Hitting the water with your canoe or kayak in spring
It may have been a bit blustery the past few days, but spring is just around the corner and that means getting outdoors in your canoe or kayak is even more of a possibility with the better weather and lighter mornings and evenings.
Why not grab one of our sit on kayaks for sale and hit the open water with friends and family this spring and add an exciting new sport to your life?
Hard-core paddlers would have battled their way through the frigid temperatures that we experience during the winter months and for those, spring can’t come soon enough. No more defrosting the car to get to your session, no risk of falling into near freezing water and the warmth of the sun on your body really does revitalise you. For those new to the sport, spring marks the perfect time to start this new sport and will have you flying through to the summer picking up skills, and before long you’ll be excited for winter and the chance to test yourself in more challenging conditions.
With all the excitement, it can be difficult to remember safety precautions in the rush to get your hands back on your favourite paddle. Some key points to remember can be found below:
Check your gear
The first thing to do is give your equipment a check and make sure it’s all in working order. Check the canoe or kayak from top to bottom ensuring there are no cracks, significant dings as well as general wear and tear that could cause a problem during a session.
Make sure your paddles are in good condition, obviously scratches and marks won’t make any difference but if you’re worried that your paddle won’t make it through a few sessions then it probably won’t.
Inspect your buoyancy vest, paying particular attention to the buckles and straps. If your wetsuit has any small tears or holes, then now is the time to get them fixed. Helmets and kayak skirts should also be given the once over.
Check the conditions
This applies all year round, not just for spring. You should always be aware of the current and predicted weather for the location of your paddling session as the great British weather can change drastically at any point.
The BBC has an excellent Coast and Sea section on its weather site that includes information on inshore waters and the shipping forecast. They also have up to date regional tide tables.
The Met Office compiles a host of information that includes wind speeds, precipitation levels, temperatures, and much more.
Wind Guru is also an excellent source of detailed marine conditions.
We can’t stress the importance of being aware of the conditions you intend to paddle, the incorrect decision is much more than an inconvenience, it can become a matter of life and death.
Whether you’re paddling in salt or freshwater, you should always be aware of your access points and any hazards. With modern technology, it’s never been easier to do this. We regularly use Google Earth to plan our paddle routes and identify any potential dangers that we may encounter.
Buddy up when possible on a paddle session, always tell someone where you’re going and have a rough idea of how long you will be.