There are always safety risks while traveling through water and kayaking is no different. By being aware of a few safety precautions you can glide through the water worry free.
Safety Tip #1 – Always wear a lifejacket that is securely fastened so as not to slip off in the rapids.
Safety Tip #2 – Dress for the elements. Being too cold, too hot, or very wet makes for a lousy kayaking experience.
Safety Tip #3 – Avoid all obstructions. It is possible to be pinned beneath a fallen tree or branch even in shallow water. Be sure to stay focused and steer clear of debris.
Safety Tip #4 – Always enter rapids head on. If you enter sideways, your chances of flipping the kayak are significantly increased. Waves can sometimes seem to show up out of nowhere depending on the weather and the amount of traffic in the water. Be aware of the elements and your surroundings and face the waves head on.
Safety Tip #5 – If you should flip your kayak, always float on your back facing feet first with your toes up. This helps ensure that your feet do not become snagged on any underwater obstacles. Do not attempt to stand up until you are in calmer water.
A good idea is to have a rescue throw bag with you especially if you are kayaking with someone else. The NRS Throw Bag is a good one and is very useful for helping someone who has possibly flipped their kayak and needs rope and a float bag for help.