01 Introduction to the video series

When it comes to kayaking, safety should always be a top priority. The oceans, rivers and lakes around New Zealand are nothing short of breathtaking, however, they can come with their fair share of risks. 

These videos give you an introduction about what you need to know…

02 Basic Gear, PFD, Paddle and Kayak

The foundation of kayak safety begins with selecting the right gear. It is important to choose the appropriate equipment for the type of kayaking that you will be participating in, including Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs), paddles, and kayaks.

03 Before you get on the Water, think W.E.T.

Before heading out on the water on your kayaking adventure, remember the WET acronym, a handy checklist to ensure you’re well prepared for your journey.

  • W – Weather: Stay updated on wind speed and direction, as well as wave and swell height.

  • E – Equipment: Pack essentials like your PFD, paddle, two forms of communication, appropriate clothing for the conditions, and any necessary safety equipment.

  • T – Tell Someone Your Plans: Always inform a trusted friend or family member (who is not going with you) about your kayaking plans, including your route and expected return time.

04 Safety on the Water 

While on the water, safety isn’t just about gear, it’s also about responsible behaviour and effective communication.

Whenever possible, kayak with others. In a group, you can watch out for each other and offer assistance if needed.

Familiarise yourself with common paddle and hand signals to communicate with your fellow paddlers. This can help you convey information, make decisions, and stay safe.

05 What to do in an Emergency

Despite thorough preparation, emergencies can still happen so it’s essential to know how to react.

In case you capsize, make sure you have practiced appropriate self rescue techniques.

Carry a VHF radio and know how to use it, (you should do the maritime VHF operator’s course with the coastguard to learn the ins and outs of using a VHF. In an emergency, call for assistance on Channel 16.