Kayaking – Safety

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,541
    L.L.Bean kayaking expert and registered Maine Sea Kayak Guide Kevin Hinds goes over basic kayaking safety.

    Kevin Hinds: I am Kevin Hines, the main registered sea kayak guide and instructor here LL Bean's Outdoor Discovery School. Now we are going to talk about some points to kayak safely. First thing you want to think about is your local forecast. Once you get that forecast, things you are going want to watch out for is keeping away from thunderstorms and lightening and high in heavy winds which would make recreational kayaking any fun. Once you're out on the water, you want to be able to look a little bit at cloud patterns what might be coming at you. One of the neat things about kayaking is you can also do it in the rain. Now, as long as it's not a thunder or lightning storm and it's a nice light rain, you can go out and enjoy it. The sound of the rain, the light rainwater in the water is absolutely mesmerizing.

    The next thing you want to think about is a float plan; a float plan is so you let somebody know who's not going on the water with you, where you're going, who you are going with and about the time that you're going to return that's a really important thing. So, therefore, if you were late to somebody might know where to start looking for you and also bring a cell phone. You can put in a waterproof bag or pouch, so that if your plans change you can contact the person with the float plan to know of your changes. It's also important to dress properly when kayaking. You want to dress more for the water temp, not just the air temperature. Water is going to be a little cooler; you might put on a light fleece or paddling jacket to give you some protection from the wind or the elements. Very important, also bring water with you and also wear sunscreen all the time. The reflection off the water is incredibly bright and can burn somebody very quickly. One of the things I like to talk about too is paddling with other people. It's no fun paddling alone. So make sure to paddle in groups. When you're doing that, it'll be nicer in the sense that you'll have more people to watch out for each other; you will be more visible to other boaters and it's just a lot more fun. So never paddle alone. One of the things you also want to think about is always looking around the horizon. There's a lot of other boaters who share the water with, not only power boats, sails boat, kayaks and canoes, personal watercraft. So always look and scan the horizon to see what's around you. Those are the tips to think about so you can kayak safely on the water.