Kayaking Safety Checklist: Stay Safe Kayaking

Kayaking is an exhilarating experience; yet with all its enjoyment and adventure, safety is always a priority. You must perform your kayaking safety checks before departing with your paddle, whether it is a fun flatwater trip or a thrilling white water adventure. But it’s not only about the condition of your kayak or paddle; there are a few more factors to consider before heading out to the water. 

Below are some of the safety tips that need to be followed when kayaking in the UK

  1. Check for holes or damage in your kayak

You should perform a brief check every time you embark on the water. Before venturing out, check for holes, severe scratches, or general tears and make any necessary repairs to ensure your boat is watertight.

  1. Pack your Personal Flotation Device (PFD) or buoyancy aid

As safety should always be a priority when kayaking, be sure to wear your Personal Flotation Device (PFD) or buoyancy aid. Depending on the type of water you will be paddling, you might also want to consider wearing a helmet.

  1. Choose the right paddle 

There are many kayak paddles on the market therefore choosing the right one may be a difficult task. Kayak paddles come in various types of materials, lengths, and blade shapes. You can choose the ideal paddle for yourself based on your height, the width of the kayak as well as the type of kayaking you hope to be doing.

  1. Pack your essentials

Keep your phone with you – Your phone should be kept in a waterproof pouch at all times. You should always be able to contact the relevant authorities for assistance!  Consider bringing a charging pack in case you run out of power.

Mini repair kit — We don’t expect anything to go wrong, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Having some duct tape and a basic repair kit on hand can save your life! Consider airbags and floats as well. Is there enough buoyancy aid in your boat?

Pack a dry bag — Make sure to take necessities for your upcoming paddle. Drinking water, hot beverages, having snacks, sunblock, warm clothing as well as extra clothing, a towel, and hats/gloves on hand are recommended. Plasters, medicines, bandages, rehydration sachets, antiseptic wipes, and insect spray are all good additions to a modest first aid kit.

  1. Plan ahead

Before you go out, make sure you know your route and check for any potential hazards. You will need to have a trail map or other navigational tools in case you need them. You can usually get away with it if you’re on a canal. However, it is preferable to know precisely where you are and where you are heading while travelling at sea, on open water, or on rivers. Remember to check weather conditions, wind, tide and water levels. It’s critical to always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. 

The most important point to remember is that safety comes first while kayaking. Kayaking is a fun way to spend time in nature, but it does involve some pre-planning as well. Many of the most common mishaps that occur while on the water can be avoided by following these kayaking safety recommendations.