Kayaking is a fun and excellent activity for you and your family. As a buyer, you might be concerned about the kayak, whether they are safe or dangerous than other boats, so let’s see statistically, whether kayaking is safe or dangerous?
Kayaking can be a dangerous activity, but the statistics form the last decade (2010 – 2019) show that kayaking is 11.924 times safer than boating. By making a few changes to the way you ride can dramatically reduce the risk of injury, and you can make it a safe sport for kids and adults to enjoy.
Any sport or activity has its risks and dangers, but those risks or threats shouldn’t concern you from doing those activities. By doing it the right way and the correct way will give you a lot of fun and thrill (by making you no need to worry about the risk of injuries or dangers due to that activity).
So, doing a few changes to the way you ride the kayak (kayaking) will dramatically reduce the risk of injuries and dangers. Kayaking is an enjoyable activity, and it is a safe activity if you do it the right way.
The real question you should be asking yourself is not kayaking safe or not. Of course, it is. The real question you should ask yourself is how to prevent that. That being said, let’s see the statistics of the injuries and accidents due to kayaking. And lastly, some safety measures to take along with it as well.
Related post – Check my article on Is boating safe? (links opens in a new tab) to know statistically whether boating is safe or dangerous.
Interesting Statistics on kayak accidents
The statistics below can be an excellent resource for understanding the significant causes of kayak accidents. And by knowing the causes, you can avoid them by making slight changes in the way you ride, which can immensely reduce your risk of serious injury.
- Drowning is a vital cause of kayaking deaths, and responsible for 75% – 80% of kayaking deaths(source), despite the fact that life jacket is most common among kayakers.
- Capsizing is one of the major accident types related to kayaking, and responsible for more than 50% – 60% of kayak accidents. That can be prevented by avoiding overloading the kayak (although you can’t carry much weight in a kayak).
- Falling overboard is the second most accident type related to kayaking, and responsible for more than 30% – 40% of kayak accidents. That can be prevented by loading the weight on the kayak evenly.
- Flooding/swamping is the third most accident type related to kayaking, and responsible for more than 20% – 30% of kayak accidents. That can be prevented by avoiding rough or choppy waters.
- Kayaks are good (perfect) for calm waters and may not perform (suit) well in rough or choppy waters. So, better try to avoid rough or choppy waters in prior.
- From 2010 to 2019, a total of 43,058 boating accidents occurred (source). Out of which 1417 are related to kayaking, 16,895 are related to motorboats (open and cabin motorboats).
- With that, we can tell that kayaks are a lot safer than other boats, especially motorized boats (both open and cabin boats) such as jet boats, personal watercraft, Bayliner, Pontoon boats, Jon boats, etc.
- From 2010 to 2019, a total of 6,482 deaths related to boating has occurred, among which 707 deaths are related to kayaks, which is significantly less compared to motorboat deaths that are 3,428.
- However, there is a steady decrease in kayak accidents and injuries from 2000 – 2019, which is a good sign that many people are becoming knowledgeable. But you may not see that in the below table since each year, kayakers are increasing rapidly. So, there are fewer accidents compared to growth each year (source) (source).
- And, there is a steady decrease in deaths related to kayaking and injuries from 2000 – 2019, which is a good sign that many people are becoming knowledgeable. But you may not see that in the below table since each year, kayakers are increasing rapidly. So, there are fewer deaths compared to growth each year (source) (source).
Related post – To know whether canoes are safe or not? (link opens in a new tab) Check my article on that to known statistically whether canoeing is safe or dangerous?
Kayak, Canoe, motorboat, and PWC accidents are given below in the table. By looking into the statistics, you will get to know the distinctions between kayak accidents and other boat accidents.
|Year||Kayak||Canoe||Open and closed motorboats||PWC|
You can see the accidents, injuries, and deaths related to the kayak in the table below. By looking into the statistics, you will get to know how many accidents, injuries, and deaths occur in the past years and their trends.
Related post – Check my article on Is Jet skiing safe? (links opens in a new tab) to know statistically whether jet skiing is safe or dangerous.
Some of the safety tips to be followed while kayaking
Now you got to know some of the significant causes of kayak accidents such as capsizing, falling overboard, flooding/swapping, etc. By making some changes to the way you ride, you can avoid some of them.
You can check one of my articles to know the Major causes of boating accidents (opens in a new tab) in a detailed way for each case (cause). Okay, we will now see some of the safety tips to take while kayaking.
Since kayaks are small and slim boats, they can easily tilt and capsize if the weather is rough or choppy. That is only the dangerous thing related to kayaking; apart from that, they are good for calm water activities and relaxation purposes.
1. Don’t overload the kayak
- Capsizing is one of the significant causes of kayak accidents; improper loading or overloading or uneven loading causes a kayak to capsize. Especially kayaks are very light and can capsize easily. By not overloading the kayak, you are 50% – 60% less likely to die or injure in a kayak accident.
- Although you can’t carry much weight on a kayak, if you are carrying fishing equipment or any gear, then spreading the weight evenly in the kayak and even spreading the bodyweight on the kayak will avoid the majority of kayaking accidents.
2. Better avoid rough waters
- Kayaks are very light, and they are very easy to get carried away by big waves or winds; it is good to avoid kayaking in rough or choppy waters to prevent flooding/swapping of the kayak. Since kayaks are small and slim boats, they can easily tilt and capsize if you go in rough or choppy waters.
- Kayaks are very likely to get wrecked by the waves and bad weather since they are very light. So, by not using the kayak in rough waters, you can avoid many accidents, making you 40% – 50% less likely to die or injure in a kayak accident.
3. Wear a life jacket (PFD)
- Wearing a life jacket is crucial to do while boating, especially kayaking, because these boats can capsize and flood/swap very easily since they are very light. So, better be prepared by wearing a life jacket.
- Simply wearing a life jacket isn’t sufficient; it should fit you as well, and it should be approved by USCG as well. By wearing an appropriate life jacket that fits well for you while kayaking, you are 70% – 80% less likely to die or injure in a kayak accident (since people are drowning and falling overboard mostly).
4. Check the weather before starting the trip
- Weather is one of the things that concern many people when they think about boating. Like many people think (assume) that the weather is the only dangerous part when it comes to boating, but it is not entirely true; only to some extent.
- By checking the weather condition before starting the trip, you can avoid some percent of kayak accidents, which will make you 20% less likely to die or injure in a kayak (boating) accident. And especially kayaks may not perform well in choppy waters.
Those are some of the safety tips to reduce the risks and dangers while kayaking. And some of the causes of kayaking accidents are simple causes, and most of them are easily preventable. Check my article on Boating safety tips (opens in a new tab) to know the essential safety tips in detail.
Still, there are many things to do to prevent kayak (boating) accidents. Check my article on How to avoid boating accidents (opens in a new tab) to know more info about the prevention tips.
Safety is going to be the first priority to anyone, and by taking some measures while boating (operating the boat), you can do that. After making some changes to the way you ride a kayak, you can prevent the majority of the kayak accidents.
Especially kayaks may not perform well in rough waters. Other than that, statistics also show that kayaks are a lot safer than other boats. Kayaking is a fun activity, and it is a safe activity until if you do something wrong or neglect the boating rules.