Singapore, known as the Lion City, is not just a bustling metropolis filled with skyscrapers and vibrant city life; it also offers a plethora of exciting outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts.
One such thrilling activity is kayaking. With its diverse range of waterways, including rivers, reservoirs, and coastal areas, Singapore provides ample opportunities for kayaking enthusiasts to explore its natural beauty.
If you’re eager to dip your paddle into the waters of Singapore, it’s important to know the best season and time to make the most of your kayaking adventure. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the ideal seasons and recommend the best times to enjoy kayaking activities in Singapore. So, grab your life jacket, secure your paddle, and let’s dive right in!
Exploring the Seasons for Kayaking Activities
Singapore experiences a tropical climate, characterized by high humidity and consistent temperatures throughout the year.
However, there are variations in rainfall and wind patterns during different seasons, which can significantly impact your kayaking experience.
- Summer Season (June to August) During the summer season, Singapore sees an increase in rainfall, which might limit your kayaking opportunities. While the occasional rain showers can provide a refreshing experience, it’s advisable to check the weather forecast before planning your kayaking excursion. However, if you don’t mind getting a little wet and enjoy the lush greenery that follows the rain, you can still embark on kayaking adventures during this season.
- Northeast Monsoon Season (December to March) The northeast monsoon season brings drier weather conditions, making it an excellent time for kayaking in Singapore. With lesser rainfall and calmer winds, you can expect clearer waters and smoother paddling experiences. This season offers ideal conditions for exploring coastal areas and enjoying the breathtaking views of the city skyline from your kayak.
Best Time of the Day for Kayaking
Apart from considering the seasons, the time of the day also plays a crucial role in enhancing your kayaking experience.
Here are some recommended timings to make the most of your kayaking activities in Singapore:
- Early Morning (6:00 am – 9:00 am) Mornings are an excellent time for kayaking, especially during the summer season when temperatures rise later in the day. Embark on your kayaking adventure early in the morning to catch the cool breeze and witness the beautiful sunrise while gliding through the serene waters. It’s also an opportune time to enjoy some peaceful moments before the city comes to life.
- Late Afternoon (4:00 pm – 7:00 pm) If you prefer a cooler and more relaxed kayaking experience, the late afternoon is an ideal time. As the day progresses, temperatures start to cool down, making it more comfortable to paddle through the waters. You can soak in the golden hues of the sunset and marvel at the city’s twinkling lights as you navigate through the scenic waterways of Singapore.
Top Kayaking Spots in Singapore
Now that we have explored the best seasons and times for kayaking activities in Singapore, let’s take a closer look at some of the top kayaking spots you should add to your adventure list:
- Marina Bay: Marina Bay is a popular kayaking destination in Singapore, offering stunning views of the city’s iconic skyline. Paddle along the Marina Bay Sands hotel, the Merlion Park, and the Gardens by the Bay as you immerse yourself in the urban beauty of Singapore. It’s best to visit Marina Bay during the early morning or late afternoon for a more peaceful and enjoyable experience.
- Pulau Ubin: For nature lovers, Pulau Ubin is a must-visit kayaking spot. This rustic island is located northeast of Singapore and is home to lush mangroves, tranquil beaches, and abundant wildlife. Kayak through the island’s waterways, exploring its rich biodiversity and taking in the serene atmosphere. The best time to visit Pulau Ubin for kayaking is during the drier months of the northeast monsoon season.
- MacRitchie Reservoir: MacRitchie Reservoir is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and offers a wide range of activities, including kayaking. This reservoir is nestled within the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, providing a peaceful and scenic environment for kayakers. Glide through the calm waters, surrounded by lush greenery and the sounds of nature. It’s advisable to kayak at MacRitchie Reservoir during weekdays or early mornings to avoid crowds.
- Kallang Basin: Located near the city center, Kallang Basin offers a convenient kayaking experience for urban dwellers and tourists alike. Enjoy paddling along the Singapore River, passing by landmarks such as the Singapore Flyer and the Sports Hub. The best time to kayak at Kallang Basin is during the early morning or late afternoon, as the water traffic is generally lighter during these times.
