The Complete Kayaking Safety Guide!

Kayaking is an amazing activity that keeps you mentally as well as physically fit. However, if things go wrong while you’re in the water, the situation can become extremely serious very fast. Fortunately, with the necessary precautions and safety tips, it is remarkably safe and enjoyable.

With the adequate paddling and navigational skills, you can enjoy Kayaking to your heart’s content. Accidents can happen to any Kayak Angler. You can follow the safety tips listed below to be as safe as possible:

#1. Avoid Going Alone

It is always better to go in groups and let your family or friends know your exact location. You can ping them your location using any Instant Messaging application.

#2. Learn About Wind And Currents

Avoid Kayaking on windy days as it can slow you down and make it very difficult for you to take turns. You should also avoid Kayaking in foggy conditions as you will get disoriented.

It is also better to avoid kayaking in the strong currents and always be aware of the weather conditions.

#3. Learn Everything About Hypothermia

Before you go Kayaking, learn about the conditions in the area. Wear appropriate clothing and insulating clothes while kayaking in the cold water. Dress according to to the temperature of the water and remember that hypothermia is a great risk for the sea kayakers.

#4. Inflatable PFDs

The inflatable PFDs inflate automatically when they hit the water. You can also blow air into them manually but you should go for the ones that inflate automatically. They can prove to be life-saving if you meet an accident and become unconscious. Even if you’re not required to wear your PFD by law, you should still wear it.

#5. Kayak Whistles

Make sure you keep your whistles on you all the time. You can attach the whistles to your lanyard or life vest.

#6. Lights

It is important for you to be visible at night or during the low-light conditions. Try to avoid putting green or red lights on your Kayak as Kayaks are not capable of clearing the way for the power-driven vehicles. Red or Green lights can confuse the other vehicles on the water.

You can use the white lights for proper signaling.

#7. Visual Distress Signals(VDS)

Beside the lightings, you should have night signals when operating Kayaks at night. Make sure you keep at least three VDS for emergency situations. You can use the electric lights, red meteors, and red flares. Make sure that any of the VDS you use is not expired.

#8. Visibility During Daytime

If you’re on a small kayak that cannot move very quickly, it can be difficult for other boats to spot you. If you are kayaking in the high traffic areas, you can use a bright colored flag. You should position it well above your height. Don’t confuse this flag with a VDS.

#9. Kayak Color

The colors of your kayak and the paddle can be extremely helpful to increase your visibility. Bright colors on your paddles and the kayak are quite important for your safety.

#10. Rain Gear

Be prepared to get wet when you go Kayaking whether it is raining or not. Use proper rain gear to keep any excess water off you. The rain gear will also work as a wind blocker and keep you warm during the breezy days.

#11. Handheld Radios

In the remote areas, you might not get signals on your cell phones. You can use the handheld radios with the people nearby if you need any help. Make sure that you buy a waterproof one.

#12. First Aid Kit

The first-aid can be very useful in dealing with an abrasion or a cut while kayaking. Saltwater can carry the bacteria that may cause infection if your cuts remain untreated. At a minimum, make sure carry band-aids, antibiotic wipes, antibiotic ointment, a waterproof tape and pain relievers.

Final Thoughts

No matter how experienced kayaker or how safe the area is, accidents can happen anytime. You will always be grateful to yourself for carrying the necessary kayak items with you during the trip.

Make sure you follow the safety tips and carry the safety equipment with you to keep yourself safe. Always wear the PFDs that can inflate automatically whether you need to wear them by law or not. Carry the lights, VDS, first-aid kits with you during the trips. Educate yourself about the currents and the weather conditions.

For quality, durable kayaks, check out our Malibu company page for tandem options or the phenomenal single person foldable option by Oru Company.

Difference Between A Canoe And A Kayak

Many people can’t differentiate between a canoe and a kayak. In fact, quite a number confuse or interchange the names and due to this, they make a wrong choice. Yes, both are water vessels and are fit for recreational activities, exploring the wild, and adventure seeking.

However, they are structurally and functionally different. The following are the main differences:

1. Cockpit and Profile

The cockpit of a canoe is completely open and this provides more space for an extra person or luggage. It’s also easier to climb into and get out. You can paddle the unit while bending your knees or in a sitting position. A kayak, on the other hand, has a closed cockpit which allows your legs to slip in and lie flat. And due to the design, it can hold a small amount of luggage and access to the belongings, getting in/out is a little difficulty compared to a canoe.

Kayaks usually sit much lower in the water and have a narrower shape. This minimizes drag and makes it more streamlined. Contrary to what many people think, you can still find a kayak that sits 2 or more people. A canoe sits much higher and this increases drag while improving buoyancy.

2. Shape and Material

Kayaks have a narrow and more rounded shape at the front and back, and this makes them move faster in water and also easier to maneuver. Also, you can turn it back on its belly in case it tops over much easily compared to a canoe. Canoes feature a flatter belly which improves stability but affects performance. They are also less-likely to overturn compared to a kayak.

