Rough Sea Kayaking

ROUGH SEA KAYAKING: SAFETY PRECAUTIONS THAT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE

If you’re a daring soul who easily gets bored with kayaking in calm waters, then you may want to try it out in open waters. The sea is vast and offers great adventure, but it can also be very rough and unforgiving. To ensure your safety, there are some preparations you must go through. If you’re looking to try out rough sea kayaking, then here are four important guidelines you must take into account.

PRACTICE PADDLING AND SAFETY RESCUES

The key to good kayaking skills is practice. It’s important to know what you’re doing while you’re out in the open water. Enrol in a course or take a lesson before you venture out into the unknown. You can’t just read books about kayaking and expect yourself to be an expert. Make sure you look for a good course that also teaches you about the equipment and paddling in hazardous conditions. If you’re completely new to kayaking, practice in calm waters first.

Once you’ve got that down, try paddling in increasingly rough conditions. You don’t necessarily have to jump into the sea at once. However, it’s important not to do all that practising alone. Take a guide or an experienced kayaker with you. They can pass on some knowledge and help you train.
You also must be able to rescue yourself when you’re faced with a dilemma. If your kayak capsizes and sends you into the ocean, you must know how to save yourself and get back on your watercraft. Practising this can help you master the skills needed for self-rescue, but you must also be accompanied by a seasoned kayaker or two.

KNOW WHERE THE WIND IS BLOWING

The direction of the wind matters a lot in rough sea kayaking. Strong winds can really put you in a dangerous situation. Pay attention to your surroundings. Be aware of the wind’s direction so that you know how to position yourself. You mustn’t paddle perpendicular to the wind, as this can push you away from your target destination. Kayaking against the wind is advised for this kind of situation.

WATCH THE WAVES

The wind isn’t the only thing you have to watch out for. Waves can also cause your watercraft to capsize. This is why paddling into the wind is recommended. The waves go towards you and you don’t have to worry about being consumed by one from a different direction.

However, it’s possible for the wind and the waves to go in contrasting directions. You’ll find yourself being pushed from side to side by both the wind and the waves. When this happens, your priority must be to watch the waves. Don’t paddle in a parallel direction to the strong waves. There’s a high chance of getting hit by a wild one on the side of your kayak this way.

MEMORIZE SAFETY GEAR USE

Of course, one of the most important guidelines is to have your safety gear with you at all times. Never go rough sea kayaking without them. However, it’s not enough to just possess these items. You must also know how to use them. This can be tricky because you must know how to juggle everything at once. You only have two hands, so you must be very good at making the most of them.

All in all, rough sea kayaking can be perilous and intimidating, but it’s also an activity that can give you a great sense of accomplishment. If you’re willing to try it out, be sure to remember that preparation and practice are vital components to a successful paddling experience. Be responsible, and take it seriously. There are enough bodies in the ocean; it doesn’t need yours, too.

 


 

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Jackson Williams
jacksonw@dinga.com.au

Jackson Williams has been fishing around Australia for 20 years and loves his home region of far north Queensland.