Kayak is one of the most exciting watercraft around. It is always fun to go kayaking. If you are thinking of a perfect way to unwind from the daily struggles and work, you might consider kayaking. It is an excellent way to exercise. However, kayaking might be dangerous.
The risks involved in kayaking should not deter you from having fun with it. Some suggestions will keep you guided ass you go kayaking. Here are some of the risks involved in kayaking and how to stay safe from them.
Why Kayaking can be dangerous for some people
Inexperience is one reason why kayaking can be risky for some people. Kayaking requires some skills. And when you are familiar with the sport, you need to stay within the bounds of your experience. If you are not experienced enough to handle harsh water conditions like waves, strong winds, and rough waters, you might be in danger. Experienced persons can handle situations like capsizing, displaced paddles, and other unexpected dangerous situations.
To be on the safe side, it is advisable to take some kayaking classes. You need to learn the skill of kayaking to be able to tackle unexpected situations. Also, do not attempt to explore more than you are comfortable with or your skill level. Also, if you are new to kayaking, do not show off. Humbly avoid obstacles and stay in safety.
The impact from bigger watercraft
Compared to other watercraft, kayaks are small. You may be at risk if you are out kayaking in big lakes, oceans, or the sea. If a boat or a ship passes by, it might impact your kayak. A worse situation is when there is a collision. If a motorboat or ship collides with your kayak, you will be at the receiving end.
To stay within safety, kayakers should avoid boating routes. Stay away from areas where you can collide with bigger watercraft. Additionally, take precautions to improve your visibility. If there is a situation, your chances of rescue are greater if you are visible. Wearing bright colors will improve your visibility. Also, go kayaking with others for safety. It is helpful to kayak in a small river.
Lack of protection
Kayaking without protection with your lifejacket is not a wise decision. Some people do go with their life jackets but do not put them on. Of what essence then is going with your PFDs if they will share the experience with you without being used? And some people put on their lifejackets the wrong way.
While going kayaking, it is essential to be prepared for any accident. Ensure that you have your lifejacket with you when kayaking. It is your best friend out there and a life-saver if anything happens. Make sure that the lifejacket is not too tight on you and fasten them comfortably. And get the right life vest and use it properly.
While paddling, you will encounter obstacles like sweepers and strainers. It is dangerous to get stuck in an obstacle. If you encounter obstacles like branches, rebar, or fallen trees, do not attempt to paddle over them.
To be on the safe side, avoid these obstacles as much as you can. You have to be vigilant and see far. If you have refractive errors (such as myopia or hyperopia) that can prevent proper sight, use sight enhancers like eyeglasses.
Additionally, always go kayaking with other kayakers. Two or more kayakers will handle any situation involving obstacles better than one kayaker. In unavoidable situations, you can make a smart move that can salvage the situation.
Sun exposure is one of the dangers of kayaking, although it appears to be just a precaution. If you are spending a long time on the water, you have to be prepared for it. Excessive exposure to the sun can cause situations like dehydration, sunstroke, sunburn, and other health challenges.
To be on the safer side, get your sunscreen to protect your skin from excessive heat. You might want to consider going with a wide hat as well. Remember that every skin type needs sunscreen. Everyone needs it irrespective of race or skin color.
Dehydration occurs as a result of energy use and sun exposure. Dehydration is a challenge you don’t want to face when kayaking. Once you are thirsty or feel dizzy or tired, it is a sign that you might need some water. You do not have to wait for these signals before you drink.
What to do is to take water with you whenever you are kayaking. It can make the difference between a good day and a bad day. If you would stay for a long time, take water bottles with you. If the sun is high, you do not need anyone to advise you on water bottles. Even if the sun is not high, you still need water. It will boost your energy and stamina for paddling.
Cold shock and Hypothermia
If you are exposed to cold for a long time, you might be at risk of hypothermia. If your kayak capsizes and you find yourself in freezing water, you might cold shock. You can avoid these situations if you are adequately dressed. Wear clothes that will cover your body, keep you warm, and help you withstand cold and wind. Drysuits and wetsuits are highly recommended. They will help you if your kayak capsizes. It is safer to be with a group of kayakers when your kayak capsizes. So, always go kayaking with other kayakers.
So, is kayaking dangerous?
Like every other sport, there are risks involved in kayaking.
However, there are several precautions you can take to avoid risks with adverse effects. Some risks like encountering obstacles and low skill levels are better handled in a group. You can avoid other risks like dehydration and sun exposure if you have the necessary items packed. Additionally, you will improve your safety if you have your lifejacket on.