S ea Kayaking Skills and Adventures, Ltd.

Quick Class

Topic:   Managing Risk QC-0510
Resource: Soares Conditions Rating System
Risk Rating

Each day brings risk whether we are on the water, or driving to work. Managing risk in our car means having safety and repair equipment, having basic training, knowing the rules of the road and other skills that only come with experience: developing "local knowledge", how to respond to weather conditions, making emergency repairs. Kayaking is no different.


What kayak equipment is like a cars safety belt?


A PFD, like the car's safety belt is the most likely piece of equipment to go unused and at the same time the one most like to save the paddler's life. More than 75% of deaths in person-powered craft occur to paddlers that fail to wear their PFD. The mentality may be quite similar as well. The safety offered may be seen by some as restriction rather than comfort. RULE #1: ALWAYS WEAR YOUR PFD.


How else can you reduce your risk when paddling?


The next biggest factor in reducing risk is paddling with a buddy. NEVER PADDLE ALONE is a basic rule, but the more sophisticated paddler understands that the more extreme the conditions, the more backup you need. Furthermore, all persons in the paddling party need to TRAIN FOR THE CONDITIONS they will be in. Practicing boat handling skills and self and assissted rescues under real conditions is critical to being able to rely on these skills when they are needed.

Advanced Concepts:   You may want to get more information on the following:
  • Trip Planning: tide tables, weather, wind, wave information sources.
  • Navigation: route planning, tracing and postition locating on the water.
  • Unassisted Rescues: Paddle-Float, Stirrup, Re-entry & Role.
  • Assissted Rescues: Bow/Paddle Presentation, T or X Rescue, etc.
  • On-water Aid: boat repair, First Aid, CPR, Wilderness First Aid.

Please contact us with feedback or questions on this lesson.

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