When you engage in kayaking in either your leisure time or in a competition, there are some risks involved.
That is why you should have a good knowledge on how to reduce the risks of kayaking.
Kayaking risks can be reduced by using a life jacket, avoiding extremely turbulent water, avoiding the use of a kayak with holes and avoiding kayaking with bare body.
This will help in reducing the dangers that exist when you kayak without safety in mind.
How To Reduce The Risks Of Kayaking
1) Always Wear a Life Jacket
Whenever you want to use your kayak on the water, one of the things you have to make sure of is in using a personal floatation device.
This will help increase your chances of survival incase an emergency sets in.
A life jacket should be worn all through the kayaking time.
This means that you have to make sure that you wear your life jacket once the kayak hits the water.
All through the time you will be kayaking, you have to make sure that you still wear your life jacket while still inside the kayak.
This will help boost your level of safety in your kayak.
This is because some of the times when you kayak, a casualty might set in.
It could be a case in which your kayak flips.
This is usually a dangerous thing when it occurs.
It is even worse when the person paddling the kayak has a poor swimming experience.
But when you have worn your life jacket, the level of casualty will be low.
2) Do Not Use a Faulty Kayak With a Hole
Another way to reduce the risks of kayaking is to make sure that you do not paddle a faulty kayak on the water.
There are a lot of things that can make your kayak faulty.
One of such is when your kayak has a hole.
No matter how small the hole might be, it is still dangerous to make use of such kayak.
To avoid casualties on the water, you have to make sure that you do not use the faulty kayak.
If used, it will take in water from the water you paddle on.
This increases the weight on the kayak and will likely lead to sinking.
Another way in which a kayak can be faulty is when the air valve starts leaking air.
This will reduce the air pressure in the inflatable kayak.
As the air pressure in the kayak continues to reduce, the kayak will sink.
That is why you have to make sure that you avoid using a faulty kayak.
3) Check Weather Forecast
The weather forecast is another thing you have to check before you proceed on your kayaking.
This will help avoid some of the disastrous encounters that might happen due to change in weather condition.
This could be lightening and thunder.
It could also be a heavy rainfall.
These are the things you have to make sure that you avoid at all cost.
But how will you be able to know this without looking into the weather forecast.
That is why you have to make sure that you always check the information on the weather forecast before you proceed on a kayak journey.
4) Avoid Turbulent Water
One of the things that occur when kayaking is flipping over or drowning.
This is rarely seen in water bodies that are flat and slow in movement.
This is because the kayak will be able to move swiftly without flipping over.
The probability of someone drowning in a slow moving water is also less.
But when it comes to water bodies with turbulent waves and speed, this is not always the same encounter.
In such a water body, a kayak flipping over is highly possible.
This is because kayaks are not meant for water bodies that are too turbulent in speed.
When you take a kayak into such waters, you can drown easily.
Staying away from turbulent water is one of the ways to avoid the risks of kayaking.
5) Do Not Kayak With a Bare Body
When you are kayaking, you expose your body to cold as you get deeper into the water.
This could cause a serious health issue when you are not properly kitted with the right kayak gears.
That is why you have to make sure that you do not kayak with a bare body.
This is very dangerous and could lead to health issues.
It is even worse if you kayak with a bare body and rain meets you in the middle of the water where the closest shore is far.
In such a case, the rain will fall on the person in the kayak.
This will make the person to feel cold.
If the cold gets worse, this will cause the person in the kayak to be shivering and at such point, the person’s concentration will be reduced.
At worse cases, the person will contact hypothermia.
Hypothermia causes the body to reduce in temperature rapidly when exposed to severe cold.
This leads to death in a very short time if help is far from the person in the kayak.
That is why you have to avoid kayaking with bare body.
6) Avoid Zones Where Kayaking Is Restricted
In every country or state, there are always restrictions to activities at some zones.
This is also applicable on the water bodies.
There are some zones in the water in which the government authorities do not allow low horse power boats to enter.
This limitation is also applicable to kayaks too.
Violating the laws and kayaking on such zones will get you arrested and prosecuted.
That is why you have to make sure that you have vivid knowledge on where kayaking is not allowed on the water body.
7) Do Not Exceed The Kayak Weight Limit
Another great way in which you can reduce kayaking risk is to make sure that you do not go above the weight capacity of the kayak you are using.
If violated, it could lead to serious casualties.
Such casualties include a kayak flipping over or the person in the kayak drowning.
To avoid this, you have to make sure you do not exceed the weight capacity of your kayak.
That is why you have to make sure that you know the weight capacity of your kayak.
Such information is usually displayed in the user manual of the kayak.
It is also displayed on the body of the kayak.
8) Avoid Kayaking In Dangerous Areas
If you want to kayak in a place you do not really know of, you have to ask a lot of questions before you put your kayak on the water.
One of the questions you need to ask is if the places you want to cut across while you are kayaking is free from thieves.
Having thieves on the water ways is common in a lot of places.
If you kayak into such places without having a deep knowledge, you may fall a victim.
That is why you have to make sure that you avoid such zones when you are kayaking.
This will help reduce the risk of kayaking.
9) Do Not Kayak When The Wind Speed Is Very Fast
If you want to reduce kayaking risk, you have to make sure that you are not kayaking when the speed of the wind is very turbulent.
At such times, it is very dangerous for you to still be on water with your kayak.
This is because kayaks are not built to endure wind speed that are very turbulent in nature.
When the wind speed becomes too turbulent, you have to make sure that you move out of the water to avoid casualties.
If you still stay on the water with your kayak when the speed of the wind is high, your kayak may flip over.
At worse cases, you may drown in the process.
10) Avoid Kayaking At Night Without Kayak Light
Another way to reduce kayak risk is to make sure that you do not kayak at night without a kayak light.
Kayaking at night is one of the ways in which the person in the kayak can be exposed to a very high level of risk.
This is because in the night, visibility will not be as good as it is in the day time.
At such a time, you will not be able to see danger when it comes.
This could be a carnivorous sea animal.
When you kayak in the water at night, it makes it hard for other vessels on the water to easily see you.
This is very risky and can cause a high level of casualty.
To avoid the risk of kayaking at such time, you have to make sure that you use a kayak light when you kayak at night.
The kayak light will help increase visibility when you kayak.
Also make sure that you make sure that the kayak light you use is bright enough to help you see well.
This will help in increasing your visibility to other water vessels that are coming towards your direction.
11) Do Not Kayak In Places With Plenty Of Carnivorous Water Animals
When kayaking, you have to make sure that you avoid dangerous zones at all cost.
One of the places you have to make sure that you avoid has to do with places that have carnivorous sea animals.
This includes animals like crocodile, alligator, etc.
Kayaking in such places will only bring harm to the person that is kayaking.
It is more dangerous if you are using an inflatable kayak.
This is because the water animals with sharp and long teeth can cause damage to the inflatable kayak.
This leads to loss of air pressure in the kayak.
With time, the air pressure still reduces and this causes the kayak to sink.
At such point, you will be more exposed to the water animals and can be easily eaten by them.
That is why you have to make sure that you avoid kayaking in places that have a large number of dangerous water animals.
12) Always Use a Kayak Flag
Anytime you make use of a kayak on the water, you have to make sure that you are very visible to other kayakers.
With that, other larger water vessels will slow down when approaching your location to avoid causing harm to you.
This is really made possible when you make use of a kayak flag.
When kayaking at night, it is very important for you to make sure that you use a kayak flag.
This will help make you visible to all vessels that are approaching your direction.
This will prevent the chances of other vessels overrunning you while you are still on the water.
This is one of the best ways in which you can reduce the risk of kayaking especially in the night.