Essential Tips for Kayaking Activities in Singapore
To make your kayaking adventure in Singapore enjoyable and safe, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:
- Check the weather forecast: Before heading out for kayaking, always check the weather forecast to ensure favorable conditions. Avoid kayaking during thunderstorms or when strong winds are expected.
- Wear appropriate attire: Dress comfortably and wear appropriate clothing for kayaking. Opt for lightweight, quick-drying materials and consider wearing a hat and sunglasses for sun protection. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to exposed areas of your skin.
- Stay hydrated: Singapore’s tropical climate can be quite hot and humid. Carry an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated throughout your kayaking excursion.
- Follow safety guidelines: Familiarize yourself with kayaking safety guidelines and practices. Always wear a life jacket, stay within designated areas, and be mindful of other watercraft.
- Respect the environment: As you explore Singapore’s waterways, be respectful of the environment and wildlife. Avoid littering and do not disturb the natural habitat.
History of Kayaking Activities: From Ancient Origins to Modern Adventures
Kayaking, a thrilling water sport that involves paddling a small boat known as a kayak, has a history that spans centuries. From its humble beginnings as a means of transportation and survival to its present-day popularity as a recreational activity, kayaking has evolved significantly over time.
In this section, we will take you on a journey through the fascinating history of kayaking activities, tracing its roots back to ancient civilizations and exploring its transformation into a beloved adventure sport. So, grab your paddle and let’s set off on this historical exploration!
Header: Origins of Kayaking in Ancient Civilizations
The origins of kayaking can be traced back to ancient civilizations that relied on water travel for fishing, hunting, and transportation. Inuit and Aleut peoples of the Arctic regions were among the earliest practitioners of kayaking, using kayaks made from wooden frames covered with animal skins.
These early kayaks were essential for survival in the harsh Arctic environment, allowing the indigenous communities to navigate icy waters and hunt marine animals.
The design and construction of kayaks varied across cultures, with each group adapting their boats to suit their specific needs and environments. The Inuit and Aleut kayaks were typically narrow and lightweight, making them highly maneuverable in icy waters.
In contrast, kayaks used by indigenous peoples in other regions, such as Greenland and North America, often had broader and more stable designs to accommodate different water conditions.
Kayaking as a Sport in the 19th and 20th Centuries
The transition of kayaking from a means of survival to a recreational activity began in the 19th century.
European explorers and adventurers became captivated by the Inuit and Aleut kayaks they encountered during their Arctic expeditions. These encounters sparked curiosity and interest in kayaking as a sport, leading to the introduction of kayaking to the Western world.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, kayaking gained popularity as a competitive sport. The first kayaking competitions were held in Europe, and the sport quickly spread to other parts of the world.
The establishment of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) in 1924 further promoted kayaking as a recognized sport, leading to the inclusion of canoeing and kayaking events in the Olympic Games.
Modern-Day Kayaking Activities
In the modern era, kayaking has become a widely enjoyed recreational activity and a thrilling adventure sport. The advancements in kayak design and materials, such as the use of lightweight plastics and composites, have made kayaks more accessible and versatile.
Today, kayaking enthusiasts can choose from a wide range of kayak types, including recreational kayaks, sea kayaks, whitewater kayaks, and touring kayaks, each designed for specific purposes and water conditions.
Recreational kayaking allows individuals of all ages and skill levels to experience the joy of paddling through calm waters, exploring rivers, lakes, and coastal areas. Sea kayaking offers the opportunity to venture into open waters and discover coastal landscapes and marine life.
Whitewater kayaking, on the other hand, caters to adrenaline seekers who enjoy navigating fast-moving rivers and challenging rapids.
The Evolution of Kayaking Gear and Equipment
Alongside the evolution of kayaking itself, the gear and equipment used in kayaking have also undergone significant advancements over time. Let’s explore some key milestones in the development of kayaking gear:
- Traditional Materials: In the early days, kayaks were constructed using natural materials such as wood and animal skins. These materials provided the necessary buoyancy and flexibility for navigating through different water conditions.
