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Washington Kayak Club
Fun and safe kayaking through trips, education, skill development, and conservation

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Steven’s Safety Corner

Brenna McVety  | Published on Saturday, March 29, 2014
By Steven Exe

Yes, it’s true.  Spring is here and so is daylight saving time. You may have noticed that as the spring rains come down, the water level in the rivers goes up.  The current snowpack in the Cascades is in great shape so we have the promise of a long white water boating season.

If you are are like me and have not been boating diligently all winter long, there is still plenty of time to get ready and safely enjoy the rivers this spring.  I find it valuable to use the WKC pools sessions to fine-tune my roll before heading off to the rivers.  WKC offers pool sessions two times a week on Wednesday evenings and on Sunday mornings.   These sessions run into May so there is plenty of time to use this resource.

It’s a great idea to do a complete check of your boating equipment before you head out for the first time.  While easy to overlook, take the time to make sure the throw rope is still in the boat.  Be sure to give the throw rope a toss and re-stuff it while you have it out.  Make sure that all the pieces of the spare paddle are still in the boat, and that it can be assembled.  Check the neck, ankle, and wrist gaskets on the dry suit, and get them replaced if they are showing signs of wear.

My approach at the start of the boating season is to paddle rivers that are well within my ability, and at a water level that I feel very comfortable with.    This gives plenty of time to build my paddling skills in a safe environment before I head-out for something a little more changing.  So have fun paddling, be safe, and enjoy some of those great springs runs.  See you out paddling.

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