Archive for the 'Paddling Safety' Category

What’s Different About a Sea Kayak?

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Last week I posted a video on the characteristics of recreational kayaks that set them apart from sea kayaks and whitewater kayaks.  Today, I’m posting the second video installment which will talk about sea/touring kayaks and how they differ from other types of kayaks.  Yet to come are videos on whitewater kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks.  […]

Using a VHF Radio

Friday, January 14th, 2011

I ran across this blog post by Bryan Hansel,, talking about “How to Use a VHF Radio”.  It’s a very good article, thorough and easy to understand, so I wanted to share the link with my readers.  I don’t think I could have said it better myself. I will be posting another video blog […]

Know the Differences Between Kayak Types

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

It’s getting to be the time of year when those who are planning to buy a kayak for the 2011 paddling season need to be doing research for their upcoming purchases.  Laacke & Joys usually starts having kayak sales during the Milwaukee Boat Show in January, and Canoecopia will be coming up in Madison on […]

Please Label Your Stuff

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

The U.S. Coast Guard is asking boaters (including kayakers) to take the time to label their boats, paddles, life jackets, etc. with their names and contact information in order to avoid initiating expensive and time-consuming search and rescue efforts when there isn’t actually a person missing. When someone finds a kayak or other piece of […]

Pumps and Paddle Floats

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Two pieces of standard safety gear carried by most sea kayakers are the pump and paddlefloat.  As many people don’t give these items a lot of thought before purchasing, I’d like to discuss some considerations in choosing a pump and a paddle float. There isn’t a lot of difference between most of the bilge pumps […]

Outfitting Your PFD (Life Jacket)

Monday, July 26th, 2010

I had a request from one of my readers to talk about the topic of “outfitting a life jacket”.  It has been said in reference to your safety gear, “if it isn’t on your person, then you can’t guarantee it will be there when you need it.”  The trick is finding ways to carry all […]

Review of the “Paddling Partner” Stability System

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

My friend and former student, Carl Vopal, inventor of the Paddling Partner Stability System, gave me one of the units to try out.  I installed it in the day hatch of a Current Designs Sirocco that I use for my introductory sea kayaking classes. I have been very pleased with the quality of the system […]

Learning From Experience (even if it is someone else’s)

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

I often find myself cautioning people not to use recreational kayaks on Lake Michigan, to be very respectful of the power of wind and waves on large bodies of water, and to take seriously the threat of immersion in cold water.  Recent events have brought home the reasons why I continue to give these warnings. […]

10 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Tandem Kayak

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Are you thinking about getting a tandem kayak?  I would caution you to consider this option very carefully if this is going to be your first kayak.  While tandems do have their place, in most cases I don’t think that they are the best option when you are first getting into the sport.  Here are […]

Got skills?

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

I’d like to applaud some paddlers I know, who shall remain nameless just in case this embarrasses them. One former and future student of mine is taking a refresher course this summer wanting to especially learn his rescue and recovery skills.  He was already signed up before a recent unexpected capsize reinforced the need to […]

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