Kayaking With Kids Safety Guide

Kayaking is an outdoor activity that is loved by adventurous, active people who love being out on the water. They sometimes risk their own safety to enjoy the adrenaline that kayaking can provide, especially with fast moving rivers.

However, some people kayak with their kids when they are on a vacation or a tour. When you kayak with your kids, you should prepare them in advance to guarantee their safety.

You should have the right gear before you go kayaking, because it can save your whole family’s lives. Therefore, before you start, you should all put on life vests and load your boat with the proper safety equipment.

If you are planning to kayak with your kids, you should consider buying a sit-on-top kayak rather than a sit-in kayak, because they won’t fill with water [For regular, adult recommendations, we recommend you read our review of the Oru, the world’s most interesting portable kayak]. After you’ve gathered the right gear, you need to teach your kids how to use them and maintain them.

What To Start With

The first thing you should teach kids is the paddling technique. To achieve this, you will have to teach them in a secure area that’s protected, and there’s safety gear on, just in case anything happens.

Instruct the kids to sit up straight and hold the paddle at shoulders’ distance level, and paddle uniformly. Be patient, because you should expect the kids to tire out, or fail to paddle at all.

Therefore, you should not rely on the kids to start off paddling well, because they are not quite experienced. Alternatively, you can start watching videos with your kids and reading articles about kayaking, to prepare them in advance.

Also, you can consider signing yourself and the kids up for swimming and kayaking lessons. You can get swimming lessons from a community pool, so that in case your kayak topples, your kids can swim easily and avoid drowning. In addition, you can start working out with your kids at home to become fit, and strengthen your muscles.

The Next Step

Secondly, you will have to expose them to the kayaking world. Choose a protected area, a safe river, or a lake where you can go for your first outing. This is very important to build their confidence, teach them how to paddle, show them how to wear protective gear, and how to use them all together.

When buying life vests, you should consider both the age and weight of the kids, because they vary in size. If you are not informed about life jackets, consider seeking professional help to avoid jeopardizing your safety, or that of your kids.

Kayaking While On Vacation With Kids

In case you are planning a trip or vacation, and have been practicing kayaking on a lake or river, you need to sell the trip to the kids so that they can get involved.

First, research more about your trip, using relevant field books, and tide and current charts. This information will be helpful when kayaking, because you will have discussed where to kayak, how to do it, duration of time, and technique, among other things.

Remember, preparing your kids psychologically is very important, because you will be depending on them to cooperate and follow instructions.

Secondly, you need to have a packing list so your kids won’t forget things you really need on your trip. Some of the things you should include are clothing, food, and safety gear.

Thirdly, you need the help of other adults when kayaking, especially if you have more than one kid. Each kid should have a life vest, even if they know how to swim, because you will be kayaking on potentially dangerous water, like the ocean, for example.


Finally, while on the water, you need to go slow, give rules/directions, and teach. Most importantly, you should be supportive, to encourage your kids and enjoy the entire experience. However, safety should always come first, even if you are just trying to have fun with your family.

Best Kayaking Adventures In Florida

Florida is a kayaker’s paradise, with a diverse ecosystem and crystal clear waters. Every nature lover can appreciate the abundance of wildlife and breathtaking landscape, as they flow through river trails and the open ocean. Before we get started, we love to give our reads some reviews to read just in case they are researching any SUPs, kayaks, or canoes: check out the Hula 11 and our Oru kayak review here.

Moving on…

If you are a kayaking enthusiast, and planning on visiting the sunshine state, we have great news for you. We are about to highlight the best places to go kayaking in Florida.

#1. Rainbow River

This is Florida’s fourth largest spring, and kayak lovers are excited about the adventurous surroundings that this diverse ecosystem contains.

You will flow through cypress trees, and embrace the view of the luxurious aquatic vegetation. Plus, there are kayak rentals that are available at the park, as well as restrooms, hiking trails, picnic areas, and a place to stretch your legs.

