1. Life Jacket
Always Wear Your Life Jacket
This is a simple thing, you must be honest with yourself as far as your swimming ability. Realize the clothing you are wearing, also can make swimming substantially more difficult and sometimes must be removed during submersion. Water currents and proximity to shoreline are also important factors in your safety if capsized. It’s a much simpler choice to just wear your life jacket. You can always recognize a paddler who lacks experience because they don’t wear their life jackets in hazardous circumstances. In most cases, when you fall into the water you will not be able to put on your life jacket. Experienced paddlers wear their life jackets and you should too.
Make It Fit
You should always ensure a proper fit prior to going out. You should first loosen all the straps then place the jacket on your body. Then adjust your shoulder straps to a comfortable height. After that simply pull all other straps snug. It should not pull upwards when pulled by shoulder straps.
Just Wear It
Almost 50% of Kayak fatalities and 85% of fatal Canoeing deaths involve individuals who didn’t wear their life Jacket. Don’t be a statistic, we provide high end life jackets for this reason. Built for motion and comfort our life jackets are unlike anything you have ever rented before.
We Provide bright orange kayaks, life jackets, and paddles for a reason. We encourage you to wear bright clothing to make it easier for other boaters to see you.
Dress for Success
Always dress for submersion as well as the weather. Heavy water absorbing fabrics should not be worn. Quick drying water-resistant fabrics are always ideal and during colder weather a change of clothes has never been a bad idea. The same applies to shoes, light weight water shedding shoes are ideal but know they will most likely get wet and muddy if you portage.
3. Defensive Paddling
There are a lot of things experienced paddlers know and all involve defense. Never assume power boaters see you and do not expect them to be courteous, point the “nose” of your kayak towards any large incoming waves to prevent your kayak from rolling. Pay attention and avoid floating sideways on moving water, experienced paddlers know not to hit objects and that hitting an object sideways will roll a kayak. Boats are stable front to back but side to side they are not due to their shape. Experienced paddlers know their limits and will portage around dangerous obstructions or hazardous turns. Choose caution when in doubt and be defensive.
4. Impairment is against the law
If you shouldn’t drive, you shouldn’t paddle. Alcohol and drugs are even more dangerous on water. Coast Guard and State BUI laws apply to all vessels, which include Kayaks, Canoes, and SUP boards. Furthermore, many parks prohibit alcohol and the consequence of violation of the law isn’t worth the violation. “THE JUICE IS NOT WORTH THE SQUEEZE!” It is your responsibility to follow the law, be smart.
5. Treat the weather forecast as a “Best Case”
Weathermen are wrong a lot, plan for changes in weather conditions. Be aware of changing weather and react accordingly. While on a kayak temperature isn’t as important as wind speed and direction. Rain can cause currents to rise but typically is just an annoyance however lighting is dangerous and should be respected. Don’t wait for bad weather if you sense a storm get off the water right away. Have a plan to get off the water if a quick moving thunderstorm appears.
6. Know Yourself
Improving your skills and overcoming natures organic challenges is part of the fun. Know your limits and if you feel uncomfortable with a given set of conditions, find a safe place on shore. Most Kayaks are designed for moderate currents specialized crafts are designed for whitewater. Avoid hazardous situations and enjoy a safe, scenic, and responsible adventure.
7. Respect and know Natural and Environmental Hazards
Copperhead Snakes, Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Toxic Algae, Nettles, Boulders, Fallen Trees, Poisonous Berries, Dames, Bears, and Bacteria are just a few things out there. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t attempt to eat or drink anything you’re not sure about. Wildlife is wild and should be treated as such give animals a respectful distance especially the animals who have teeth. Portage around hazardous obstructions never attempt paddling over a dame no matter the size.