- Modern Materials: The introduction of synthetic materials revolutionized the kayak industry. Fiberglass, followed by other materials like Kevlar and carbon fiber, became popular choices for kayak construction due to their lightweight yet durable nature. These materials enhanced the performance and durability of kayaks while reducing their weight.
- Paddle Design: Paddle design has also evolved to optimize efficiency and comfort. Traditional paddles were often made from wood, but today, lightweight materials like aluminum, fiberglass, and carbon fiber are commonly used. These materials offer improved strength-to-weight ratios and reduce fatigue during long paddling sessions.
- Safety Equipment: Safety has always been a crucial aspect of kayaking. In the past, basic safety equipment included life jackets and spray skirts. However, modern safety gear has advanced significantly, with the introduction of specialized personal flotation devices (PFDs), helmets for whitewater kayaking, and safety leashes for sea kayaking.
Kayaking as a Recreational Activity
In recent decades, kayaking has gained immense popularity as a recreational activity worldwide. Here are some reasons why people are drawn to kayaking for leisure:
- Connection with Nature: Kayaking allows individuals to immerse themselves in nature and explore serene waterways. Whether it’s gliding through calm lakes, navigating winding rivers, or admiring coastal scenery, kayaking provides a unique perspective and a profound connection with the natural environment.
- Health and Fitness Benefits: Kayaking is an excellent form of exercise that engages multiple muscle groups. Paddling strengthens the arms, shoulders, back, and core, while the rhythmic motion promotes cardiovascular health. Additionally, the low-impact nature of kayaking makes it accessible to individuals of various fitness levels.
- Stress Relief: The peacefulness and tranquility of being on the water can have a soothing effect on the mind and body. Kayaking offers an escape from the pressures of daily life, allowing individuals to unwind, recharge, and find solace in the beauty of their surroundings.
Competitive Kayaking and Extreme Kayaking
While kayaking is widely enjoyed as a recreational activity, it also has a competitive side and attracts thrill-seekers who push the boundaries of the sport. Two notable forms of competitive kayaking are:
- Sprint Kayaking: Sprint kayaking involves racing in kayaks over short distances on flatwater. It is a fast-paced and highly competitive discipline, with athletes paddling at high speeds to reach the finish line. Sprint kayaking events are a regular feature in national and international competitions, including the Olympic Games.
- Whitewater Kayaking: Whitewater kayaking takes kayakers into fast-flowing rivers and rapids, requiring technical skills and a daring spirit. It combines athleticism, precision, and an understanding of river dynamics. Whitewater kayakers navigate through varying grades of rapids, performing maneuvers and tricks while maintaining control of their kayaks.
The history of kayaking activities is a testament to the resilience, ingenuity, and adventurous spirit of humankind. From its ancient origins as a mode of transportation and survival to its transformation into a popular recreational activity and competitive sport, kayaking has captured the hearts of water enthusiasts worldwide.
Some Kayaking Activities to Consider in Singapore:
Kayak Fishing Fever
|Pricing||The Playground $129 for 4 hours
Big Boat Small Boat $129 for 4 hours
Sandy Shores $129 for 4 hours
|Address||120 Tanjong Beach Walk, Sentosa, 098942|
|Contact||+65 8850 8501|
|Operating Hours||Daily: 7 AM to 6 PM|
|Review 1||This was hands down the best experience and activity I have done in Singapore.
By Gharib Nehme
|Review 2||It is a really great day out if you like an active form of fishing.
By Maurice van Empel
|Review 3||The kayak fishing was by far one of my trip’s highlights!
By Alma Ikhwan
|Speciality||Kayaking and stand up paddling|
|Pricing||$45 – $80|
|Address||Ohana House 131 Pasir Ris Rd, Singapore 519148
Ohana House Loyang 159W Jalan Loyang Besar,
|Contact||+65 9737 7944|
|Operating Hours||Monday to Thursday: 4 AM to 12 AM
Friday: 24 hours
Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM to 12 AM
Good place for water sports such as kayaking and stand up paddling. The water here is very calm, so it’s suitable for beginners and family with kids. The best timing to do kayak or sup here is during high tide and in the morning. They also rent out water sports equipment with a reasonable price.
|Review 2||Very good service by Kelvin. Our group thoroughly enjoyed the outing. Very accommodating and will recommend Kelvin and adventure paddlers anytime.
