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Kayaking Etiquette Tips to Remember


The best way to avoid looking like a newbie - both in and out of the water - is to know what you are doing. And part of that knowledge consists of understanding kayaking etiquette rules. In fact, where kayaking is concerned, knowing proper manners and etiquette goes a lot further than paddling style or techniques do. Before getting on or near the water with your inflatable kayak, understand the expectations and guidelines of kayaking and water use in general. Try your best to follow these etiquette rules whenever possible - and by "whenever possible" we mean each and every time you go:

  • Know your place - Make sure that your kayaking partner(s) have plenty of room to manuever. You and your kayak should not be the reason they need to make evasive strokes or aggressive corrections to stay upright. 
  • Know the lead responsibilities - If you are the lead in your group of kayakers, know where you are going and where the rest breaks are. Don't take the lead if you are not prepared for the responsibility and know the body of water you're traversing.
  • Keep your head about you - Following behind a group does not mean you have no responsibilities. Those kayakers toward the back of a group are fundamentally responsible for the safety of the last boater in the group. The second-to-last boater is named the 'sweep" for a reason and needs to make sure that the last guy in the group is always accounted for. 
  • Avoid crowding between two kayakers. 
  • Pack out everything you brought in. Be good to the environment around you. It is providing you with the outdoor recreation you love so much; carry out all of your trash. 
  • Give both motorboats and fishermen a wide berth. Though you may know exactly what you are doing, you really don't know what others level of competency. It also shows that you are aware of how your presence has an effect on their activities. 

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