Kayaking, just like many other sports, can be very safe to the user, but knowing what to do or expect while in water is very important, if you want to get the best out of kayaking. You should keep in mind that being in water alone has its natural dangers, so try to adhere to all available safety rules in this extreme sport, especially educate yourself on how to avoid unnecessary risks before and while in the water.
Kayaking Safety Rules
The first rule you should keep is never to drink alcohol before or during paddling. The consequences are deadly if disobeyed. It is risky to get drunk before paddling a kayak. The second rule is that your life jacket should be on your body for as long as you are in the water. You don’t take it off no matter how uncomfortable you feel while squeezed within the enclosure. There are life jackets made explicitly for kayaking as they allow you enough comfort while paddling.
The third rule you must keep in mind is to cover your body from the cold weather in the water. Exposure to the cold can lead to hypothermia and will hinder your ability to paddle. To be on the safer side, you need to use areas close to land and make sure you have a companion. Your decisions should always make the safety a top priority.
The fourth safety rule is to find bodies of water that are shielded from violent waves and strong winds. Your level of kayaking skills is essential in choosing the best environment for the sport. Use places that have launch and landing access points and other sites you can quickly resort when there is danger in sight. Paddling on unprotected water should be done with adequate skills and preparations. If you are paddling with other people, their safety should be taken seriously. Having knowledge of kayaking and how to start a rescue is vital to the venture.
Practice Practice Practice
The last kayaking safety rule is that you will need a lot of practice before you can safely go into kayaking. The most important exercise you should do is how to reenter the water using your kayak. It is easier to do so using a sit-on-top kayak than in a sit-in kayak because the former cannot be flooded with water. The latter can quickly be overwhelmed by the surrounding water, and it may be difficult to empty the kayak. It is essential you make sure your kayak has a bulkhead, which is a wall that helps prevent water from coming into the kayak when you flip. No matter the type of kayak you chose to make use of, if you do not have the confidence to launch into the water, then it is advisable you paddle close to the shore, in areas you feel comfortable and safe.
If you follow the kayaking safety rules stated above, you will develop more confidence in the sports, and your skills will improve more in the long run.