Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kayak paddling- The safety guide

One of the most important things to remember while on the water is Boat safety.
Boats are not listening for you, and cannot always see you.
This means you must, and I mean must be watching and listening for boats at all times while Kayak Paddling. Why is this so vital? It very well could mean your life. For example, you may remember reading my story about going to the lighthouse trails, and on my way to the light house trails I crossed the boat channel. If I was not watching for boats coming, I could have been in grave danger thinking I could paddle faster than the boat coming down the way. The boat- like a train, cannot slam on their brakes for you, in this instance you must be constantly aware of your surroundings while on the water, in your kayak. This would not be a major concern on most recreational river spots and now that kayaking is becoming so popular there are many trails dedicated solely to kayak paddlers. Just as there are sidewalks or special provisions for bikers, the same is true in many areas for those of us who love to kayak. Some have a passion for cars and love to drive fast, get where they are going and look good while getting there. Others prefer a bike for whatever reason, whether it is for saving the environment, saving money on gas and other vehicle expenses, or for the daily exercise. The truth is, it does not matter what you chose as long as you get to where you are going. The same comparison can be made between the Kayak and the boat. The kayak is not for everyone, it is a slower means of getting where you are going, it takes work getting there and the Kayak is certainly not as shinny. But unlike a boat, you do not have to worry about investing thousands and thousands of dollars into buying, and maintaining a boat and Fueling your boat with expensive- toxic gas, and losing out on the pure enjoyment of kayak paddling.
So we have explored one aspect of kayak paddling-boat safety and your role in maintaining the peace while on the water.
Another area of concern is this- proper safety gear while kayak paddling. Especially for beginners! Why is this so important? Think about this, when you watch a baby, and he is just beginning to walk, you will notice he is unsure and unstable while testing out his new walking equipment. As he learns his balancing skills he may fall often bump into things and learn the wisdom of caution.
We can relate the same learning curve to a brand new kayaker. Here you are with new equipment learning a new acquired skill. The first time or two may be a little unbalanced, maybe even flipping your kayak over a time or two. It is very important to be equipped with the proper safety gear such as life jacket, whistle and even a cell phone for those unexpected moments. Whether a skilled kayak paddler, or just a beginner it is always the best to error on the side of caution then to find yourself in a compromising situation that could leave you injured or have a bad taste for the sport of kayak paddling.
So remember to always have fun on the water, and enjoy the beautiful moments in your kayak.


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