Is Kayaking safe for Non-Swimmers?

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: July 24, 2021
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There are many people who want to try kayaking but have one thing holding them back – the fact that they don’t know how to swim. Kayaking can be safe for non-swimmers if they take the proper precautions and practice good water safety.

However, there is something else that needs to be taken into account when it comes to kayaking for non swimmers: the risk of drowning. A person who is not a strong swimmer should never kayak without a personal flotation device (PFD).

Is Kayaking safe for Non-Swimmers

There are two types of PFDs, inflatable and foam types. They both provide similar levels of protection, but inflatable devices inflate with air making them easier to deploy in an emergency situation – especially when wearing heavy clothes or being caught in a riptide current. However, you should be aware of a few safety precautions before you get started like-

  • Get familiar with the kayak’s features and safety features
  • Learn how to kayak from a certified instructor
  • Practice paddling in a protected area without waves or currents

9 Things To Do To Stay Safe While Kayaking

Kayaking can be very safe if you follow the proper precautions. Here are those:

  1. Wear sunscreen
    There are two main reasons why you should wear sunscreen while kayaking. The first is because you will be exposed to UV rays while wearing a wet suit. The second is because you will be in the water for a long period of time.
    When you wear a wet suit, you are essentially wearing a waterproof suit. This keeps the water out, but it also keeps the UV rays in. The sun’s UV rays can cause sunburn and skin damage, so it is important to use a sunscreen with protection from at least SPF 30 all year round.
  2. Wear a life jacket
    There are many benefits to wearing a life jacket while kayaking. Prevention of drowning is the most important reason. It is also important to wear a life jacket because it increases the amount of time in which a person has to react to emergencies. One benefit of wearing a life jacket is it provides increased buoyancy and decreases the risk of injury.
    Wearing a life jacket while kayaking can prevent drowning. Drowning is the leading cause of death when people are engaged in activities on water.
  3. Wear a helmet
    a. It prevents head injuries
    b. It reduces the chance of skull fractures and concussion
    c. It can prevent spinal injuries
    d. It helps to protect the face and ears from injury
    e. It prevents drowning since it restricts water from entering the nose and mouth
  4. Wear a dry suit
    Kayakers are always exposed to the elements. Even when they are on the water, they’re still vulnerable to the sun, waves, and cold. That’s why a dry suit is an important accessory for any kayaker.
    A dry suit is a full suit that covers a person from head to toe. It protects against moisture, wind, and cold. This type of suit provides a good amount of warmth while also being durable.
  5. Wear wetsuit booties
    A wetsuit bootie is an item of neoprene clothing worn over the foot and lower leg which seals around the wearer’s lower leg to protect it from cold and wet.
    A wetsuit bootie is often worn as part of a wet suit, and is typically made of neoprene. It could also be made of other materials, such as canvas. They are typically attached to the bottom of a wetsuit or dive skin.
  6. Wear neoprene gloves
    Wearing neoprene gloves while kayaking is a good idea for protection against the cold water. The neoprene material is helpful to maintain your body’s warmth. They are also useful for preventing the blisters and calluses that can form on your hands from gripping the paddle.
  7. Wear neoprene booties
    Neoprene booties are a great way to keep your feet warm and dry while kayaking.
    Neoprene booties are also great for those with sensitive feet and for those who like to hike or camp out on shore or in a tent.
    Neoprene booties are not only used for kayaking, they are also used for hiking and camping because they are durable, lightweight, and easy to pack.
    With neoprene booties you can rest assured that any moisture will be trapped and unable to cause damage to your footwear.
  8. Tie your hair back
    The main reason to keep your hair back when kayaking is to avoid getting caught on a branch as you are paddling. Unlike swimming, kayaking puts your head at a much lower level to the ground which increases your risk of getting tangled in branches. This is especially true if you are wearing long hair. Long hair is also more likely to get sucked into the propeller of a boat, which is dangerous.
    Aside from the physical hazards, long hair can become very uncomfortable in high-temperature working environments such as construction sites.
  9. Put on sunglasses and sunscreen
    Sunlight can cause burns and skin cancer. Wearing a hat is also a good idea. Because, UV rays from the sun can be very harmful to your skin. It also helps on following:
    a. To protect from the sun’s harmful rays
    b. To protect your eyes from bright light

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