4 tips to avoid tipping your kayak

November 3, 2015

Four tips to avoid tipping your kayak

If you're new to kayaking, it may take a little while to get the hang of how to control the boat without flipping it. Here are some simple tips to follow to ensure proper kayaking technique.

4 tips to avoid tipping your kayak

Centre your gear

If you're bringing things with you in your kayak, make sure that everything is properly strapped to the very centre of the kayak in order to keep it balanced. You want to be sure that the weight of your load is equal on each half so that one side does not pull the other one down. To test, sit down in the centre of your kayak, then make sure the entire thing is level. If it's not, take the time to readjust your load.

Don't kayak in bad weather

Bad weather has a particularly bad effect on water calmness. If you go kayaking when water is rough, it might be difficult for you to keep your kayak upright. Make sure you check the weather forecast before you go out so that you don't get caught in a storm. Check the surf and wind reports, too. High surf and strong winds also often contribute to flipping kayaks.

Learn support strokes

There are several strokes kayakers can learn to right kayaks when they're already partially capsized. One of the easiest is the low support stroke, when a kayaker braces his or her legs against the kayak, then brings the kayak paddle so that the blade is horizontal with the water with its power point facing up. The kayaker then reaches out with the paddle and elbow at 90 degrees and puts the blade in the water to press down hard and uses his hips to right the kayak.

Avoid big waves

Lots of people who like to go kayaking are daredevils, but you need to avoid heading directly into big waves on purpose to stay upright. Wait until big waves pass to head out, and avoid kayaking around places that seem to have rough waves or rapids to keep your kayak from tipping over.

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