Kayaking is an activity enjoyed by millions all over the world but if you want to be able to do it properly, you should make sure that you have the correct kit. In this article, we’ll be exploring the different pieces of safety equipment and clothing that you should have if you plan to start kayaking.
A buoyancy aid
The most important piece of kit for kayaking is, of course, a buoyancy aid. It is vital that you wear this piece of kit at all times when you are on the water as it will provide buoyancy and keep you safe. A good quality buoyancy aid will also have plenty of padding to protect your back and shoulders from the hard edges of the kayak.
Having a buoyancy aid that fits well is super important here as you need it to stay attached to you and not become loose. It’s worth remembering that one that you had when you were younger may not fit anymore and so it’s a good idea to make sure it still fits you so you can get a replacement one if needed.
It is also worth considering a piece with space for an emergency whistle as this could potentially attract attention if you find yourself in trouble on the water. Many good buoyancy aids may have this included but it’s worth checking before buying just to make sure.
As well as a life jacket, you should also wear a good quality helmet when kayaking. A helmet will protect your head from impact in the event of a collision or fall and could potentially save your life if you find yourself in a precarious situation.
When choosing a helmet for kayaking, it is important to select one that is comfortable to wear and that fits well. The helmet should also be easy to put on and take off so that you can do so quickly in an emergency situation.
When buying a helmet, it’s a good idea to go for one that allows you to attach a headlight as you won’t want to be stuck in the water at night with no way of seeing what’s in front of you. Most helmets will have this space, but it’s worth checking first.
A dry top
Going for a dry top is ideal for those of you who have a bit more experience. These pieces of kit aren’t usually cheap, but they’re always worth the investment as they’re lightweight, rugged, and durable. These items are specially designed for paddlers and those who enjoy watersports and can be found in many of the top sports stores, as well as on Amazon.
What makes dry tops special is that they don’t allow water to enter as they’re typically quite well sealed around the neck area, as well as on the wrists and waist area. They’re a good purchase if you want to shield yourself from the elements and want to be able to go out on the water no matter the weather.
If you’re a beginner, a piece of clothing that you should consider wearing when kayaking is a wetsuit. A good wetsuit should fit well and feel snug as you won’t want any air pockets to be inside. Once you’re comfortable on the water, a dry top should be your next buy as they are much less restricting.
A dry bag or rucksack
If you are planning on spending any length of time on the water, you should consider taking a dry bag or rucksack with you. A dry bag is essentially a waterproof bag that will keep your belongings dry even if you capsize or fall into the water. This is particularly important if you are carrying any valuable items such as a phone, camera, or wallet with you.
A good quality dry bag should be made from durable materials and have a secure closure system such as a zip or roll-top so that water cannot get in even if it’s fully submerged. It’s also worth checking how much capacity the dry bag has before buying as this will determine how much stuff you can take with you without having to worry about it getting wet.
A good pair of footwear
As you’d expect, footwear is essential for those of you going in and out of the water. Not only can rocks and shorelines be razor-sharp, but they’re also super slippery, meaning that it’d be easy for you to have a trip, which is the last thing you’d want when in the water.
Most water-based footwear options are made of neoprene as they’re water-resistant, elastic, and durable, meaning they can withstand the sharpest of shorelines, the muckiest of sediments, and the slippiest of rocks.