It is easy to get so excited about learning to kayak that you forget to share these life saving tips with others. Most people just jump into the water and think it is great. They don’t realize that they are putting themselves at risk of not only losing their kayak, but more importantly, possibly their life. I’m going to share with you some tips to make sure you have the best possible chance of a safe and successful journey out on the water.
The first thing you should do is make sure you have the right equipment. I know that sounds silly, but think about it. Would you put your life in a car that didn’t work correctly? I sure wouldn’t.
The most important piece of equipment is obviously your kayak. It has to be strong enough to handle the weight of the kayak, but also stable enough to ride in the water. There are a few different styles of kayak to consider. Consider the craftsmanship of the kayak as well. You want something durable that is built well. If you buy a cheap, poorly constructed kayak, it will likely not survive long in the water.
Next, make sure that the craftsmanship is comparable to what you would find on a boat. Even if you are only able to afford a used or “vintage” kayak, you still want to inspect it carefully. A “good” kayak will be sturdy, stable, and built to last many years.
Safety is another issue that many people fail to consider. Unless you are experienced and know how to operate a kayak, I recommend that you don’t venture into the water without someone with you. Even a recreational sport can turn dangerous when you’re alone in the water. Make sure that your partner is familiar with your needs and knows the dangers that you will face. A good plan of action should include a way to get to the top of the kayak if an emergency arises. This should be done well before you leave home and discussed with your loved one before entering the water.
Kayaks can be steered and controlled using either one or two oars. These two oars are known as paddle blades. Some people prefer to use paddle fins instead. They work in a similar fashion, except with paddle fins, the person pushes the paddle ahead of them, guiding them in the water. Whichever method you choose, try to stay calm and take slow, even gentle strokes. Try to keep yourself from being over-paddle.
Finally, there is the matter of keeping the kayak straight and level as you move forward. This is actually more important than it sounds. If you don’t hold the kayak correctly, you could tumble out, causing injury to yourself and to any other people on the kayak with you. To do this, you must be sure that the front of the boat is always pointed towards the direction in which you are going. Otherwise, it will become difficult to keep the kayak straight, leading to an accident.
In conclusion, following some life saving tips on kayak will help you to avoid these accidents. Always remember, though, that if you are not experienced, or if the equipment is faulty, you should never go into the water alone. Even though a rescue may be nearby, you will not know if you are in serious trouble until you are face to face with an emergency situation. Therefore, you should always carry other equipment with you, such as a compass and flares, just in case you need them. You might also consider taking a class on boating safety.