With my interest for kayaking came also an interest for safety questions and kayak techniques. As in so many other cases, it is important to relax and enjoy, but it is also important to know what to care about, and what to be relaxed about.
Many people can paddle kayak a life time and never fall into the water. But even some very highly experienced kayakers get struck by accidents, some of them deadly. So you might never have to know a thing about safety. And you might know a lot abouit safety, and still not be helped by it. The question then is, what is a reasonable level of interest to aim for?
There is no single true answer. The answer differs by the nature of the person, and it differs with when and how you paddle. For example:
- If you live in an area where water is always warm or reasonably warm, you will have less need for thinking about how to dress to be safe against cold water
- If you never paddle anywhere where you can not stand in the water and climb up onto the shore from the water, you will have less need for thinking about how to get back into a capsized kayak.
- Not least learning the eskimo roll is a safe way, if it works, you do not have a water filled kayak to handle after getting back in..
- If you always paddle in groups with experienced and trusted guides where the group never spreads over the water and wind never reaches gale levels, you will have less need for thinking about how safe it is paddling in a kayak group
- If you do not need to maneuver around stones in the water or get into place to form a kayak group on the water, you have less need for thinking about how to develop good techniques beyond paddling forward
I have become interested in safety measures around kayaking (mainly due to a scare I had in the beginning). A good idea if water is not warm is to invest in a kayak drysuit, it is actually more comfortable than wetsuit or even 0.5 mm thin neoprene apparel.
There are some more pages I have written, found through the navigation pane to the left.