How to tow another kayak

By Jakob Jelling

While there are a lot of different techniques to get people back in their kayaks should they capsize while they're out kayaking, these techniques are not all foolproof. It is always possible that no matter what you try, there is no way you can possibly get all of the water out of the kayak. If this is the case, then you'll probably have to drain the kayak on the beach, and then re-launch both kayaks.

Knowing how to tow another kayak is an important part of being safe on the water. After all, if there is some reason why the other person cannot paddle back to shore, then you are going to need to provide a tow. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you cannot continue paddling, then you should also make sure that you're prepared to accept a tow. There are plenty of reasons why you might need to be towed, and you should not feel embarrassed about any of them. Anybody can become tired or injured, and you should always ask for help when it is needed, especially if you are kayaking out at sea.

The first thing that you should do before you tow another kayak is talk to the person in the kayak. There are a lot of reasons why somebody might have to stop paddling, and you should probably determine which one is the problem now. Once you determine that, you'll be able to provide a little more help than just a tow. For instance, if the person in the kayak is dehydrated or hungry, then you can provide food or water. If they are cold, then you may want to suggest that they put on more clothing.

You should always make sure that the person you are towing has a whistle, just in case something happens while you are towing their kayak. That way, you'll be able to respond right away.

There are several different towing options. First, if you only have one person who is capable of towing the other kayak, then you can just use one towline and tow the kayak by yourself. If there are other people to help, then you can try either the V tow or an inline tow. The V tow is probably the most effective method if there are two paddlers - essentially, both kayaks are attached to the one being towed in a V-like formation. If there are several people who are capable of towing, you may want to try an inline tow. What this means is that the kayaks are connected in a straight line, and the first kayak is the only one that is not being towed a little. This is helpful of most of the people in your group are starting to feel a little bit tired.

Other techniques that you can use while rescuing somebody are the stern tow and the bow tow. These different towing methods essentially involve what parts of the kayak you will connect to when you decide to give somebody a tow. It's important for you to learn several different towing methods so that when you are actually in the situation where they are needed, you'll be able to figure out which method works the best for you.

Jakob Jelling is the founder of Please visit his complete kayaking guide for all skills and ages.


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