Kayaking is a popular pastime that is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Those who have never tried kayaking – or those preparing to try it for the first time – often wonder if they can feel safe in a kayak. Most commonly, people wonder if kayaks will tip over easily, or if they need any special skill to keep the craft upright.

However, these concerns are largely unfounded. While kayaks can tip over, they most likely won’t, as long as proper precautions are in place.

Do Kayaks Tip Easily?

The simple answer is that no, kayaks do not tip over easily. Kayaks are designed with a low center of gravity and a broad base, making them exceptionally stable and difficult to tip over. While it is true that kayaks are capable of capsizing (typically when water and weather conditions are not ideal), most people who kayak in and around Siesta Key do so because the water is calm and waves are minimal. The many inlets, lagoons, canals and other inland waterways make kayaking safe for everyone.

How to Sit Securely in a Kayak: When you’re paddling in a kayak, it is essential to keep your weight evenly distributed. Don’t lean over the kayak or extend your paddle too far, and you should stay upright with no problem.

The most common scenarios for a kayak tipping may include:

  • Strong winds creating waves: Beginners should check the weather before going out onto the water. Even if you have no problem keeping your kayak upright, very windy days can create conditions that make it difficult to steer or maneuver the kayak. When learning to paddle, choose a calm day with little wind if possible.
  • Attempting to stand up in the kayak: Remember, a kayak stays steady because of its low center of gravity. Attempting to stand (or even kneel) while in the kayak shifts the weight distribution and can cause the kayak to tip. You can ask an instructor or experienced kayaker how to best get in and out of the kayak without causing it to tip.

If you are worried at all about tipping over, you can practice in water no more than waist deep until you feel comfortable with the paddling motion. Even if the kayak tips, you can easily climb back in and try again.

Additional Safety Tips When Kayaking

While tipping your kayak is not likely to happen, experts have several recommendations that will ensure you have a fun and safe day.

  • Go exploring with a friend: Employing the buddy system is smart for any water activity, but is especially important when trying new things. Go with someone who has experience in kayaks so they can help you if needed.
  • Bring a paddle leash: If you are paddling solo and do not have a buddy to assist you, securing the paddle with a leash will quell any concerns about losing it accidentally.
  • Always wear a life jacket: While kayaking seems calm and serene – and usually is – any activity that takes place in the water requires that you wear a personal flotation device (PFD) for your own safety. Wearing a PFD will keep you afloat if you find yourself outside of the kayak.
  • Invest in a lesson: The best way to ease your mind about tipping the kayak is to take a lesson from a certified instructor before you venture out on your own.

We Have Everything You Need for Kayaking (and More)

At Ride and Paddle, we don’t just rent kayaks – our employees are uniquely knowledgeable and can give you great tips when learning to kayak. You can ask them about the most protected places to kayak, check the weather, and even ask for a lesson. If you are ready to get started, give us a call today – or sign up for one of our guided kayak tours.

Don’t forget – we are also Siesta Kay’s most trusted rental provider of beach umbrellas and chairs, scooters, bicycles, beach wheelchairs and more. Browse our inventory here – and make your next Siesta Key vacation the best one yet.