Many people ask – is kayaking safe for non swimmers?
This is a question I encounter a lot, especially among those who are looking to try kayaking. But is it really safe or more of a hazard if you kayak without any basic swimming skills?
There are a few conflicting responses to this question, which is why I am here to give you a definitive response to guide you better. Discover safety concerns when kayaking and whether swimming skills are important or not.
Is Kayaking Safe for Non Swimmers? The Answer May Surprise You…
It may seem rather obvious and straightforward that kayaking and swimming go side by side. After all, when you head out into the water, it only makes sense that you have some basic understanding of how to stay safe. Swimming is good for this purpose.
However, there are some people who get on their kayak without having any swimming know-how. They assume that it is completely safe since they are not planning on getting into the water.
Is it a legitimate assumption or is it a necessity to know how to swim before you kayak?
Keep in mind that there are risks some people encounter when they go kayaking. For instance, the kayak may flip over in some scenarios. If you do not have protective equipment, you will have to rely on your swimming skills to get back into the kayak.
While this does not happen all the time, there is still a risk of flipping the kayak over. Additionally, there is a concern with your kayak capsizing. This can happen whether you are in calm waters or not.
Thus, the least you can do is learn how to float, in case you are not so much of a confident swimmer. This way, you can prevent yourself from being in a state of panic in case such unexpected scenarios occur.
Panicking will only make things worse – you tend to lose your composure and your ability to think about the safest thing to do when your kayak flips over, capsizes, or tends to lose balance.
Kayaking for Non-Swimmers
Before you ride your kayak, it is important that you are familiar with water.
It is not about being an excellent swimmer. Kayaking, after all, is a quick and easy alternative to transporting yourself from one section of the water to the next.
You can travel on any body of water on a kayak by simply knowing how to paddle. Maintaining balance in your kayak is also important to avoid safety risks.
However, if you want to have peace of mind while kayaking and stay safe, there are certain things you might want to do. These are essential tips you should take into consideration to have a more enjoyable kayaking experience and prevent untoward situations.
1. Know the Basics
First, it makes sense to learn how to kayak. It may seem straightforward – you get in the kayak and paddle… Right?
It does seem simple but there are important things you should know that only an expert can teach you.
In the case of non-swimmers, they will learn all about a “wet exit”. What this means is what you should do in case something goes wrong. This can save your life in the event that your kayak fails to work as it should.
You will learn how to get back into position in your kayak in a matter of seconds. Thus, you can stay safe even if you are not a swimmer at all.
2. How to Use a PFD
Each time you go kayaking, it is a number one rule to wear a PFD or a personal floatation device. This is particularly true if you are not a swimmer.
What a PFD does is to assist you with floating. In case you have not taken any swimming lessons, the PFD is your lifeline when things go south during your kayaking adventure. As long as you wear your life jacket, you should be fine and float in the water.
Before you buy your very own PFD, you need to know what to look for. First of all, it needs to fit right. It should not be too tight and still allows you to see right over your shoulder when you turn your neck. Moreover, back floatation should be well-made. It is the most important part of the floatation device, so the foam has to be thick.
Make sure the PFD is breathable. It needs to be snug, yet not too tight on you. There should be a feature that allows you to reduce some airflow, especially during hot weather. Yet, your PFD should be easy to tighten in case the waves and currents get rougher.
Overall, an adjustable PFD with a good fit is just what you need to stay safe while kayaking, particularly for nonswimmers.
3. Keep Your Focus
And lastly, you need to maintain your focus when you kayak.
Always remember that if things go wrong, you will be fine, as long as you have your PFD and basic kayaking skills.
There is no need to panic as giving in to fear will not help you at all. Just apply the skills you have learned from your kayak lessons, stay focused, and you will be more than okay no matter what.
Here are a few things that can help you stay safe while kayaking. Check out this video to learn more:
Kayaking is a fun and enjoyable activity that many people enjoy. Whether you are a swimmer or not, you should be able to appreciate this breathtaking water sport. As long as you apply safety techniques and prepare before you get on your kayak, you can ensure an outstanding experience without any risks while in the waters!