There are plenty of safe places in Fort Lauderdale to enjoy kayaking with kids. All you need is some proper planning and a dash of precaution.
Some people cite rising water levels, fast moving water and unexpected shifts in the weather as reasons they avoid kayaking with kids, but kayaking with kids can be incredibly fun, as long as you’re prepared for the extra hurdles it presents. Then again, you’re a parent, what hurdles will ever stop you? None!
Regardless if you’re up to the task or not, we highly recommend enrolling your child in our kayaking day camp adventures (http://www.campliveoakfl.com/site/canoeing-kayaking/). This grants your child a fun and social way to experience kayaking with peers. Plus, it takes the stress off of you and let’s someone with a lot of experience teach your child the basics of kayaking in Fort Lauderdale. As an ACA accredited camp, we stop at nothing to ensure campers are safe every paddle of the way.
Safety Tips For Kayaking With Kids
#1. Know The River You Are Kayaking In
There are so many places to go kayaking in Fort Lauderdale. Make sure you know the location you are headed to long before you arrive. Look for shallow bodies of calm water in populated places with little obstacles to crash into. If you pick any random river to explore, you never know what sort of obstacles you’ll run into.
#2. Teach The Facts Beforehand
Before you ever go out on the water, give your kids a chance to get acquainted with a kayaking boat and learn how it works. This is the time to teach them how to use a paddle, they can practice sitting in the boat and working the paddle on dry land.
It’s also important to go over things like: How long does it take for a kayak to fill up with water and sink if it gets a hole in it? Can you stand up in a kayak? How far over the edge of the kayak can you lean before it tips over? You may even want to take your kids in a swimming pool with the kayak so that they can experience tipping and what it takes for that to occur.
#3. Try A Tow
If you’re concerned about your child out rowing all alone, consider towing them behind your kayak in a small inflatable boat. This helps build confidence and prepares your child for kayaking independently. You could even have an older sibling tow a younger sibling.
#4. Try An Inflatable Kayak
Inflatable kayaks, also referred to as duckies, are a great way to get kids exposed to the magic of kayaking without the difficulties of mastering a traditional kayak. They are typically made from rubber or PVC, and can be deflated and stowed away in a spare closet or out in the garage when not in use. Since inflatable kayaks are wider, they are more stable and less likely to tip over.
#5. Get The Right Kayaking Equipment
In order for things to go as smoothly as possible, your child needs equipment that properly fits them. Adult paddles are sized exactly the same as kid paddles. The paddle size is just as important as kayak size because it is the other piece of equipment you work with the entire time.
#5. Don’t Forget An Inflatable Life Vest
Outfit your kids in an inflatable life jacket just in case their kayak should tip over, or they fall in the water for any other reason.
#6. The Leash Is Important Too
Leashes are adamant for windy weather or choppier water conditions. If you tip over in the wind, this helps prevent loss of kayak and paddle. If you are tossed out of your kayak, the paddle will stay with the boat and stop it from floating away too quickly. This allows you to swim over to it with two free hands.
#7. Stay Connected
Keep your phone on you at all times, just in case something goes wrong or you simply want to snap a cute picture. Unless you have a water resistant device, invest in a dry pouch for your phone that you can wear around your neck. Your phone should remain completely functional while inside of the waterproof case and can even take photos.
Before you leave, use your phone to inform someone you trust where you are going and when you expect to be back. That way, if anything should happen, someone knows to come looking for you.
Learn more about kayaking for kids in Fort Lauderdale with Camp Live Oak! http://www.campliveoakfl.com/site/canoeing-kayaking/