Kayaking in Southwest Florida

There are a few basic safety rules that all kayakers should follow.

We have listed a few important Safety Rules and Helpful Videos. Remember as with all recreational activities, there is always the possibility of injury or death. Always use common sense and follow all
safety rules at all times.

Basic Safety Rules

Most importantly, WEAR YOUR PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICE. Coast Guard regulations require that all kayaks have a lifejacket on board. Wearing your lifejacket will help keep your head above water and add insulation to your body, keeping you warmer in cold water. There are great PFDs designed specifically for paddlers. Buy one that fits well, and always wear it while you paddle.

Be aware of weather conditions and water temperature. Prepare for changes in weather and the possibility of a capsize. If paddling in cold water, a wet suit or dry suit can keep you warm and comfortable. In warm weather, a long sleeve shirt can provide sun protection.

Invest in appropriate clothing for your climate. One advantage of sit-inside kayaks is that you can shield yourself from some of the elements, while sit-on-tops leave you more exposed. Dress for the day.

Beware of off-shore winds that make it difficult to return to shore. Always follow the boating rules of the area you're in. Brush up on self-rescue first in calm, warm, shallow water, and again in more extreme conditions.

Paddling in the surf zone or in rivers can be dangerous. Always wear a helmet. Stay hydrated. Always bring plenty of water and food.

When paddling in a new area, check with the locals regarding currents, shoreline conditions and weather patterns. Plan an "escape" route - an alternative place to get off the water should environmental conditions dictate it. Abiding by these rules will help to make your kayak adventure safer and fun.

The 3 Basic Rules for Kayak Re-Entry


If the boat is upside down, it will need to be turned over. To do this, reach across the bottom of the boat and grab the scupper holes. Bring your knees up and onto the bottom of the boat. Lean back and the boat will roll over.


Position yourself so your head is near the cockpit area of the boat and you are facing the boat. Let your feet float to the surface of the water by floating on your bellybutton. Reach across the boat to the far edge and then swim up and onto the boat, so your belly button is across the
centerline of the boat.


Roll over onto your backside which should end up in the seat. Sit up, swing your feet into the foot wells and you're ready to go.

We have included some videos below to show you each of the steps listed here.

Check The Weather Conditions

It is important to check conditions such as weather and tides before going out in your kayak. Whether you are going on a multi-day excursion or just paddling for an afternoon, being aware of current conditions can help you plan a more safe and efficient trip.

An excellent way to monitor sea conditions is to check our local Marine

Kayak Essentials

Fishing on a Kayak

Kayak Re-Entry

Information About Fish You'll Find In Our Waters

Snook | Redfish | Tarpon | Jack's | Black Drum | Sea Trout | Snapper | Sharks | Grouper

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