Important safety tips to remember when kayaking

Published September 17, 2016 in Outdoor Activities

kayaking-15Staying safe while on a kayak starts with acknowledging potential dangers and then making smart decisions that minimize the risks involved. These decisions are made right from when an individual shops for a kayak. There are different types of kayaks available in the market today and they come with different features that enhance comfort and safety for the paddlers. Among the kayak types, recreational and fishing kayaks are the most popular.

Regardless of the kayak that an individual uses for either fishing or recreation, they must practice the basic safety tips to ensure their safety. There is no feature in a kayak that can guarantee 100% safety for paddlers.

Almost every kayaking environment has its own hazards. However, weather is a major cause for most accidents that occur during kayaking. The further from shore a kayaker paddles, the bigger the body of water, and the more they get exposed to wind and waves. The presence of strong winds and waves is a potential sign of looming danger. The solution would be to check the weather forecast as a habit before heading out to the water. Kayakers especially beginners are advised not to paddle on rough waters.

Generally, kayaking is considered to be a very safe outdoor activity. If a paddler utilizes some common sense in making smart decisions, it can be safe out in the water. However, even with the use of common sense, sometimes things do just go wrong, and therefore one needs to be prepared for any eventuality. That means being armed with the right knowledge, equipment, and the skills for dealing with any emergencies that may emerge.

For starters, kayakers should learn how to perform to self-rescue operations from various types of kayaks. And if for any reason one can’t reliably get back into a kayak, then they also should be in a position to swim to the shoreline safely.

Secondly, it is advisable to go kayaking in numbers or with a friend, especially for beginners. Kayaking with a friend or in a public place is valuable such that people can help out in case of emergencies. When choosing a recreational kayak, a kayaker might want to choose a kayak that can carry more than two people.

Some kayaks such as intex explorer K2 can be paddled by two people in tandem. This kayak can be used for recreation as well as sport fishing. Tandem kayaking offers an opportunity to share the kayaking experience with family members, friends or even pets.

Additionally, every kayaker must have a personal floatation device (PFD) whenever they go kayaking. Floatation devices come in handy when a kayak capsizes hence keeping the paddler afloat. Other safety equipment that a paddler can carry during kayaking sessions include a cell phone in a dry box to communicate with other people in case of emergencies and a first aid kit in a dry bag.

A paddler should keep in their minds that just bringing safety gear isn’t enough, it’s also got to be accessible when needed. Some recreation kayaks such as old Town Vapor 10 offer enough storage space for personal effects and other gear. These storage spaces are readily accessible and can also be used for storing fishing equipment when the kayak is used for fishing.

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