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Open water canoe and kayak safety guide

The weather has finally warmed up and this past weekend saw people from all over the UK venturing outdoors as the sun cast its rays. Many dug out the lawnmower; others hopped on a bike, and plenty hit the water with their canoe, christening the start of spring by dusting off the winter cobwebs with an open water paddle.

With the weather only set to get better from here on out, there’s never been a better time to pick up one of our SUP’s, kayaks or canoes for sale and hit the water for some fresh air, fantastic exercise and an exciting new hobby!

Before you hit the Great Outdoors for the first time in your canoe or kayak make sure you read our safety guide, so your paddle sessions go off without a hitch, ensuring a fun session all round!

What to wear:

  • Always wear a pair of shoes. Whether that’s an old pair of trainers or wetsuit boots, it doesn’t matter, just as long as your feet are covered. Nearly 90% of canoe, kayak and boating injuries are caused by improper footwear.
  • As it’s still a bit chilly, wear multiple layers that can be removed easily.
  • A hat.
  • Waterproof jacket to keep the elements out.
  • Towels to dry off after your paddle.
  • Additional clothing to change into after your session.
  • Always wear a buoyancy vest.

Canoeing safety advice – Make sure to:

 Make sure you know the weather forecast before you set out paddling. The great UK weather can change at the drop of a hat; believe us when we say there is nothing worse than being unprepared out in nature.

Have a comprehensive understanding of the local area, especially areas that are protected under law.

Leave the environment as you found it. Remember the set of the ‘Leave No Trace’ outdoor ethics, which are as follows:

  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Minimise campfire impacts.
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.

Canoeing safety advice – Checklist

Use the canoeing safety advice checklist below to make sure you have everything you need, eliminate the risk of injury and leave a minimal impact on the area you are paddling:

  • Canoe, kayak or SUP
  • Paddle
  • Buoyancy Aid
  • Small First Aid Kit
  • Penknife
  • Phone (in a waterproof bag)
  • Drinking water and snacks such as a power bar or small bag of nuts and dried fruit
  • Sun cream, hat and sunglasses
  • Light waterproof jacket
  • Footwear

Important canoeing safety advice 

We can’t stress the following enough; it can be a life or death situation:

  • Let others know where you’re going and when you expect to return from your session.
  • Make sure that the session route you plan is within your capability.
  • Never paddle alone.
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