#2. Weeki Wachee Springs

Weeki Wachee State Park has crystal clear water, and is a wonderful place to explore and kayak. The most exciting part about the river in the park is that you might see manatees or otters.

#3. Juniper Run, Oscala National Forest

This is an excellent place to explore a diverse wildlife, with luscious landscapes and clear water. It’s 7 miles long, and the difficulty is moderate to difficult, because of the maneuvering you may have to do with tree that are in the way.

#4. Wekiwa Springs

Wekiwa Springs State Park is 20 minutes north of Orlando, and has a laid-back vibe with stunning, century-old trees in a field of lillypads, which will give you the feeling that you are in a Monet painting.

#5. Santa Fe River

This is an amazing chance to witness a diverse and abundant wildlife. Plus, you might get to join the once-a-month full moon paddle at night, to witness the beautiful starlights.

#6. Silver Springs State Park

In this central Florida destination, you could see a variety of alligators, turtles, tropical birds, dear, otter, and monkeys. It is an artesian spring, one of the largest ones ever discovered.

The park rents kayaks (and even clear bottom kayaks!), tandem kayaks, paddle boards, and there is a small fee to launch your own boat.

#7. Cedar Key

This is a top-notch secluded place to go paddling and kayaking. The stunning landscape and wildlife experience will definitely take your breath away.

You can paddle your way through the historic trail to get to an ancient island called Atsena Otie Key, which is a great place to find Native American artifacts, such as pottery and arrowheads.

#8. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

As you paddle through this stunning area, you will be able to see colorful fish and turtles, and embrace the surroundings of mother nature. There are kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes to rent here.

#9. Ischetucknee Springs State Park

This is a wonderful place to kayak and paddle. Through the river trails, you can explore wetland plants, a cypress forest, and rock formations.

During the off-season, you can see river otters, blue herons, and turtles playing around the river. In 1972, this place was designated as the clearest water in the world.

#10. Manatee River

This wonderful place is located in west central Florida, with a landscape that is covered with moss, pine, and shrub. The upper river paddling trail is approximately 9 miles long, and is perfect for beginners.

On weekdays, the river is usually empty. This is a great opportunity to bird watch and find alligators, manatees, and other wildlife relaxing near the river.


Florida contains a variety of wildlife and rivers for kayak enthusiasts to enjoy. The awesome part is that there are rentals, rest stops, restrooms, camping areas, and picnic areas for people to enjoy.

The diverse wildlife ecosystem, combined with clear waters and old cypress trees, makes Florida a great place to explore and appreciate mother nature.

Paddle Board Safety Tips That Can Save Your Life

Paddle boarding has become an amazing, fun activity that can be enjoyed in almost all bodies of water. All you have to do is bring a sturdy paddle, get on the board, and slowly make your way to your destination.

You can also paddle for exercise, and the thrill of exploring your surroundings and new territories. Beautiful things can be seen in areas that many people cannot get to by bigger boats. If you need a budget kayak, you can check out the Sun Dolphin Bali 10 option here.

However, because of the excitement and adventure, people often forget how dangerous paddle boarding can get. It’s important to consider some safety tips and strategies, which are listed below, so you can enjoy this hobby in peace.

paddle boarding safety tips

Paddle Board Leashes

The paddle board leash connects your ankle to your paddle board. It plays an important role in ensuring that you are safely attach to your board. There are various types of paddle board leashes to choose from.

The style depends on which type of water condition you are paddle boarding in. If you are on the ocean, then a straight leash will do wonders for you. This type of leash will provide you with maximum safety, without dragging you through turbulent water.

If you are on flat water, then the coil leash is your best bet, because it will stay on top of the board and not drag you in the water.

If you are river paddling, it’s best to invest in a breakaway leash, to prevent you from getting tangled on some underwater branch or plant.

What To Monitor Before Paddling

Before paddling, it’s best to watch out for strong winds, swells, tides, and the sun. If the wind is strong, then this can be dangerous for inexperienced paddlers.

