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Kayaking Safety Tips

Kayak sitting in the water

It’s hard to miss the eye-catching kayaks perched on top of vehicles or mounted on kayak racks. In fact, the kayaking community continues to grow every year. Kayaking can be a thrilling adventure for the entire family with spending time on the water and being in nature, but it can also be very dangerous if you are not equipped with the proper safety precautions. Get ready to keep calm and paddle on! Keep reading below to learn about the key kayaking safety tips that will make you feel safe, more comfortable on the water, prepared for your next excursion and ability to enjoy every bit of the experience. Grab your paddle and let’s get rowing!

1. Wear a Lifejacket

No matter how skilled you are at swimming or kayaking, wearing a flotation device that fits properly and is well-maintained could be a life-saving decision. Your jacket will have age, weight and size guidelines that should be followed. Choosing a brightly colored jacket promotes personal safety awareness and makes it easier for others on the water to see you.

2. Always Wear Appropriate Clothing

Kayaking is a year-round activity, so it is crucial to be equipped with clothing that corresponds with the current season. It is also important to select the appropriate attire that will protect against the elements. During the warmer months, it’s best to opt for comfortable and lightweight clothing, and remember to wear a hat! As for the colder months, it is recommended to wear a dry suit along with thermal undergarments.

3. Create Your Float Plan

Your float plan is created anytime you plan to be out on the water for an extended period and given to someone you trust and is responsible. It covers who’s going, where you’re going, when you’ll be back and what to do if you don’t return. It is essential to inform the person you’ve designated if there are any changes to your plans. You should also ensure you close out your float plan by notifying them you’ve returned safely.

4. Don’t Forget Your Emergency Kit

Your emergency kit should be a part of your essential kayaking gear. The ideal emergency kit should include:

  • First aid kit
  • Signaling devices (flare gun)
  • Food supplies
  • Water containers
  • GPS unit or compass
  • An axe or hatchet
  • Sleeping gear
  • Emergency shelter

5. Take a Kayaking Class

A class will teach you the basics such as learning to stabilize in challenging water conditions, understanding the equipment, paddle techniques and the fundamentals of kayak rolling. However, the most crucial skill to master is performing a wet exit and then re-entering your kayak.

The most important thing to remember is that kayak safety always comes first. If you want to make the most of the outdoors, it’s important to plan and prepare properly. By following these safety guidelines, you can significantly reduce the possibility of having an accident while out on the water.

If you’re ready to experience the thrill of kayaking and being in nature, come and visit us! We offer one of the best locations for kayaking in Florida along the Gulf coast. With the incredible scenery that surrounds us and our competitively priced kayak rentals, Steinhatchee Marina is the top choice for avid kayakers. Book your next adventure with us today and discover what awaits you on the water.