Basic Safety Tips for Ocean Kayaking

August 30, 2021 1:31 pm

Outer Banks Ocean Kayaking Safety Tips

Ocean kayaking is one of the most popular things to do in the Outer Banks. Following ocean kayaking safety rules is the best way to ensure you have fun without compromising your well-being or that of others. Ocean kayaking is mostly safe. Like any other activity, there are risks that all kayakers must be aware of before they hit the waves.
When it comes to ocean kayaking safety, a little bit of common sense goes a long way in protecting yourself. The safety tips included in this blog cover everything from choosing the right size kayak to tips for beginners about what to expect.

Ocean Kayaking

Is kayaking in the ocean safe?

Kayaking can be dangerous in any body of water if you are not following basic safety guidelines. One of the most important things you can do to help prevent unnecessary accidents and injuries is to wear a life jacket. Drowning is the number one ocean kayaking safety concern for most people. Both new and experienced kayakers can worry about falling overboard and drowning.

The U.S. Coast Guard requires all ocean kayakers to carry a life vest with them in their kayaks. We take it one step further in recommending you wear your life jacket while in the kayak. Having one on board will not do much good if you become separated from your kayak and unable to retrieve it.

Ocean kayaking safety concerns

There are many ocean kayaking safety concerns, especially among those new to the recreational sport. Drowning is the number one fear for most people and the leading cause of death among boaters of all types. It is a legitimate worry, which is why we urge all our guests to wear life vests.

Some other ocean kayaking risks include:

•          Hypothermia and cold-water shock can happen if you are submerged for long periods in water below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Always check the water temps before ocean kayaking and wear a thermal wet suit if the water temps are below 60.

•          Capsizing and becoming trapped under your kayak is another real danger. Besides wearing your floatation device, you can help prevent becoming trapped by using a sit-on-top kayak that is completely sealed. They easily roll back over without filling up with water.

Make sure you choose an ocean environment that coincides with your skill level. Beginners should avoid crashing surfs and areas known for riptides, as they can be more difficult to navigate.

Is kayak fishing safe?

All the same dangers of regular ocean kayaking apply to kayak fishing. The first rule of safety for kayak fishing is to never go alone, especially if you are new to the sport. If you have a medical emergency, there is no one there to assist you. Currents and swells can quickly overcome an inexperienced ocean kayak fisher, which is another reason to always take along a friend – preferably someone more experienced in ocean kayak fishing.

Enjoy ocean kayaking on the Outer Banks

There are plenty of places you can take ocean kayak lessons on OBX. Consider a basic course on safety and operation if you are new to kayaking. Kayak fishing charters also are available for those who enjoy fishing. Our knowledgeable front desk staff can assist in locating these services for our guests. Stop by the front desk for help. Have fun and stay safe!