During windy days, you might find yourself struggling to stay afloat, and balancing might look pretty clumsy and troublesome. Therefore, it is important to check the strength of the wind before proceeding with this hobby.

Another factor to look out for is the swells. Swells can provide us with bigger and stronger waves, therefore, we would have tougher water to paddle on. These waves can add a great amount of difficulty, which will require some experience and physical strength to get through.

Another issue to be aware of are the tides, which are involved in ocean navigation on your paddle board. If you are aware of the tides, it will allow you to prepare, so they don’t carry you too far out.

If that happens, paddling back may take a long period of time, causing severe exhaustion. This is why you should check on potential tides before going out on the ocean.

Another thing that you should focus on is when the sun rises and sets. The last thing you want to do is paddle back to shore when it’s getting dark.

Knowing when the sun will rise or set can help you plan your adventure, so you will have enough time to get back safely to the shore.

Paddle With A Partner

It’s always fun to have an awesome paddling partner with you. Plus, it’s a wonderful idea to use the buddy system, to look out for each other during your paddling adventure.

After all, you never know when mishaps could happen. If something unfortunate were to happen, at least somebody is there to call for help.


Sunscreens can prevent harmful UV rays from penetrating deeply into your skin. It is important to apply SPF 30 or higher sunscreen, 20 minutes before entering the water.

This way, you can protect yourself against sunburns and potential skin cancer. Also, the sun can severely dehydrate you, causing you to be even more tired than usual, especially with no sunscreen.


If you follow these safety tips, you will enjoy the fun-filled activity that is paddle boarding (check out our Hula 11 review here). You will be able to survive the adventure and share stories with your friends.

These safety tips can reduce the chance of injury, or other catastrophes from happening. In fact, through careful planning and preparations, you will be able to avoid the majority of disasters that can leave you stranded, or stuck floating in the water, waiting for help.

The last thing you want is to end up in the hospital, so take some precautions and enjoy your paddle boarding adventure!

Traffic Rules For Kayaking In Heavily Trafficked Waters

Kayaking is a fun and enjoyable activity that can be enjoyed all throughout the year. If you live near a popular area, you will notice that many people love swimming and boating in different bodies of water. At times, there will be many other boaters who want to go out and have fun, as well. This can lead to a lot of traffic on the water, so it’s important for kayakers to follow traffic rules.

Here are some tips and guidance/advice to help you while you enjoy your kayaking adventure in a crowded area. You should be very careful and alert, when it has to do with these particular categories.

rough waters


Big boats and ships will not be able to see you and other, smaller boats. In fact, the only thing that they might see is a flash of paddle plates. If you’re going to be on waters with bigger boats, then fire, smoke signals, and lights can make you more visible.

A common law for all kayakers is that they must carry a bright light and wear bright clothing, especially at night, to avoid accidents.


Since kayaks are very flexible, it is up to us to maneuver ourselves out of the way. However, there are some situations where other boaters cannot see us.

In narrow channels, kayakers will have to stay to the right, which is closer to the shore. This is so we don’t get in the way of larger vessels that must direct themselves to certain areas to be safe.

If the kayaker is near a rough shore, then they will have to wait until there is no traffic, and then go down the middle.


To avoid collisions, you should let other boats pass you to your left, and they should do the same for you. It’s important to make a course of correction, so they know which way you are heading.

You must pay close attention to traffic from the start and maneuver properly, because they might not be able to see you. This is especially true if the boat was entering the water away from the marinas.

In order to avoid a future accident, it’s important to know where the shipping lanes are. These are areas where only ships and ferries run. You should avoid these areas to prevent an accident.

If you must cross them, do it carefully, and with great speed. You can also do this in a perpendicular pattern as well.

The most dangerous piece of advice is to not try to outrun a ship or a speedboat, because that will definitely not be possible.

Speedboats And Other Watercraft

These guys cause many problems, because they are extremely fast and oblivious to the rules. These bad boys can steer towards you to scare you or give you a thrill, and then drive away.

