Kayak Safety Rules
Always use common sense and follow all safety rules at all times.
- Be aware of weather conditions and water temperature. Prepare for changes in weather and the possibility of a capsize. If paddling in cold water, a wet suit or dry suit can keep you warm and comfortable. In warm weather, a long sleeve shirt can provide sun protection.
- Invest in appropriate clothing for your climate. One advantage of sit-inside kayaks is that you can shield yourself from some of the elements, while sit-on-tops leave you more exposed. Dress for the day.
- Beware of off-shore winds and currents that make it difficult to return to shore.
- Always follow the boating rules of the area you're in.
- Never mix alcohol or drugs (prescription or non-prescription) with boating.
- Never exceed the weight capacity of your boat and always check your equipment for wear and tear before you paddle.
- Seek qualified instruction to learn proper paddling techniques, water safety and basic first aid.
- Brush up on self-rescue first in calm, warm, shallow water, and again in more extreme conditions.
- Most importantly, WEAR YOUR PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICE. Coast Guard regulations require that all kayaks have a lifejacket on board. Wearing your lifejacket will help keep your head above water and add insulation to your body, keeping you warmer in cold water.
- Tell someone your paddle plan, which includes: where you are going, what you will be doing, how long you expect to be gone and how many people are in your party. Then stick to your plan.
- Stay hydrated. Always bring plenty of water and food.
- When paddling in a new area, check with the locals regarding currents, shoreline conditions and weather patterns.
- Plan an "escape" route - an alternative place to get off the water should environmental conditions dictate it.
Abiding by these rules will help to make your kayak adventure safer and fun.