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14 Mar

The popularity of paddlesports continues to grow as more and more people take up paddling. Paddlesports are a perfect way to enjoy the outdoors, have some fun, and stay in shape. Paddling is a popular recreational activity that family and friends can enjoy together. BoardSafeDocks has designed an inclusive launch system that gets people of all abilities into the water safely—however, safety continues beyond launching your vessel into the water.

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Tips for a successful paddling experience

Many factors can turn a pleasant paddling experience into a dangerous situation. There are many steps you can take to ensure a safe paddling experience. Some of the most common tips for a successful experience are listed here:

  • Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. They are proven lifesavers. One of the biggest reasons people take their life jacket off is because they find it uncomfortable to kayak with. This is why it’s worth investing in a kayaking-specific life jacket that is designed to be comfortable and less restrictive when paddling.
  • Check the weather in advance of your paddle trip. Getting caught in inclement weather will ruin your experience. Plus, it’s always best to dress for immersion, just in case.
  • Create a float plan. Travel with a companion or group. Plan your trip with a map before departing and advise someone you trust of your plans, your route, your launch and take-out site(s), boat description, and estimated times of departure and arrival.
  • Be prepared. Always carry plenty of water and food to stay fueled and hydrated. Dress appropriately. Wear quick-dry clothing and proper water shoes. Bring a basic first aid and repair kit, bilge pump, sunglasses, sunscreen, and bug repellant.
  • Know that most people paddle two to three river miles per hour; however, water levels can speed up or slow down a trip. Water levels change from season to season and with little notice due to rain events. Even the most experienced should take caution, considering low bridge heights above water. Droughts will also affect your experience. Dams, jams, and other obstructions may require portaging. Be aware of river obstructions such as overhanging branches or dead trees under water that may not be visible. These obstructions, as well as powercrafts, can flip a watercraft, so learn reentry and practice it in a controlled environment.
  • Be aware of power boats and other fast-moving watercraft, reduce proximity to power boats, and be cautious if near them.
  • Protect the water and shorelands. Remember that much of the shorelands are privately owned.
  • Most importantly, be aware of your abilities and limitations and be sure to paddle within your skill level. When paddling in a group, never paddle beyond the abilities of your weakest paddler.

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The 5 most common mistakes made by kayakers

Here are some of the most common mistakes made by all paddlers that affect the paddling experience.

  • Mistake #1: Launching in dangerous water
  • Mistake #2: Attempting busy waterways
  • Mistake #3: Choosing uncomfortable weather
  • Mistake #4: Overextending or overconfidence
  • Mistake #5: Using gear improperly

Improving safety awareness

A successful river trip is a safe river trip. BoardSafe Docks’ Adaptive Kayak Launch changes lives, improves the user experience for all paddlers, and impacts communities. Part of our mission is to educate our customers about our safe launch system; however, also understanding the importance of safe practices on the water will enhance the user experience and keep people coming back. For more safety information, the American Canoe Association has a detailed PaddleSport Safety Information link below:

For more than 20 years, BoardSafe Docks has been a trusted leader within the commercial dock-building industry. BoardSafe’s team has the resources, knowledge, and experience to successfully take projects from inception to completion, delivering them on time and exceeding client expectations. We specialize in aluminum-welded floating docks, marinas, rowing centers, adaptive kayak launches, gangways, stationary and floating fishing piers, pedestrian bridges, and other waterfront access products.

If you’re looking for safe access to the water, give us a call at 610.899.0286 or contact us through and allow us to find a solution for improving access to your waterfront.