The best thing to do is be very cautious when they are nearby, and be aware that they are very fast, can cause major damage, and even be life threatening. Stay out of their way, if possible.


Kayaking is a fun and adventurous activity, but it can be quite dangerous. The important thing is to stay alert and know your surroundings. You should also avoid shipping lanes, because that’s where all the big boats are going. If you see a speedboat, try to get out of the way as soon as possible. This is mainly because the kayak will not be able to outrun them.

It can be challenging to go kayaking in a crowded area. But with both caution and these useful tips, you will be able to enjoy a safe and exhilarating activity throughout the year, especially during the summer. For kayaking recommendations, here is the Killer Kayak’s Sun Dolphin Bali 10 sit on kayak review. Additionally, you can find information about an Oru kayak for sale here.

A Kayaker’s Guide To Reading Water Conditions

One of the major skills that kayakers should have is the ability to read water conditions. Reading water is a language in itself. It’s very important to master, so that you can determine whether your kayaking adventure will be crazy or not.

It will help you understand whether you should go kayaking today (need a kayak recommendation? Read our Sun Dolphin Bali 10 ss review or our Oru kayak review here), or maybe hold off until the next day. Reading the water requires some practice, but once you master it, you will be able to predict the smoothness of your kayaking trip.

Lucky for you, there are some interesting tips and strategies for reading water, and we’ll discuss them below.


Gradients are basically the steepness of a river, and are measured by looking over the distance of the kayaking path, and the elevation that is lost.

If the gradient is slow, the rivers tend to be slow and gentle. High gradients mean that the rivers are faster and stronger, so they would be for more experienced paddlers.


Constriction occurs when the river is forced into a narrow channel, between two rocks. The cumulative pressure will cause the water to flow quickly, and sharply. This is the equivalent of putting your thumb over a garden hose spout.


An obstruction is a rock or boulder that gets in the way of the river’s flow. This will cause the water to flow backwards and upstream of the obstruction.

Sometimes, there can be something called a “pour over”, where the water flows over the obstacle. This will result in a hole or hydraulics, as a whirlpool is created on the side. It can also cause foamy, aerated water that feels and looks like an actual hole.

The most dangerous type of obstruction that you should avoid is wood. Wood in the river causes strain, which will force the water to flow through and trap solid objects.

This will cause a major obstruction, where the current will suddenly slow down or reverse itself. Avoid this scenario at all costs.

Classes Of Rapids

Class 1

These are slow-moving waters, with small waves. There is a smaller number of obstructions, and there is minimal risk to swimmers and paddlers.

Class 2

These are rivers with wide and clear channels. This will require occasional maneuvering, however, the rocks are easily missed. This is safe for both swimmers and kayakers, who seldom get injured here.

Class 3

Rivers with an irregular wave can be difficult to avoid. This requires complex and fast maneuvering, and experienced control.

This can cause injuries to inexperienced kayakers or swimmers, so it should be avoided if this is your first time on such an adventure.

Class 4

This class is intense, and that requires experience and precision. This is definitely something to avoid if you are a beginner.

Class 5

These are many obstructions here, with fast moving rivers that can cause many injuries. The rivers are a long distance and there will be high turbulence, so extreme caution is required.

This is not recommended for boaters, or any kayakers who are not highly experienced. You should always have company with classes 5 and 6.

Class 6

This is the strongest class of rapids, and is not safe for most people, even some experts. There is high obstruction and violence with these waters, which can cause significant injuries, and even prove fatal.


It’s important to be aware of the conditions of the water, and how strong and intense it is before considering a kayaking adventure. You should also master your skills first, before attempting any new, exciting situations. If you are an expert, then an intense water wave or flow might be a fun challenge for you. However, if you are a beginner, it’s best to go for rivers that are more peaceful, and have fewer obstructions or irregularities.

Overall, reading water is an essential skill to have, in order to avoid future catastrophes. Know the layout of the body of water you’ll be kayaking on, so you don’t run into anything unexpected.