Ocean kayaking comes with an endless list of risks, no matter how careful a paddler might be. Accidents out there will happen with less or no warning hence one should always be ready. The state of the atmosphere at the ocean keeps on changing from time to time and as a kayaker, that should always stick at the back of your mind.
But as they say, water bodies will always give you some new experiences, some good and some not so good. We have therefore prepared a comprehensive ocean kayaking safety guide for you so that you can transform those ugly water moments into better ones. Whether a beginner or an expert, these safety tips will ensure that you don’t have a rough time while out there. Let’s go!
1. Before You Even Leave The Shores
Before you even begin your kayaking tour, you have to be properly dressed. Just analyze what you want to do and what awaits you, and decide the best attire for the day.
Maybe you don’t feel like going far away from the shore or maybe it’s warm out there. A simple and not-so-heavy attire will do pretty well for you. A long sleeved one would be far much better – you are definitely not ready for some scary sunburns on your skin!
On the other hand, if you are planning to go for the cold waters, all stormy and wavy, you have to be ready. Putting on several layers of warm clothing inclusive of a dry suit will be the best thing to do.
2. What To Carry
Whether a beginner or an expert you are never supposed to leave behind your life jacket . A safety life jacket is important, as it will keep you floating on water in case things get out of hand and your kayak tips over.
Don’t forget to bring an extra paddle too. Just like a life jacket, a backup paddle is also an important part of ocean kayaking safety guide. You never know when a wave might sweep you and your paddle goes sinking to the bottom of the ocean. So bring an extra oar so that even if things go wrong, you can still ride your kayak back to the shores.
3. Your Kayaking Skills
The greatest fear of every kayaker is their kayak flipping over. That’s why we can leave this point out in our ocean kayaking safety guide.
Well, a kayak tip is very normal when it comes to any water activity. The thing is you have to be very much sure of your skills. If you are a beginner or you still can’t get back into your kayak after capsizing then stick around the shores. This is the safest place for you because even if you flip, it would be easier for other people to see you and offer help.
An experienced kayaker should roll back comfortably to their kayak when it tips. If this is not the case, then you are not fully baked for the rough waters. Choppy ocean waters usually have high tides and can easily sway you away and you would be in big trouble if you can’t save yourself. So until you have honed your skills on handling rough waters, just paddle at a swimmable distance to the shore.
4. Weather Conditions
Unlike other kayaking spots, an ocean can be very difficult to handle. You should never expect anything less than rough tides and waves, not forgetting the storms and offshore winds that may hinder you from going back to the shore.
You have to be familiar with how the conditions are out there. If you are not, then the best thing for you to do is to consult the locals or check the weather forecasts especially if this is an ocean you not familiar with.
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The experience of ocean kayaking will be determined by how prepared you are for the trip. You need to have safety equipment in place all the way from the right gear to a dry bag, first aid kit, as well as an emergency whistle, just to mention a few.
With the above ocean kayaking safety guide, you will not only have a risk-free adventure but a fun filled one. However, just don’t leave your home without informing someone. Nobody knows what awaits you out there, so brief someone the details of where you are going, including the time you are planning to leave and return, and stick to that.
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- Safe sea kayaking, transport safety.vic.gov.au