Kayaks have traditionally been made of sealskin and whale fat although materials such as plastic and fiberglass are being used today. Canoes normally are made from lightweight metal such as aluminum and stainless steel. This gives it strength and durability and capacity. Because of their slimmer profile and lighter materials, kayaks are easier to carry compared to canoes.

3. Paddle Blades and area of use

The Kayak’s paddle features two blades which improve maneuverability and agility whereas the canoe’s paddle has a single blade which suits it more for easier rowing and exploration. Kayaks can handle rough waters better than kayaks and this suits them for many recreational activities such as fishing, whitewater, sea and more. Canoes are better for use in calmer waters such as slow-flowing rivers, lakes, and exploration.

If you want to travel light then a kayak is more suitable. However, if you want your spouse, kids, and dog or carry more stuff then a canoe is more ideal.

NB: While kayaks offer speed, nimbleness, and maneuverability, canoes on the other hand focus on capacity, stability, endurance, and durability. The physical differences determine how and when to use a chosen product.

If you are looking for recommendations on a tandem kayak, look no further than Malibu kayaks for quality!

In Conclusion

Understanding the differences is key to identifying the right vessel. The last thing you can imagine is buying a canoe only to realize later that a kayak would have been better or vice versa. You also need to look at other things like area of use, future needs, and individual preferences. After reading this article, differentiating and choosing the right canoe or kayak should be easier.

Top Eleven 2 Person Kayaks That You Can Get Your Wet, Slippery Hands on Today!

Nothing beats a great day than the one where I grab my kayak, fishing gear, and head to the lake.  Last time I hung out with friends, we started debating about the best, top 2 Person kayaks (also known as a tandem or 2 man kayak!)  We all named our favorites and no one agreed on any particular one!

So what did I have them do?  I had all five of them suggest their top kayaks and following is the comprehensive list of top 11 tandem kayaks that you can give your heart and money to today:

#1. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

  • Weight: 31.13 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10’3” x 3’ x 1’8”
  • Type: Inflatable – Recreational
  • Price Range: $90-$100

If you’re looking to paddle in peace in mild waters, then this Intex Explorer K2 2 person kayak would be a great starting ground for you and your partner, family member, or friend. It’s very lightweight and compact, and very easy to assemble and inflate on the spot. You also wouldn’t have to worry about turning over because this is made from heavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl, and it already comes with two 86” aluminum oars and an Intex high-output air pump. The Intex Explorer K2 2 person kayak also has that unmistakable bright yellow color and bold graphics, which makes it very visible in the water.

#2. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

  • Weight: 33.57 lbs
  • Dimensions: 11’6” x 2’6” x 1’3”
  • Type: Inflatable – Recreational
  • Price Range: $80-$100

If you’re looking to up your game a bit in mild-running waters, then the Intex Challenger K2 2 man kayak could be a great investment for you and your family and friends. It’s made of very durable and tough vinyl and can carry a maximum capacity of up to 350 pounds. This 2 person kayak also features comfortable and spacious cockpits, as well as a cargo net storage in front for the safe keeping of all of your essentials.

With its bright green color and overall sporty look, you’ll surely like a pro out on the water as you paddle away to your heart’s desire using the two 86” aluminum oars that come with it, as well as a high-capacity pump and repair kit.

#3. Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package

  • Weight: 32 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10” x 19” x 34”
  • Type: Inflatable – Recreational
  • Price Range: $250-$350

You can never go wrong with this Sea Eagle inflatable two person kayak. This is perfect for those who wants a low maintenance and easy to assemble kayak for their trips and adventures. The best part about this is how fast it can be inflated—as short as 8 minutes. You can take this 2 person kayak out in mild-running bodies of water and have loads of fun paddling in peace. It’s also made of durable PVC material, which gives you a more stable ride without the fear that you’ll tip over anytime. And the good news is that this 2 person kayak can support up to 650 pounds, which just shows how heavy duty this kayak is.

#4. Sevylor Fiji 2 Person Kayak

  • Weight: 23.8 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10’4” x 2’9”
  • Type: Inflatable – Recreational
  • Price Range: $100-$200

The name Sevylor is synonymous to topnotch quality and durability, which is why this 2 person kayak is a hit for those who are looking for the best inflatable kayak they can use for their much-awaited getaways and adventures. It’s made of 22-gauge PVC construction that’s sturdy and rugged enough to handle lakes and mild rivers. It also has an Airtight System, guaranteeing no leakage even with prolonged and frequent use. This inflatable tandem kayak also very easy to inflate and deflate with its Mini Double Lock and Double Lock system, and is NMMA certified to hold up to about 400 lbs. If it’s heavy-duty and long-lasting that you’re looking for, then that’s exactly what you’re going to get with Sevylor.

