Kayaking In Florida

Florida seems like a fantastic holiday destination with many fun things to do. One of these many fun things would be to go kayaking. Before you embark on an adventure, you need to make sure you know what you’re doing. Plan out your trip beforehand to be prepared for anything.

Kayaking in Florida can be a dangerous undertaking with possible alligator and snake encounters. Despite this, there are beautiful places to kayak in Florida and even night kayaking trips. Florida sports Everglade Park is one of the best spots to kayak in the state.

Are you up for an adventure and have some taste for danger? You should take some time off and book a trip to go kayaking in Florida; you might need to research the ins and outs first, though. It could be worth looking up some pre-planned kayaking trips in Florida to join, and there are some great clubs you could contact to do this.

Kayaking In Florida

Kayaking in Florida can be quite the adventure; from having alligators chase your kayak to snakes falling out of trees into your kayak, it can really get the adrenaline rushing. It doesn’t happen on every kayaking expedition, though, but it is best to be aware of the possibility to prepare yourself best.

Alligators are generally not aggressive, and alligators attacking kayaks are rare. However, if you are still slightly concerned, which is understandable, you could go kayaking in gator-free spaces like Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Pool or Madison Blue Spring. If you are kayaking in Southern Florida, you would have to be extra careful and alert.

In Southern Florida, you may encounter crocodiles which you can distinguish from alligators by their snouts. An alligator has a round bill, whereas a crocodile has a sharper-looking nose. There are mixed reports about which of these species are more dangerous. It would be best if you were cautious of both and not provoke either to avoid danger.

If you encounter one of these creatures on one of your kayaking trips, you should remain calm and go about your kayaking. These creatures are usually sunbathing on the river banks; if they enter the water when they see you approaching, it is not to attack you; instead, it is to hide from you since they too are frightened.

If you are in a large group of kayakers, try to space yourselves out and not directly face either of these animals. If you are all bundled together, they may see you as a threat like a hunting group. You do not want to be on the receiving end of a crocodile or alligator attack, as those can be deadly.

There are unique and beautiful places to kayak in Florida, some with alligators or crocodiles and somewhere snakes might fall into your kayak. Snakes generally won’t be bothered with your kayak, but if you happen to be paddling under a tree branch and one loses its grip at that moment, you may get an extra passenger.

Do You Need Papers To Kayak In Florida?

Many states require that you have some type of boating license, or at least kids under 12 need to have a boater’s education. A boater’s education is a state’s official certified boater education course. Courses like these cover many topics relating to the sport of boating and well most watercraft.

They cover topics from the basics of steering a vessel to understanding what the weather is trying to tell you. They can cover things from boating emergencies to the legal aspects involved with boating. In some states, you complete a course and receive a certificate to say that you have, which is your boating license.

In Florida, kayaks do not require you to have a boating license unless it’s motorized with an engine that produces more than ten horsepower. If you are the engine powering the kayak, then you’re good to go. In Florida, there is no minimum age at which you can steer a kayak.

If the parent thinks their child of whatever age can steer and guide a kayak on their own, the law won’t stand in their way. It might not be wise to let a toddler kayak on their own, but a teenager or even a school-going kid would have a blast. They should not kayak on their own where there are alligators or crocodiles.

Does Your Kayak Need To Be Registered In Florida?

It may seem like a very similar topic to the previous issue. However, the topic mentioned above spoke about the human steering the kayak and if they need special permission from the state to do that; this topic talks about if the vessel itself needs special permission from the state to be allowed in the waters to be enjoyed.

In Florida, all motorized vessels need to be registered and licensed; there are a few exceptions to this, like boats only used on private lakes, boats shorter than 16 feet, and vessels exclusively used as lifeboats. Kayaks are also excluded from needing to be registered and have decals as they are not motorized.

In some states, you do need to register your kayak if it is extra-long, over 16 feet, to be exact. Most kayaks average at about 10 feet long each, so those extra 6 feet make a massive difference. It does not matter how long your kayak is; as long as it does not have a motor, you are good to go without registration or decals.

Do You Need To Wear A Life Jacket To Kayak In Florida?

Life Jackets first came into play in 1854 when Captain John Ross Ward made a vest out of cork for lifeboat crews to wear to protect from weather and give some buoyancy level. Since then, lifejackets have saved countless lives and will continue to save lives when people choose to wear them.

