Inflatable kayaks are filling up rivers, streams, lakes, and ocean inlets everywhere, now. They’re accessibly priced, fun to use, and convenient to transport. However, they pose one concern for many people who are thinking about picking one up.
Is an inflatable kayak safe?
That’s a valid concern. After all, you’re essentially floating around in open water on a glorified balloon. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re unsafe. In fact, they’re extremely safe; if you know what you’re doing and use some common sense.
Today, we’re going to go over some tips that will help keep you safe while enjoying your new kayak.
Let’s get started.
1: Use Common Sense
54 people die from kayaking accidents in the US each year. While no one deserves to have their good time end in tragedy, it is an unfortunate fact that many of those accidents occur due to user errors.
To keep yourself safe, you need to make your safety a priority.
You can do this by following a few basic rules.
- Know Your Skill Level: Do not take your kayak into conditions you’re not skilled enough to deal with. A beginner should not be speeding around in white water, and only an experienced kayaker with the proper equipment should even be attempting such things.
- Start Slow: Kayaking is a skill. Don’t rush it. When you first start, be content just casually paddling around and learning the ropes.
- Don’t Drink: This goes without saying, but you shouldn’t drink while you’re kayaking. Alcohol severely impacts your decision-making abilities and physical abilities, and you make yourself a lot more likely to get hurt when you crack a cold one on the water. It’s illegal in most places, too.
2: Use Safety Gear
Even if you’re a great swimmer, you need to wear safety equipment while kayaking. Mistakes happen, and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll end up in the water at least a few times as you learn to kayak and try new things.
Even if you’re a good swimmer, the kayak can flip; leaving you stuck in the seat and unable to get upright and above the water. The increased buoyancy of a life vest can help you force it upright. If you fall out, and you’re tired from rowing for ours, the life vest can keep you above water. Also, keep in mind that you’ll probably be wearing more clothes. That makes it harder to swim.
No matter what, put a life vest on before you get in the kayak; even if you’re experienced.
3: Avoid Other Boats
This can be difficult to do. Especially when you’re at a popular boating spot with inconsiderate boaters around. However, as much as possible, you need to try to stay away from boats.
You’re in a small kayak that doesn’t have much weight behind it. A bigger fishing boat can speed by, and the waves can be enough to flip you.
Kayaks are Safe if You Practice Basic Safety Practices
Inflatable kayaks might seem a bit dangerous, but there’s nothing to worry about. At the end of the day, your safety is reliant on whether or not you take your safety seriously. Don’t let your worries keep you from having fun.