While kayaking is safe, it is not for the unfit. Unless you're a natural swimmer, kayaking can be quite dangerous, especially if the kayak tips over. This can result in the paddler falling into the water. Kayaking is usually a tranquil activity on calm days. While you don't need to be a natural swimmer to paddle, you should be comfortable in water. If you have any fears about getting into the water, take them with you and ask yourself, "Am I a good swimmer?".
While kayaking, you should follow certain safety measures to protect yourself. This includes wearing the proper gear, practicing roll techniques, and preparing your kayak for capsizes. Following these safety precautions can ensure your kayaking trip goes off without a hitch. Besides wearing a life vest, make sure to wear appropriate clothing. Always tell someone where you're going and when you'll return. If you don't have a life vest, wear a whistle, or use a distress flare to signal for help.
Make sure you wear reflective clothing and have your whistle handy. Cold water impairs coordination and judgment. Immersion in 50-degree water can leave you unconscious within minutes. Wear a life jacket or a wetsuit, if necessary. You should also be aware of the color of the buoys. Always be aware of the laws regarding boating and paddlers and keep your safety in mind at all times. If you're kayaking in rough water, wear a helmet, especially if you're not used to it. Helmets are mandatory in some places.
While kayaks don't usually topple over, there is always a risk that your kayak will. Kayaks are generally very stable, but the design of the hull plays a role in determining stability. Long, narrow hulls are less stable than shorter, wide hulls. Most recreational kayaks are flat and therefore very stable, but the conditions of the water and the kayak can influence the likelihood of tipping.
You must use a high-quality brace, tie down all gear, and use the proper technique to keep your kayak balanced. Ideally, you should be able to balance your kayak without causing it to topple over. Make sure that you are not carrying too much weight or too little, and use either a low or high-brace to secure your kayak. If you do experience a capsize, paddle slowly and calmly. Panicking can only make things worse.
If you have ever wondered whether it is safe to see an alligator while kayaking, don't worry. It's a common misconception that alligators are aggressive animals, and even when they're not, you shouldn't be too alarmed. You can tell that an alligator is aggressive when it shows signs of aggression, such as puffing up in the water, a larger belly, or a raised back. However, if you see any of these signs, you should paddle away slowly.
If you do spot an alligator while kayaking, you must remain calm and keep your distance. You must also remember that alligators often get overly familiar with humans, so never try to feed one. However, some tourists have accidentally fed them. If you think an alligator is approaching your kayak, keep your paddle in your hand and paddle away slowly. If the alligator is still near your kayak, you can use a noise maker to scare it away.
If you're thinking about kayaking in New York City, you might want to avoid the area around ferry terminals and busy streets. The waters around the Big Apple are some of the busiest in the world, and kayakers should exercise defensive paddling to avoid accidents. While you don't have to worry about power boaters, you should make sure to avoid high-traffic areas if possible.
Whether you're planning a solo trip or paddling with a group, make sure you plan your route well. High-traffic areas tend to attract kayakers in large numbers. By avoiding these areas, you'll be able to kayak in calmer waters without a chance for trouble. In addition to paddling away from crowds, you'll be more likely to enjoy the experience.