Outdoors blog


Should I go kayaking if I can’t swim?

You can go kayaking if you don’t know how to swim. Swimming isn’t one of the skills required and that why life jackets are present. Anyone can get to enjoy this sport and hobby plus no one should put you off about the idea because you’re not into swimming.

Let’s discuss more kayaking for non-swimmers.

Wear your life jacket

When kayaking, it’s a good practice that you wear a PFD (Personal and Floatation Device) or a lifejacket. You will stay afloat in case you don’t know how to swim because the jacket does that for you. Without even moving your arms, you can stay in the water for several hours. The lifejackets get designed with polyvinyl and nylon chloride foam. The material makes them buoyant and durable. You can get them in any size and colour that you prefer.

Use of Wetsuits

At Wetsuits are made from the neoprene material that has buoyant properties and also floats. Though they play a small role in keeping a non-swimmer afloat, it stills keeps their mind at peace that they can’t sink.

How kayaking for non-swimmers is still safe.

A kayak itself requires stability among its many features. They have a design that keeps them floating through the fair amount of weight. Before getting sold, kayaks go through rigorous testing so that once it gets released to the market, the manufacturers ensure that they are reliable, safe and can get used in water.

Non-swimmers though tend to have a fear of having to float on water, and this might prevent them from engaging in kayaking. The best way they should overcome this is by practising kayaking through calmer water in areas such as lakes or in a river that has pool moving slowly. You can then proceed to rougher waters when you finally build up your confidence such as the sea or a river with fast-moving water.

The kayak flips over only in rare circumstances. The following can happen if you move violently or from side to side. Apart from getting yourself a life jacket, there are other few techniques that you can use in this situation as discussed below.

  1. Sit-on Kayak

Sitting inside a kayak may not be the right solution for you as much as it sounds ridiculous. You will find yourself slipping on the side and end up falling in the water.

  1. Sit-In Kayak

If you have to sit in the kayak, then position your lower half in the hull of the kayak, and when a flip over occurs, there are ways that you can effectively and easily escape as shown below.

  1. Sweep Roll

The rescuing technique allows the kayak to get slipped over the back to the surface without you coming out. Here is what you can do;

  1. It would be best if you first relaxed despite the situation looking scary; it will help you think of what to do and follow each step correctly.
  2. Get to lean forward towards the kayaks’ front and from side to side, move your paddle to get it out of the water surface.
  3. Using a downward motion, sweep down with the paddle to start the process of upright flipping.
  4. During the same time, the knees should get forced and driven into the cockpit while you continue sweeping with the paddle.
  5. You should then start rotating your body while driving the knees into the kayak’s cockpit.
  6. When you get to reach this step, the kayak will start exiting the water through the one fluid motion that makes it come back to the water surface and be normal.
  1. Water Exit 

The technique involves exiting a kayak when it flips over around once, and you return to the top again.

  1. Don’t panic once the kayak flips to the top again.
  2. Unclick the splash skirt from the cockpit in case you’re wearing during kayaking
  3. Flips your legs and push yourself out of the
  4. When you come out, turn the kayak back.

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to swim. With the different measures put in place, kayaking can still be fun for you anytime. Make sure you’re accompanied with a life jacket for safety purposes just in case you get into a flip over. Follow the mentioned steps above and know what to do in case anything happens, and you’re a non-swimmer.

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