Kayaking is a healthy and enjoyable activity that attracts new enthusiasts all the time. Part of what makes the sport so popular is the relative ease with which people can get started. Kayaking requires minimal gear (kayaks can be rented if not purchased) and no advanced skills are required. However, kayaking is not to be taken lightly, as water sports can be unpredictable. Adhering to certain dos and don'ts can make kayaking safer.
- DO choose the right boat. There are boats rated for kayak racing and those that are strictly for recreational purposes. Some boats are meant for calmer waters and others for waves and open seas.
- DON'T forget to check the weather forecast before heading out in the water. Storms can come up relatively quickly, and offshore winds can make it challenging to paddle back to shore.
- DO let someone know where you're going and how long you plan to be out on the water.
- DON'T touch or get too close to wildlife, as animals can be unpredictable and even dangerous.
- DO dress for the water temperature and not the weather outside. This helps ensure your health if you intentionally or accidentally enter the water.
- DON'T skip wearing a life jacket/buoyancy aid.
- DO expect to get wet, even if you do not fall in. Splash up will occur from paddles and some water will get in the boat regardless.
- DON'T forget to bring along some snacks and water.
- DO bring a fellow kayaker along. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned professional, bringing a friend along ensures someone can go for help if you're involved in an accident or suffer an injury.