The various components of Feathercraft kayaks are subject to wear, breakage and failure. This type of damage can lead to accidents resulting in serious injury or death. It is your responsibility to maintain your kayak in excellent condition. Disassemble your kayak completely at least every two months. Re-lubricate the framework and inspect for signs of wear or failure. Any worn, damaged or broken parts must be repaired or replaced.
Kayak safety training should include the following topics:
Paddling techniques need to be practiced in various water conditions. Maneuvering a kayak through rough seas, currents and tidal zones is quite different from paddling on flat water.
The greatest danger to a kayaker is hypothermia or cold water immersion. Protection against hypothermia involves more than simply wearing the appropriate protective clothing. It involves all aspects of kayak safety.
Know your Kayak
Your safety on the water is dependant on all components of your kayak functioning perfectly. You must inspect your kayak for signs of wear or failure before setting off on every trip, including seams, hatches, spray skirt, rudder and hull.
Spray Skirt and Safety Sock (Sea Sock)
All Feathercraft kayaks come equipped with a spray skirt and safety sock, except the Air Line Sit-on-Top models. These are important safety items, but you must be fully familiar with their use before an emergency arises.
Personal Flotation Device and Helmet
The wearing of an approved PFD is highly recommended for all kayakers, even those who are strong swimmers. A helmet should be worn for whitewater or surf zone paddling.
The safety equipment you will carry in and on your kayak will vary with the nature and length of the trip. Kayak trips of any duration however, require a pump, spare paddle, bowline, flares and whistle as essential items. Safety equipment will only be of use to you if you have the knowledge and training to use the equipment in an emergency.
Self-Rescue and Group Rescue
The nature of kayaking is such that some day you or a member of your group will capsize. This experience can vary from a refreshing dip in the ocean to a life-threatening emergency. How you handle a capsize will depend entirely on your training and experience.
The kayaking community is blessed with a wealth of material, including books, manuals, magazines, articles and videos, and resources including schools, clubs, associations and training centres dedicated to kayaking safety. As with any skill, kayaking safety must first be learned and then practiced. We at Feathercraft strongly recommend that you access resources for kayak safety in your community before venturing out onto the water.
For more information on kayaking safety, please contact your local kayak dealer, or your kayak or canoe association.
River Running and Paddling
Be a competent swimmer, with the ability to handle yourself under water.
Obtain appropriate training from a qualified instructor.
Before embarking, always check your BayLee for signs of wear or failure.
Always wear an approved personal flotation device.
A helmet is essential for whitewater or surf zone paddling.
Whitewater rivers contain many hazards which are not always easily recognized. Boating alone is discouraged.
Be practiced in self-rescue.
Additional safety equipment may be required depending on the nature and duration of the trip.
Individual paddlers are ultimately responsible for their own safety, and must assume sole responsibility for their decisions.