By Conrad N.
|Review 3||Done stand up paddle here a few times. Chill place to check out.
By Molvin Yiu
Paddle Lodge MacRitchie
|Contact||+65 6258 0057|
|Operating Hours||Daily: 9 AM to 10:30 AM
2 PM to 4:30 PM
|Review 1||Experience the serene environment, clean and cool water body, as well as fresh air while canoeing. My first time canoeing alone here, paddle lodge uncle helped me to carry my canoe to the pontoon.
By Ong Ding Sen
A good place to kayak! Serenity and peacefulness when you are surrounded by green and water.
By Matthew Tan
Although the area in which you are supposed to kayak is not a whopping lot for amateurs and recreational purpose, it’s quite decent. The staff were helpful, the place is quite serene and nice. Just make sure to reach there before 4.15 because by 4.30 they stop renting kayaks. Happy Kayaking!
By Subhrajit Samanta
Water Sports Centre
|Speciality||Kayaking, Canoeing, Dragon Boat rentals and courses|
|Address||8 Stadium Walk, Singapore 397699|
|Contact||+65 6653 8900|
Beautiful place to chill in the early morning and evening. Can get quite hot after 9am. Kayaks are available for rental but this place is generally used for training for dragon boats and kayaks.
By Matthew Tan
|Review 2||Great place for water sport activities.
By Joel Tng
|Review 3||You can kayak here over a great view with shower and locker facilities provided! Love this place.
|Speciality||Kayaking courses, expedition, rentals|
|Address||43 Admiralty Rd W, Singapore 759962|
|Contact||+65 9684 8468|
|Operating Hours||Daily: 9 AM to 6 PM|
|Review 1||Gilbert is a very good kayaking coach. Experienced and patient. Very knowledgeable about local waters and technical skills needed for 1 and 2 star courses. Highly recommended to attend his classes. Learning how to go on expeditions around Singapore waters are very important for us to learn about how to survive and stay safe. Never put yourself in a dangerous situation.
By Win Tai
|Review 2||Mr Gilbert is an amazing, patient and experienced coach. He is very friendly and is always willing to help us out. Having him with us out at sea feels really safe. I really enjoyed his lessons!! 10/10 recommended.
By Winn Rashi
|Review 3||Most amazing time spent with my son! Felt really safe with Coach Gilbert, who has 20 years of experience coaching. His instructions were clear, picked up some good tips, felt much more confident in the kayak after our 1st day’s class. His wife was really helpful and friendly. Can’t wait to finish tomorrow’s class to get our 1 Star Certificate!
SAF Yacht Club Sembawang has clean toilets and good shower facilities.By Karen Wong
|Speciality||Kayak and Canoe rental|
|Operating Hours||Bedok Reservoir, Sembawang, Pasir Ris
Tuesday to Thursday: 9 AM to 6 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 8 AM to 6 PM
Tuesday to Sunday: 9 AM to 6 PM
|Review 1||A great way to try out kayaking or canoeing! You have to check when they are open to being able to paddle, as well as a lookout for the weather. Category 1 (lightning storms) will stop ALL outdoor activity, and there is a little shelter or things to do in poor weather so come prepared.
You will be able to see schools or teams training in their racing kayaks or dragon boats occasionally too. The National Schools Canoeing Championship as well as the National Schools Dragon boat competitions are held there. If you’d like to watch such races, check the race schedules with PA Paddle.
By See Ming Jie
|Review 2||Great place to hang out by the reservoir. Activities open to the public include running, tree-top adventure, fishing (specific locations), wakeboarding, and water activities such as dragon boating, kayaking etc from PA Water Venture.
By Chen Yang
|Review 3||Today 2019 June 16(Sunday), I went single kayaking on BR. Was dressed like going for a swim in the swimming pool. Was a hot afternoon. but nice clean kayaking. very calm water. Restricted to about 1/5 area of BR and away from the main thoroughfare of the dragon boats. But good enough at $9 for 2 hours. This month has promo…1-for-1. 2nd kayak is free. Cheap good fun. Safe for family outings.
