For all paddlers, weather or bad weather, is the most important item. Of weather, wind is the most critical. Two metre swells on a calm day can be impressive but that is all. Small waves and 30+ knot wind can be challenging or just too much. If gusting as well, that’s when trouble really starts.
How to be Safe Kayaking
Be Safe – Be Seen
These fun boats are common on lakes, rivers and around the coast. Used properly, they are very safe, but their limitations need to be understood.
When kayaking in areas used by other craft, make sure you will be seen. A kayak can be almost invisible to skippers of other craft. Wearing bright clothing, having brightly coloured paddle blades with reflector strips, and displaying a very bright orange or red flag about a metre above the water on a rod will greatly reduce the chance of being run down accidentally.
Only experienced, fit paddlers should use a kayak in rough water.
Kayaks can easily capsize. It is essential to have buoyancy fitted to make sure it stays level so it can be re-boarded.
Always wear a buoyancy-vest or life jacket designed for kayaking.
Make sure you do not become separated from your kayak following a capsize.
Between sunset and
Get tuition at a kayaking club or with Coastguard Boating Education.