Kayak Paddle Floats
While we’d always rather be paddling open water with a buddy or two, both for fun and for safety, it’s imperative that any sea kayaker know how to get back into his or her boat in the event of a wet exit. Common self-rescues for beginners include swimming the boat to shore, which isn’t always an option, the scramble, which isn’t always effective and can tire you quickly, and the use of a kayak paddle float.
Kayak paddle floats are an easy-to-use, easy-to-store piece of safety equipment that should make its way into the boat of any sea kayaker or anyone spending time in big, open water. They are generally made of a durable nylon bag that is inflated and attached to your kayak paddle after a wet exit. It is then used as an outrigger to assist in the reentry of your boat. Foam kayak paddle floats are also available and may be easier to handle in cold conditions.
Like any other kayaking skill, using your kayak paddle float in an emergency situation is only useful to you if you’ve practiced it repeatedly in a safe environment. Proper use will get you out of the water quickly and prevent multiple capsizes, but it also serves many more functions. It can be attached to the side of your boat in rough water to be used as an outrigger or help stabilize the boat of a seasick paddler. They can also function as makeshift sea kayak floatation, displacing hundreds of pounds of water in the event of a capsized boat.
Don’t head out on your next sea kayaking adventure without one. Check out our selection of top-quality kayak paddle floats from brands such as NRS, North Water, and more!