By Jack Koh
Ola Beach Club
|Pricing||Single Kayak: $25 per hour
Double Kayak: $35 per hour
|Address||46 Siloso Beach Walk, 099005|
|Contact||+65 8189 6601|
|Operating Hours||Monday to Thursday: 11 AM to 9 PM
Friday and Saturday: 10 AM to 10 PM
Sunday: 10 AM to 9 PM
Ola Beach is fun and exciting. The water show in the evening is must watch. It is also near skyline Life so you can chill the weekend. The beach is also quite clean and well maintained. You can also find good places and bars to eat and drink nearby the beach.
By Rahul Sohandani
|Review 2||Best beach view with Sundown and friendly staff! Good food! The food portion is worth it! A lot of food and drink varieties! Min spend is reasonable for bed space and table space! The pool is not ready yet! Hopefully soon! Easy walk from the beach car park and beach station!
By N Ag
|Review 3||Always my favorite for kayaking and a relaxed beach time.
By Saiba Singh
|Address||59C Temple Street
|Contact||+65 9756 2040
One of the best-equipped kayaking stores in Singapore. Opening hours are not consistent as owner-operators are frequently travelling on kayaking trips with customers.
By Te Shan Liang
|Review 2||Great kayaking experience with Ling on 2 occasions
No debrief or words of encouragement or much interaction between the guides and the customers though.By Zaza Md Taat
Adventures by Asian Detours
|Pricing||$98 per pax|
|Address||34, Pulau Ubin (1-min walk from jetty)|
|Contact||+65 6733 2282|
|Operating Hours||Daily: 9 AM to 6 PM|
|Review 1||Great adventures! My kid loves it. Going back for more fun stuff in nature.
By Audree Koh
|Review 2||This was a fantastic experience for me, my wife and our 7-year-old daughter. We loved it. Highly recommend this to families with good and meaningful outdoor activities in mind. Our guide and instructor; Kenneth, was extremely professional and so knowledgeable. Never knew that our Singapore Pulau Ubin mangroves and wildlife is so diverse. Kayaking in such areas brings about a whole new perspective! Thank you all!
By Anand Pillai
Lower Seletar Water Sports Centre
|Address||100 Yishun Ave 1, Singapore 769140|
|Contact||+65 6702 6338
|Operating Hours||Daily: 8 AM to 6 PM|
|Review 1||1. Very pleasant and friendly, helpful staff. All the way from check-in, to getting your equipment, and then to instructions on kayaking. The staff were all very pleasant and welcoming!
2. Took the introductory promotion – $12 for 2 hrs, which is really reasonable! For families with young kids. 2hrs is quite a long time. I think 1.5hrs would be just nice.
3. Equipment was all really new and well maintained.
4. Seletar reservoir is quite a pretty place to explore.By Andrew C
|Review 2||Great affordable recreational experience, with scenic views, when out in the waters. The staff were friendly and professional, while the equipment was well-maintained.
You may book & pay online via their website to secure a slot (which we did), but we found out that they actually set aside some vacancies for walk-ins too, so even if your preferred date/timing is sold out online, you can still try your luck on the spot, with weekends being more “competitive”, expectably. We wanted to go for the single kayaks but they were fully booked online so we booked the double one, yet we managed to ask for single ones when we showed up, as those had been originally set aside for walk-ins.
As another visitor mentioned, the only limitation would be the presence of quite a lot of waterweed, which hampered the paddling a bit.
By Eugene Jiang
|Review 3||A nice experience to break away from the usual city activities and laze on the peaceful water of the reservoir. Great as well for an outdoor work-out. The Lower Seletar Water Sport Centre operations are efficient and staff friendly. Recommended!
By Stephane Jaquemet
Kayaking vs canoeing: what’s the difference
Most people are confused between canoeing and kayaking, thinking that they are interchangeable terms referring to the same sport. These two sports are somewhat different though they do share some similarities. However, in some instances, canoeing is an umbrella term that refers to both canoeing and kayaking.
