So You Think You Can Kayak, Part 3

Part 3 of 3
Personal Protection – Save Your Life with a PFD

First is Fit.  Not physically, but that helps.  The fit of your PFD.  No surprise, we are all different in shapes and sizes.  So go to the local sporting shop and try on a bunch of different PFDs and find the one that fits your body shape.  Take into account the level of kayaking you will be doing and the situations you may be getting yourself into to help you decide which is best for you.

Since you have a great PFD selected, before you make the purchase, consider all the ‘stuff’ you might want to carry.  OK, some of these items might be carried on your vessel when you kayak, but …. ….

Have a throw rope.  Make a homemade one with small diameter (floating) line.  Not good at homemade stuff; purchase one.  A knife.  A knife that is accessible and not large.  A small, straight-blade knife, easily accessible has a thousand uses.  Hint: Purchase the knife with a sheath.  Throw ropes are great for tying up your kayak, or pulling a kayak out of trouble.

A whistle like the Fox 40 is awesome.  And loud, very loud.  Louder than your screaming when things go wrong.   Speaking of things going wrong, the same sports stores also sell waterproof first aid kits, complete with gloves and CPR masks.  Here’s hoping you never break the seal, but good to have.  And two small but indispensable items for your PFD “kit”; an extra carabineer (Petzl makes a nice wire gate with some strength), and your stash of sunscreen and lip balm.

So, you are joining the fastest growing sport in the United States.
Get yourself prepared; take the training, outfit yourself properly.

For more information on the America’s Boating Club boater safety and kayaking courses, visit us at

Remember the right triangle for kayaking:  Right boating knowledge, right kayaking skills, and right equipment.


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