#5. Aquaglide Chinook XP Tandem XL Inflatable Kayak

  • Weight: 38 lbs
  • Dimensions: 17” x 38” x 130”
  • Type: Inflatable – Recreational
  • Price Range: $450-$500

This spacious Inflatable kayak offers very generous, 2-person seating with even enough room for a child or pet! The Chinook XP is made of high quality 600- denier polyester so this 2 person kayak can offer you years of enjoyment. The seating in this kayak features high back rests, mesh storage pockets, fore and aft seating straps and integrated fishing rod holders.

One of the best features about this kayak, in my opinion, is the ease of storage and transportation. It folds up into a compact storage bag which makes transportation and deployment a breeze. I’d highly recommend this kayak to anyone who wants to spend their days on the lake with family and friends.

#6. Old Town Canoes and Kayaks Dirigo Tandem Kayak

  • Weight: 72 lbs
  • Dimensions: 15’3” x 29.5” x 14”
  • Type: Hardshell – Recreational
  • Price Range: $1,999-$2,100

The Old Town Dirigo Tandem Kayak is the perfect, non-traditional kayak that is very spacious and comfortable. This hard-shelled, two-person kayak features adjustable, contoured poly seats so your passenger and yourself can have a comfortable trip on the water. This kayak also features the option for adding a child’s seat if the occasion calls for it. The built-in paddle holders make paddling out on the lake far less strenuous and much more enjoyable. This one of my personal favorite kayaks featured in this review.

#7. Lagoon 2 Inflatable Tandem Kayak

  • Weight: 37 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12’ x 34” x 7”
  • Type: Inflatable- Whitewater
  • Price Range: $500.00

This large, durable, inflatable 2 man kayak is perfect if your time on the water has mild to rough rapids. Though slightly less maneuverable, The Lagoon 2 makes up for it with its impeccable durability under stress. Rigid from front to rear, the lagoon 2 takes the cake for a cost effective, rugged 2 person kayak.

#8. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Angler Fishing Kayak

  • Weight: 62 lbs
  • Dimensions: 13.6” x 31.5” x 15.5”
  • Type: Hardshell – Recreational, Fishing
  • Price Range: $899-$950

Having this Twin Heron Angler Fishing Kayak by Old Town Canoes & Kayaks would surely make any avid kayaker and fisher look forward to their trip. Regardless if you’re just looking to paddle aimlessly or fish for long hours, this kayak would make for the perfect companion. It features top cockpit amenities such as padded Comfort Flex seat, adjustable foot braces, thigh pads, as well as cockpit tray and cup holder. Those who love to go fishing would also appreciate its other add-on features including two behind-the-seat flush-mounted rod holders, deck bungee, and an anchor with a trolley system. If you’re a sportsman, This 2 man hardshell kayak is the kayak for you.

#9. Hurricane Santee 140 Tandem Sport Recreational Kayak 2016

  • Weight: 65 lbs
  • Dimensions: 14’ x 33”
  • Type: Hardshell – Recreational
  • Price Range: $1100-$1200

Your days searching for a sleek and functional recreational tandem kayak has come to an end with the Hurricane Santee 140 Tandem Sport Recreational Kayak. You’ll be able to paddle and ride like you’re in a dream with this lightweight cruiser, which is made of rigid and warp-resistant Trylon ABS.

This 2 person kayak also has a very spacious cockpit, making entry and exit such a breeze. Weighing at just 65 lbs, this is the light weight model by Hurricane Santee and is also considered as among the lightest compared to other kayaks, making it very easy for you to carry and bring this around on your trips.

#10. Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

  • Weight: 57 lbs
  • Dimensions: 20” x 34” x 144”
  • Type: Hardshell – Recreational
  • Price Range: $600-$700

If you’re looking to invest in a hardshell 2 person kayak that you can use for years to come, then you’re in luck with this Ocean Kayak Malibu recreational kayak. This hard shell tandem kayak is a favorite among families given that not only can it perfectly fit and carry two adults, but it also has enough space for a child—or a pet—in between as well.

It’s considered one of the most lightweight tandem sit-on-top kayaks and among the most versatile, since you can also use it for solo paddling. Regardless of how many persons it carries, you can be rest assured of its stability on lakes, river, and even oceans with mild swells.

#11. Ocean Kayak Zest Two Expedition Kayak

  • Weight: 75 lbs
  • Dimensions: 16’ 4.5” x 30.5”
  • Type: Hardshell – Recreational
  • Price Range: $1100-$1200

Known as one of the best kayak models specifically made for adventuring, this Ocean Kayak Zest Two EXP 2 person kayak is still among the top favorites for kayaking enthusiasts. This 2 person kayak provides utmost comfort given its duel Comfort Plus seating, as well as other add-on features such as 6” hatch with storage bucket, 2 paddle keep, and 2 cup holders.

The Ocean Kayak Zest 2 person kayak even has a rear oversized tank that can be used for coolers, crates, bait wells, and scuba tanks. Anything and everything that you can possibly need in an adventuring kayak can be found in this model, plus the fact that it can provide you with topnotch stability even with rougher waters.