Safe Paddling

by | Oct 19, 2018 | Safety First | 0 comments

The modern kayaks are built of wood, fiberglass, Kevlar or even rotomolded plastic. That makes them fit for any recreation and other activities on water environments such as Whitewater Rivers, lakes, and seas. Paddling is the heart of kayaking. However, there is much to take note on before undertaking any paddling activity in the waters. Below are some of the tips you need to consider before undertaking any paddling activity.

Always Know Your Limits

Be honest about yourself and your level of expertise, fitness, and experience. If you do not feel comfortable with some paddling conditions, never push for it. Challenging yourself and gaining more skills is sometimes among the greatest joys in your life.  However, there is a need to practice in some safe environments where you can access help easily. It is also important to check if you can recognize the tides, the deep waters, and weather conditions in the desired location. Always ensure that you make the best choices before you venture in any paddling adventure.

Always know your limits!

Consider the Safety Equipment You Will Use

For safety reasons, it would be great to invest in an excellent personal floatation device. Such a device will act as a ready lifesaver in case of anything. Even though you are planning to go paddling in calm waters or not, wearing protective gear is always necessary. The US Coast Guard Type III floatation devices are used for paddling and kayaking since they are flexible and lightweight.

These gears have large arm openings which allow your arms to swing and rotate comfortably. They also have a short waist length designed for comfort. Safety is crucial when paddling and wearing a helmet is also a significant thing especially when paddling in rocky waters.

To remain dry, you may use spray-skirts. These are used in the covering of the open cockpit. Spray-kits ensure the protection of the lower body as well as your belonging from getting wet. Before you use the spray skirt, you need to ensure that you understand how to detach it immediately if you go underwater. Nevertheless, you can forgo the spray-skirt if you have no idea how to use it.

Dry bags are other crucial components you can use to ensure that your personal belongings are safe. The use of dry bags will protect your belongings such as a camera, clothes, and phones from getting wet.

Safety First!

Choose the Right Vessel

The industry boasts a variety of kayaks designed in different ways and using different techniques. The boats range from the tiny freestyle kayaks to the narrow racing vessels. It is necessary to get a kayak that is appropriate for the water masses you shall be paddling on.

Kayaks differ in material, designs, prices as well as functionality. Some plastic kayaks could be cheap to purchase. However, you need to buy the right plastic kayak that will not compromise the activity you shall be undertaking.

The Kevlar devices are, however, considered lighter and stronger and can withstand some stiff conditions. You shall be privileged to get several kayaks in any state you visit. Some of them include the racing kayaks, surf kayaks, whitewater kayaks, touring kayaks, the hybrid, and other customized kayaks.

 

 

Access All the Conditions: Water, Weather, and Vessel Traffic

Vessel traffic, sun, waves, operator skills, tides, temperatures, and wind are significant factors you need to consider before going to any waters. That will enable you in operating your vessel most responsibly and maintaining safety for yourself and other paddlers in the water. Always ensure that you paddle away from the speedboats or in a crowded area. Such will give you a great chance to maneuver in the waters without anything hindering your skills.

A beautiful calm morning on waters sometimes turns into stormy and windy afternoons without your knowledge. Therefore, ensure you know the weather forecast for the day before taking off for the activity. Getting to the marine forecast in your area and accessing the Weather Channels or even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s page could be a great idea.

Additionally, you can ask the people who have been using the waters for their kayaking activities about the conditions of such waters.  In most paddling destinations, you will find experts whose work is to assist any new paddler with the right information about their very destination.  Going into the waters with a guide before the paddling is necessary for you to understand which sides are best for your maneuvering skills.

Always check the weather forecast!

Know the Paddling Rules and Regulations in Every Destination

While every government has its federal kayaking rules and regulations, it is necessary that you understand the rules for the location you will be undertaking your activity. Always call the relevant local authorities and inquire about the existing rules or regulations which you must adhere to before enjoying their water. In some destinations, you may need to have a permit from the authorities while in other states, permits are not necessary. The inquiries must be made days before visiting the location for you paddling activity.

Always Have Some Rescue Techniques

Whether you will be paddling alone or in groups, you must have skills on how to rescue yourself. Capsizing in deep waters is an ever-present phenomenon. Be sure you can reduce such risks or understand how you can recover from one. If you are on a new canoe or kayak, you need to practice the canoe to canoe rescue techniques. If you are going solo, ensure that you are near the shore where you can rescue yourself fast.

Always understand People Are More Important Than the Vessels

This might sound too obvious; but in panicked situations, some paddlers forget that the most crucial element is to ensure everyone is safe. It is better for one to lose a paddle than lose a partner whom you have been paddling with under extreme conditions. Always work to keep your partner safe, kayaks can be replaced, but you will never replace a person.

It is also important to offer any relevant advice to your fellow paddlers to ensure that they are safe for the water. Everyone has unique techniques and skills. It would be great to share your knowledge with others in an attempt to keep each other safe. That does not mean that this activity is extremely risky but taking precautions is paramount.

Avoid Paddling Alone In the Deep Waters

No one is always brave when it comes to water emergencies.  Therefore, doing paddling as a team maybe three or four paddlers is necessary. Such a plan will help you handle a dangerous situation effectively in deep oceans or lakes. When you are alone, and the water overpowers you, there will be no one to assist. It is better to have some company, by so doing, you will be able to have fun with some confidence.

Paddling with friends is more fun and safe!

Take Some Changing Clothes with You

In some scenarios, your clothes could get wet while in the middle of the activities. That may need you to pull over and change to dry clothes. Changing to dry clothes ensures that you are dry and flexible for the activity.  Take some piece of clothes with you, and you will be grateful especially in extreme rivers.

Know all the relevant paddling techniques

Paddling is sometimes tricky especially if you are in a new vessel. Understand the right sitting or standing position before you start any paddling activity. Learning how to stand or sit properly in a vessel makes it easy for you to paddle even in extreme waters. Always ensures that you are 90 degrees with the vessel to avoid leaning on one side. Feel relaxed and know how to maneuver and balance in some strong tides while in the sea.

Conclusion

Paddling is among the first activities which can give you extreme health benefits. Paddling is like an exercise that enables you to lower your cholesterol, feel energized and strengthen your mind. When paddling is done in the right way, it helps in building body stamina. Those who do stand-up while paddling understands the balance needed to keep the vessel in motion. The coordination of the vessel while standing also requires some skills and knowledge.

Nevertheless, going into the deep sea will decrease your anxiety because of the calm waves you shall experience. Some people prefer blue waters to experience some meditative states too. The connection between humans and water is unparalleled. There is always a reason why people look at the ocean whenever they need to clear their minds.

For you to enjoy the adventure even more. Try going into the curves and approaching the rocky areas. However, do not attempt the move if you are a beginner in paddling because you may not be able to handle the waves and tides. Some people prefer rivers because they give them the adrenaline they desire.