What to wear and bring on a kayaking activity

An approved PFD (personal flotation device) properly fitted and secured, must be worn at all times on the water. 

Wear appropriate clothes for the weather, sunhat with drawcord, sunscreen, sunglasses, and water shoes, according to the conditions. A dry bag is useful for additional warm layers. Bring sufficient drinking water, snacks and your first aid kit.  

A water bailer (or bilge pump) and whistle are required. A rope for towing orsecuring your kayak is useful. For open waters and sea-kayaks, a leash for your paddle (or spare paddle attached to your craft) and flares may also be required. 

Keep a towel and change of clothes in your car for after the trip.

Your kayak, and on the water

You will need to bring your own seaworthy kayak, PFD and paddles, suitable for the conditions. Leaders may refuse to take you if they consider your craft is unsuitable for the activity, or you are not properly equipped.

All participants need to be competent swimmers, know how to wet-exit if wearing a spray-skirt, and be able to self-rescue if they fall out their kayak. PaddleNSW has good paddling skills information.

Choose a kayak activity that is within your abilities, experience, fitness and suitable for your craft. Distances for paddling activities are approximate. Be aware that tides, water and weather conditions may change suddenly during the trip.  If in doubt or you have any questions about joining an activity, please ask the leader.

Watch out for submerged logs and snags, particularly in creeks. Keep a look out for swimmers and other water users.  If you capsize, stay with your kayak.

Play by the rules

Know the rules that apply in NSW for paddling safety.  Be courteous of other users on the boat ramp or launch area. 

Be a responsible paddler in the water, and stay with the group.