10 Kayak & Paddleboard Safety Tips Every Fisherman Needs To Know
By: Tony Acevedo on February 10, 2020
Although kayak fishing is one of the most fun and effective ways to catch fish, it can be dangerous if you’re not careful.
The tide could turn on you and you could get stranded on a flat or sucked out to sea, it can sometimes be tough for boaters to see kayakers, and any physical injuries while out paddling could be very dangerous since you’re the one powering the craft.
In this video, I’m going to share 10 paddleboard and kayak safety tips, including one that potentially saved my life.
Let’s dive in!
Kayak & Paddleboard Safety Tips [VIDEO]
You never want to make your next trip your last trip, so always be careful while out on the water.
Here are 10 tips to help you do that:
1. Have a bright flag with you
Here’s what makes a good flag:
- It stands taller than you when you’re sitting in your kayak
- It’s bright
- Bonus points if it has a light (which is mandatory in low light conditions in some states)
You can get the flag that I have, the YakAttack VISIcarbon Pro, from Amazon here.
2. Wear a bright-colored hat or shirt
In addition to having a bright flag, wearing bright colors can help you be visible to boaters who may otherwise not see you.
3. Bring a light
I keep a tactical flashlight with me when I’m on the water.
It has a strobe setting which helped me out one day when a boater was coming right towards me on a foggy day.
As soon as I turned on the strobe setting he changed his course away from me.
4. Bring an audible aid, like a whistle
These may be mandatory by law in some states, but even if they’re not in your state, it’s great to have a simple whistle in case an accident happens.
And here’s a tip: make sure to keep the whistle on you, not stuffed away somewhere in your kayak. This will help if you get separated from your kayak and you can’t get to it.
5. Wear a life jacket
I’ll be honest, I’m not great at always wearing my life jacket, but it can literally save your life.
I recommend type 3 life jackets that are made for paddling in.
6. Avoid areas with heavy boat traffic
You never know if boaters can see you (or if they’re paying attention) so you want to try to avoid areas with heavy boat traffic such as channels, bridges and boat ramps.
7. Avoid excess weight
The more weight you have in your kayak, the more unstable it will be.
A good rule of thumb I like to use is to try to stay 100 pounds under what your kayak or paddleboard is rated for.
For instance, if your kayak is rated for 425 pounds, I would not go over 325 pounds of total weight in the kayak, including you and your gear.
8. Practice kayaking before going out too far
When I first got my kayak, I took it out to a local lake and paddled around to get comfortable in it.
What you don’t want to do is head straight for the ocean before you’re comfortable in your kayak.
Check out this article to learn how to get back in your kayak if you flip in deep water.
9. Stay in contact with someone when you’re out on the water
The problem with cell phones is that there’s often bad cell reception on the water, so I like to bring a marine radio on the water with me.
I use a Cobra HH 350.
10. Leave a float plan with someone
I recommend writing down where you’re going, when you’re going, and when you plan to be back and sharing it with someone so that if you’re not back when they expect you to be they can alert someone.
These tips don’t require a lot of extra work on your part but they could help save your life.
Do you have any questions about kayak safety?
Are there any safety tips that I missed?
Let me know in the comments below!
And please TAG or SHARE this article with your kayak and paddleboard buddies.
P.S. Want access to the best fishing spots, tips, and exclusive gear and discounts? Click here to join us and +12,000 other anglers in the Insider Club!
Stop Wasting Time On The Water!
Do what the “SMART ANGLERS” are doing and join the Insider Club.
Here’s what you’ll receive today when you join:
- Weekly fishing reports and TRENDS revealing exactly where you should fish ever trip
- Weekly “spot dissection” videos that walk you through all the best spots in your area
- Exclusive fishing tips from the PROS you can’t find anywhere else
- Everything you need to start catching fish more consistently (regardless if you fish out of a boat, kayak, or land).
- How To Get Back In Your Kayak After It Flips Over In Deep Water [VIDEO]
- How To Catch Redfish Like A Pro [3 Shortcuts To Success]
- Massive School Of Drum Inhaling This Lure (All Caught On Film)!
Disclaimer: When you buy through links on our site, we sometimes earn affiliate commission from places like Amazon, Bass Pro, Tackle Warehouse, etc. It’s one more way we can help you quickly find the best deals on the web while making sure we’re still around to serve you for years to come (and you do want us to be around to help you catch fish for many more years, right)?