Kayak Safety Tips For Beginners

Kayak Safety Tips For Beginners

Kayaking is a great way to stay fit, make new friends and explore new areas and landscapes. But before you jump on that kayak, it’s important to know the safety guidelines for kayakers. Here are some kayaking safety tips for beginners:

Plan Your Route

The best way to lower the risk kayaking is to always plan your route beforehand. If you plan your route, you will know the terrain, the streams, and the dangers involved with this activity. It’s not safe to go kayaking if you don’t have a navigator. The best way to find a navigator is by going with a group of kayakers that have done this before. If you don’t know where to look, go on kayak forums and ask people about their experience with the area.

If you plan to go sea kayaking, it is really advised that you take a course in sea kayaking. The thing is that sea kayaking can be very dangerous, because all kinds of dangers are waiting for you out there on the ocean, and if you don’t know what to do in case of a danger, you might end up in big trouble.

Always tell someone on land or at home at least what you plan to do and where you are going. This way, if something does happen to you, the authorities will have a bigger chance of finding you.
Check the weather before going out on the water. If there’s a sudden storm coming, you should head back to shore–immediately!

Don’t Go Alone

It’s not safe to go kayaking alone. You should always have at least one other person with you, especially if it’s your first time. If you are a kayaking beginner, it’s not hard to find people who are willing to join your adventure, but if you don’t know where to look, ask on kayak forums or ask your friends.

Safety Gear

It’s important that you wear safety gear when kayaking.

  • Life vest/PFD – Make sure you are equipped with a life vest that fits you properly. The vest should fit you well enough to keep you afloat, but not so tight that it can make your movement awkward. Always wear the life vest when you paddle and make sure you know how to use it.
  • Whistle – Always have a whistle and a cell phone with you when you go kayaking. People often die in kayaks because they don’t have these two things on them when they need them.
  • Rope and rope bag – this is the most important piece of equipment to ensure that you can be set adrift in the event of a capsize or if you manage to get yourself stuck in the kayak. The rope and rope bag will also allow you to safely retrieve your kayak from a water body.
  • Dry bag – this is a small bag that will hold the rope and rope bag, so that you don’t have to drag it around with you on your kayak. You can put your dry bag in the bottom of the kayak so it doesn’t get wet, but be sure that it’s not in contact with anything sharp.
  • Paddles floats – these are small floats that you can attach to the end of your paddle to help you keep your paddle afloat if it ever floats away from you.

Once you have got all your gear together and stowed away correctly, you’re set for the day and can go out and enjoy some kayaking. If something does happen, always try to stay calm- panic spreads quickly on the water and can get you in trouble. If you need to, use your whistle to attract attention from nearby kayakers or bystanders.

Remember that these are just simple safety tips- there will be plenty of other things to learn before you get really good at kayaking, including proper paddle technique and how not to capsize in the first place.

Stay Vigilant

One of the most enjoyable parts of kayaking is the beautiful environments you may be in whilst paddling. This is also one of the most dangerous times. If you are in any hazard, you must be cautious and not blindly trust that what you see is normal. Any time there are rocks or other objects under the water, it is totally safe to assume that they are under there for a reason. Even when it appears calm on the surface, there can be hazards under the surface, so it’s best to always keep suspicious eyes watching where your line goes and where your feet land.

Be conscious of changing weather conditions, and never go out in unsafe weather conditions.

Practice Your Basic Safety Maneuvers

There are several ways to improve your abilities in a kayak. Practicing the basics of your kayaking safety skills is important at all times. You can never be too prepared when it comes to dealing with kayaking conditions. These maneuvers all involve the easiest and most basic movements, so you will want to make sure you practice them as often as possible before anything more complicated happens.

The first skill you should practice is what is known in kayaking circles as a wet re-entry. This maneuver is important for any kayaker to know for any of the following reasons: When you are wet and need to get back into your kayak, it’s much easier with this maneuver than with other methods. Even if you don’t fall out of your kayak, practicing the wet reentry will simply make it easier to get back in again, should you need to do so.

The second move you should practice is known as a wet landing. Although not as common of an occurrence as a fall out, it is something that can happen and needs to be accounted for. This is a very simple maneuver that anyone can master- given enough time and practice.

Dress Appropriately

Dress in light colored or reflective clothing. Wear a life jacket and wear it properly, as it is your only safety device. If you’re paddling in deep water or cold conditions, then it is important to have a wetsuit and gloves to help keep your warm. If you’re paddling in shallow water or warm conditions, then you shouldn’t have a wetsuit on and should only bring a light sweater.

Dress to match the conditions you’re about to paddle in when out in waters that are cold or deep. For example, if it is raining and windy, wear something waterproof that can keep water out of your hair and clothing while also keeping you warm.

If the weather is sunny with a light breeze, wear clothes that are comfortable but lightweight and breathable, so you don’t get too hot while paddling. When you spend a long time in the sun, it’s important to protect your skin from UV rays while kayaking. It’s also important to use sunscreen that is waterproof, sweatproof and water resistant because sunscreen can be washed off in the water.

Always wear a helmet when kayaking, even when you’re just going down the river. This will protect your head in case you fall out or crash into something while paddling.

Know some first aid basics in case of an emergency. You don’t need to be an EMT, but knowing basic first aid can save your life if something bad happens. Know how to splint a broken limb, dress a wound, administer CPR and other important skills people should know before they go on vacation or on a boat trip for the summer.

This post has been as long as it is because I don’t want to leave anything out. You can never be too safe and you can never learn enough. Hopefully, some of these tips will prove useful to you, and I wish you the best in your endeavors.”

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