Kayaking is great exercise for seniors and a new way to soak in some beautiful scenery as well.
There are several types of kayaks. You can buy or rent a kayak for either two people or one; and the most commonly used material in the construction of a kayak is either polyethylene (molded plastic) or fiberglass.
If you decide to purchase a kayak the easier and less expensive way of starting out is to purchase a polyethylene single person kayak. These can be found in most outdoor stores or in specialty shops that cater to those purchasing kayaks. Also, in a specialty shop, you may be able to purchase used kayaks. Plan to spend about $300 to $900 for a new polyethylene kayak. Fiberglass kayaks tend to be more expensive.
You will need to purchase a life vest and a paddle. This will cost approximately $60-$150 for the paddle and $60 to $100 for the life vest.
Before you begin kayaking you should be a competent swimmer. Never kayak without a life vest and seek out opportunities where you can get instruction and guidance on how to master the fundamentals of the sport. Specialty shops usually offer courses or have a listing of where courses are offered. Start out of small ponds, where the water is less apt to become rough. After you have mastered a smaller pond tackle increasingly larger ponds, lakes, and rivers. Avoid kayaking on windy days or in rough water conditions; on swift moving rivers and streams; or in the ocean unless you are hugging the shore line and it is a very calm sea. Only after you have mastered the sport should you even attempt more difficult conditions.
Paddling on a calm pond can be so relaxing that it can provide a brief reprieve from a hectic day.