Is Kayaking Dangerous?

Kayaking is an exciting and fun water sport that can be enjoyed by all ages, ranging from the youngest to the eldest. All you need to do is master the basics and have little experience to paddle solely. Is Kayaking dangerous? 

Yes, just like any other sporting activity, kayaking is also prone to its own dangers which every paddler should get to know and learn how to handle every situation. Furthermore, kayaking has higher danger levels than other sports since it is done on water surfaces. 

Therefore, go for the basics and make sure you are fully prepared before you carry your paddler and kayak down to the lake.  

Various Paddling Activities  

Depending on your geographical location, you’ll have variant paddling activities at your exposure compared to another individual at a different location. You can go paddling down the river, in the ocean, or decide to participate in a sea kayaking competition. These competitions have made kayak enthusiasts concentrate on investment in their equipment since everyone wants to get better day by day. Prepare well and look for kayak and canoeing parks to improve your skills anytime at cost-effective fees.  

Types of Kayaking Injuries 

• Hypothermia 

Your kayak may capsize and you will be deep in cold water within a split of a second. Hypothermia is the rapid drop of one’s core temperature due to exposure to low temperatures especially if it’s in contact with cold water. 

Consider wearing a dry suit to make sure the water doesn’t come into contact with your core. Over the past years, many people have kept on asking ‘why is kayaking dangerous? especially when done on deepwater body surfaces. 

Avoid paddling on deep waters during the cold season for safety measures. Keep it close to the shore and make sure you are properly geared. You can  even carry an extra set of clothing to curb any uprising emergencies as you kayak.  

• Shoulder sprain 

Due to the muscular power required to make the strokes efficient enough to sail forward, one can get a shoulder strain out of too much stress on your shoulders. This happens especially if one is not doing the strokes correctly due to poor basics. Get to learn and master the basics well to avoid this kind of injury.  

• Dehydration and sunburns  

Since this activity is carried out outside, it can expose you to varying weather conditions and a sunny day is one of them. Paddling during a sunny day or during the summer season can bring in sunburns and enhance body dehydration due to extreme exposure to the sun. 

Wear a cap or hat to prevent getting sunburns on your face when enjoying your afternoons. However, always remember to have your helmet on especially if you’re having your first experiences in kayaking. 

• Wrist joint injuries 

This can be brought about by the regular and recurrent wrist movement when paddling through the waters. Kayaking for a long time without getting to take any rest can lead to fatigue on your wrist joints or strain. Remember to take a break and rest for a few minutes so that you can continue having the fun as soon as you are refreshed.  

Risks Factors When Paddling 

Failure to proper gear wear 

Helmets, life jackets, and personal floaters are very essential equipment when it comes to kayaking. Make sure you’ve left none behind when leaving for the afternoon paddle down the lake. I believe every kayaking and canoeing park has its set rules for equipment and gear that should be worn when coming to contact with water.  


Can one get an injury from overtraining? Yes, too much of something is poisonous. Your body needs to rest after getting engaged in such a hectic outdoor activity. Overworking your shoulders and wrists can put you in trouble since you can start experiencing strain injuries and fatigues as well.  

Going for an unsuitable waterway 

Before sliding your kayak onto the surface of the water for the first time; make sure you inquire about the terrain of the waterway from the locals first. This will help you avoid unnecessary injuries due to an unfamiliar waterway or environment. 

Learn about the currents, wave, and tide action of the area before making the next step. Avoid kayaking on water bodies that outrun your skill level or equipment to avoid accidents that can lead to serious injuries. 

Lack of experience 

Kayaking beginners face a difficult time during their first stages of learning how to paddle. They are prone to injuries and accidents due to their inexperience thus lack enough skills and technique to control the kayak. 

My beginner son came to me asking, ‘Dad, is kayaking dangerous?’ I thought of giving him a ‘Yes’ but it would have put him off. Instead, I told him it’s a very safe sport good for kids; and started giving him the lessons right away. 

Why? Kayak can be one of the least dangerous sports if all the measures are taken and every instruction followed carefully. Make sure your little ones master the basics so well that they can get to solely glide when they’re old enough. 

Lack of technique 

The poor paddling techniques are usually brought about by a lack of practice. As we all know, practice makes perfect! You have to take lessons and follow the guidelines given by specialists to improve your kayaking skills and technique. 

Watch and learn keenly to understand how the skill is done. Get to read guidelines and watch tutorial videos to master this skill maximumly. Having perfect basics will prevent you from getting the injuries stated above. 

Is Kayaking Dangerous – Conclusion

Lastly, remember to at least let someone know that you’re going out kayaking for safety measures. Is kayaking dangerous? I believe you have your answer already. Make sure all safety measures are taken including having the correct equipment. 

Don’t go out paddling on your own unless you’re a good swimmer. Have an enjoyable time kayaking with your friends, what a sport!

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