The type of paddles used
Paddlers in a canoe use a single-bladed, flat blade paddle to navigate through the waters. In contrast, kayakers use a double-bladed curved paddle instead. The difference in the paddles causes the canoes and kayaks to move differently.
Positions of the paddles
Paddlers in a canoe are in a half-kneeling position while kayakers sit on a low seat with their legs fully stretched out. Since paddlers in canoes are kneeling all the time when paddling, they would require stronger endurance as compared to kayakers.
Canoes have an open deck concept and are sharp and pointed at both front and back. This would mean that the inside of the canoe is entirely hollow. Kayaks mostly close-decked, and the interior is enclosed.
Weight of vessels
Canoes are broader and heavier as compared to kayaks. This would mean that canoes tend to sink more when paddling in the water and have more surface area touching the water. The kayaks would be floating on water.
Overall, canoes are slower and less agile than kayaks because they are more significant in structure and heavier. However, despite the speed difference, Canoes are known for greater stability and more prominent space.
Which is easier: kayaking or canoeing
Most professionals think that kayaks are easier to master compared to canoe. One of the main reason is that canoes require strong balance skills and knee endurance since paddlers in a canoe are often in a half-kneel position. It takes some skill to manoeuvre a canoe, especially under the condition of strong wind and waves. The double-paddles used for kayaking are also easier to use, and the effort used to return one blade to the catch positions is used to power the opposite blade, making it more efficient.
In Singapore, there are a total of 5-star awards for the kayaking certifications. They are 1 Star Award, 2 Star Award, 3 Star Award, 4 Star Award (Sea), 4 Star Award (River), and 5 Star Award.
1 Star Award
For the one star-award course, which is the most basic and introductory course for kayaking, participants are required to be at least 12 years old and able to swim 50 metres with PFD. The course duration is 12 hours, and it will be conducted at simple coastal water. Several technical skills will be taught and tested for the participant to obtain their 1 Star Award.
2 Star Award
The two star-award course would require a One Star Award certification as the pre-entry requirement. The course duration is 18 hours, and the course will be conducted at simple coastal water. Similar to the one-star award, there are also several technical skills taught. However, the two-star award syllabus requires at least one journey of 6km to be completed before graduating from the course.
3 Star Award
Moving on to the more advanced course, the 3-star award requires a two-star award certification, the ability to swim 50 metres without PFD, and a logbook showing required previous kayaking experience before entry to the course. The course duration is 24 hours, with the course being conducted at simple coastal water. Similar to the other award courses, technical skills will be taught. Five journeys of 8km each at two different coastline sections are the pre-assessment requirement for the 3-star award.
4 Star Award
The 4-star award comprises of two specialisations – the sea and river. The disciplines represent the environment in which the course will be conducted. The pre-entry requirements are the Three-Star Award, participant to be at least 18 years old, attended a sea kayak workshop, a logbook showing required previous experience, and 10 open water journeys of 16km each on 2 different sections of coastline, including 2 camp out. The course duration is four full days. The type of craft used is a sea kayak with a close cockpit and immobilised rudder. Technical skills are also covered in the course.
5 Star Award (Sea)
The 5-star award is the last and most advanced kayaking certification to be obtained in Singapore. The pre-entry requirements are Four-Star Award (Sea and Open Water), recognised current first aid certification, 5 sea journey of 30km each, 24 hours of 4 Star skill consolidation, and endorsement by level 4 coach as competent. The course duration is three full days, and technical skill will be taught.
Do I need a license to kayak in Singapore?
The short answer is no. Most kayak rentals offer a wide variety and range of kayaks for you to choose from. There are sit-on-top kayaks that are specially catered for beginners and closed-deck kayaks for those with certifications. Kayak rental services are also family and friends friendly, although children aged 7 to 12 would need to be accompanied by an adult.
Kayaking is a fun and relaxing activity that everyone can enjoy. You do not need to have any certification before enjoying this recreational water sport. Kayaking is also a relatively safe water activity as beginners will be paddling with PFDs on them. Kayaking serves as a reality escapes and may even replace your boring gym routine.
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