The most important thing when kayaking is that you can do it as safely as possible. Being in a kayak at sea involves certain risks, but with the right approach and with planning, you can minimise these risks and thereby maximise the experience.

 Always check the kayak before launching it. If it has any damage that can affect the buoyancy, you should not paddle with the kayak. If you rent your kayak from us at ArcAdventure, we check and replace our kayaks regularly.

 Of course, you always wear a life jacket when paddling. Keep in mind that a life jacket for kayaking is only a buoyancy aid and not a full life jacket. This means that you must be conscious and able to swim.

Risks with kayaking

It can be good to have thought in advance about the risks that exist and how to act if something goes wrong. To help you with this, we have compiled the greatest risks to consider when paddling.

  • Getting lost
  • Getting in the water and getting wet / cold
  • Drowning
  • Trauma (collision with a boat or similar)
  • Sunburn
  • Fatigue / dehydration

The best way to minimise the risks is to never paddle alone and to adjust the tour to your own level.

Here is a summary about what to think about to be as safe as possible when paddling.


  • Waterproof mobile phone that is usable even in water

  • Extra clothes in a waterproof bag

  • Something to eat and drink

  • Clothes adapted to the environment and weather colourful clothing)

  • Equipment to create good visibility for others (lamps, reflectors)

  • Map / Chart and compass

  • Company

  • First aid kit

By having at least two canoes on the water, companions can save each other. One person may sound the alarm if the other person suffers froma sudden illness.


Talk about where you are going and when you will be back to relatives, the club or the canoe centre. Have good communication in the group and look after each other.

Paddle together so that the communication chain between the first and last person is close.


Check the weather forecast and be prepared for rapid weather changes Adjust the tour according to weather, temperatures and wind Choose a trip according to ability and conditions, plan with breaks andhave a reserve plan where you can take yourself to safety if needed.


Experience and knowledge of the environment you are in and the equipment you use. Knowing from experience that you have a margin on your side in

expected conditions. Be able to carry out self-rescue and peer rescue in prevailing conditions


Rescue is about dealing with incidents that have occurred, think about how you prioritise before you start your rescue operation.

The general recommendation for prioritisation is:

  1. Yourself

  2. The group

  3. The distressed

  4. Equipment

Another rule of thumb for incidents so as not to put yourself in a dangerous situation and create some time to plan is the acronym STOP which stands for:

S: Stay

T: Think

O: Observe

P: Plan

Always evaluate your own skills in rescue technology, practice your shortcomings and adapt the trip accordingly. Take the opportunity and practice peer rescue and self-rescue in environments and conditions similar to those in which you will most often be kayaking, If you need help or inspiration, you can apply to an association or approved canoe centre that often arranges courses and training opportunities in this. 

Action plan in the event of a serious accident. To be able to handle an accident, it is good to work strategically. 

Think like this if you end up in such a situation: Act according to the principles of L ABCDE (first aid) Those with the most medical knowledge handle the accident. However, do not forget to also take care of the others in the group Contact SOS via 112 If necessary, set up emergency camps Collaborate with rescue resources and start from the injured person's best interests.