind can result in an increase in speed. Even a gentle breeze will push a kayaker along, whereas a headwind cuts down his progress. Once the difficulties of controlling your kayak in wind and waves are mastered, a good tailwind makes the miles glide by effortlessly.
On windy days, rigging a sail to your kayak will allow the wind to assist you to cover more distance than most people could paddle under their own physical power. A kayak sail will help you save your strength on breezy days when the wind conditions become too rough. You can slice through chop and waves with ease while cruising around for longer periods of time, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. There are many advantages to rigging your kayak with a sail. You can paddle when it’s not windy and take pleasure in sailing when the wind picks up. Or when you get tired and/or the wind starts to pick up, it’s nice to set sail, instead of heading back in. A kayak sail also allows you to continue on if you become injured and are unable to paddle.
Kayak sailing is an adventurous watersport that is quickly gaining in popularity with photographers. If photographing while kayaking is your passion, some kayak sailing rigs can be operated by foot steering which provides “hands free” sailing to snap those special “Kodak Moments”.
Kayak sailing is one of the fastest growing, exhilarating watersports today. Adding a sail to a kayak is a lot like learning to windsurf. The principles of kayak sailing are pretty simple. Even with no prior sailing experience, you can quickly understand the technique. Anybody that is comfortable paddling a canoe or kayak will catch on to sailing a kayak in no time. A question that may be on your mind is how stable is a kayak sailing craft? The answer really comes down to the kayak model and the size of the sail. A common mistake for people getting into kayak sailing is choosing a sail that is too large. While sailing in light winds under 10 m.p.h. you typically shouldn’t encounter any problems, unless a sudden, strong wind gust occurs. Typically, the larger the boat, the more seaworthy it is. Smaller watercrafts are mainly used on lakes, harbors and bays.
Strong winds pose a significant problem for any small watercraft. To make progress against a strong wind, you need a lot of physical power while paddling a kayak. Strong gusty winds 20 m.p.h. on upwards can make it tough to maintain control of your kayak and make paddling/sailing that much more demanding. Some kayak sailing rigs will not allow the kayaker to have the full range of motion while paddling, which can result in more instability.
Lake Clementine is a popular mountain biking destination, so watch out for bicyclists who share the extremely steep, winding, narrow lake access road (or large vehicles pulling boat trailers.) There is also an abundance of mountain bikes on the hiking trails, so look over your shoulder often.
One of nature lovers' favorite activities is camping. Lake Clementine offers one of the most unique boat-in camping opportunities available in California. The 15 primitive boat-in-only campsites are available to reserve through the statewide reservation system. The campground is usually open daily from May 15th through November 1st, weather permitting.