Kayak 101

Buy the Right Kayak and Gear

Toledo River Gang Members often receive questions regarding how to select the right kayak to fit his/her lifestyle. The New Kayak Purchase Guide to discover more about kayak lingo and key criteria that might help you choose your next boat.

Simple Dos and Don’ts

Don’t: Paddle alone.
Do: Paddle with a group of experienced kayakers.

Don’t: Assume the weather is consistent all day.
Do: Check the weather forecast before you launch.

Don’t: Forget about water temperature, dress for a swim.
Do: Wear non-cotton layers and bring extra clothing.

Don’t: Assume you know everything.
Do: Take a water safety class to learn rescue procedures.

Don’t: Forget to share the water with others.
Do: Be aware of fishermen, wildlife, and other fast-moving water crafts.

Don’t: Stand up or put your feet down in swift moving water.
Do: Swim on your back, with feet up and facing downstream.

Don’t: Kayak whitewater without a helmet or PFD.
Do: When kayaking whitewater, always wear a helmet and personal flotation device (PFD).

Don’t: Rush.
Do: A gear check before launch. Be sure to have all essential gear, extra layers, food, water, sunscreen, and safety equipment.

Don’t: Forget the strength of the sun’s rays and its reflection off the water.
Do: Remember eye and skin protection (sunglasses and sunscreen).

Don’t: Get caught paddling a boat that’s not registered.
Do: Familiarize yourself with local laws and DNR regulations.

Boat Licenses

Familiarize yourself with state laws and regulations administered by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in your state.

For Ohio residents, traditional boat licenses are required but can be large and intrusive. Therefore, many club members recommend Ohio DNR’s alternative boat registration for smaller crafts: http://watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/alternative

For more information about Ohio boat registration, visit the Ohio DRN site: http://watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/registration