The State of Florida requires that children of 6 years and younger wear a life jacket. If you are outside that age bracket and want to go kayaking, you would have to have a life jacket where it is easily accessible to you while on the kayak to comply with state law.

We all know that there is not very much packing space on a kayak to have a life jacket somewhere that would be easily accessible to you. It would be practical and space-saving to wear the life jacket, so you comply with the law and don’t take away any of the legroom that you have.

Can You Get A DUI For Drunk Kayaking In Florida?

There is a difference between a DUI (driving under the influence) and a BUI (boating under the influence) in some states. However, both are still considered very serious, significantly because they can endanger the lives of others. In Florida, this is also considered a severe offense.

You are thought to be boating under the influence when your blood alcohol levels are 0.08% and even lower (0.02%) if you are under the legal drinking age of 21. If you’re caught boating under the influence in Florida, the consequences may include a fine of up to $100 if you are a first-time offender and possibly six months of jail time.

If this is the second time you get caught boating under the influence of alcohol, you can get a fine of up to $2000 and a possible nine months in jail; if your previous offense was less than five years ago, you get a  guaranteed ten-day stay in jail. Your kayak would also be impounded for at least 30 days which means you would need to spend additional money to retrieve it.

If the first two offenses haven’t taught you your lesson, then the state of Florida gets serious about making sure that you learn it now. A 3rd offense will be charged as a 3rd-degree felony. If the third offense occurs within ten years of the previous crime, you could get up to 5 years in jail and a $5000 fine.

If the 3rd offense happens more than ten years after the 2nd offense, you could end up spending a year in jail and paying a fine anywhere between $2000 and $5000. It is fun to have some beer and go kayaking or boating but is it really worth it?

For your safety and those around you, it might be better to leave the beer until after your kayaking adventure is over. Many dangers come with kayaking drunk; you could end up capsizing and unable to recover, you could drown, or you could cause harm to someone else, don’t drink and paddle.

Are there kayaking Meets in Florida?

There are several kayaking clubs in Florida: Daytona Beach Kayak club and Tampa Bay Sea Kayakers. There is also Paddle Florida, a non-profit that uses kayaking to help raise awareness for water conservation. They arrange several different kayaking trips annually.

They have multi-day trips where they set up camp, arrange the food and arrange entertainment for the evenings. These trips take away a lot of the stress of bringing camping equipment and other supplies on a kayaking trip. They could also arrange the rental of the kayaking equipment you need to use on the trip.

Paddle Florida has arranged multiple clean-ups, and they embark on a journey of raising awareness for waterway conservation, springs restoration, wildlife conservation, and the protection of waterways. These seem like amazing trips to book to enjoy the best of nature and kayaking with the stress taken away.

What Are The Dangers Of Kayaking?

Kayaking is a fantastic sport and adventure, but as with anything, you need to respect it. If something goes wrong on a kayaking trip and you do not know how to handle it correctly, the worst-case scenario results in death. There are additional risks involved in Florida with crocodiles, alligators, and snakes sharing the lakes.

One of the aspects of kayaking that can be overlooked but can be quite dangerous is the sun. We know that sunburn isn’t fun or comfortable, and it is preventable thankfully with suitable clothing, hats or caps, and sunscreen. Sunburn, however, is not the only danger that the sun poses to kayakers.

Sunstroke is a genuine danger of kayaking if you have not taken the proper measures to ensure that you firstly won’t get sunburnt and secondly that you would stay hydrated. If you have sunstroke, multiple symptoms would negatively impact your trip.

These symptoms include a headache, a high fever, extreme thirst, cramps, intense sweating, a fast pulse and heartbeat, and one of the more dangerous ones to have while you are on a kayaking trip – dizziness and confusion. If you have sunstroke while kayaking and become confused, you can end up in dangerous situations.

There are some ways to avoid sunstroke; make sure you stay hydrated. Wear colored clothing as darker colors attract more sun, wear loose-fitting clothing, do not consume alcohol before your kayaking adventure; you can enjoy that after, and splash water on your skin regularly. The kayak paddles can take care of that.

Other dangers of kayaking include capsizing, drowning, getting lost, and hypothermia. It would be wise to have some lessons if you are a beginner before you embark on your journey. Thankfully some kayaking clubs in Florida do offer lessons.

Conclusion

Kayaking is a super fun sport for those who love the water and adventure. There are some extra dangers to kayaking in Florida, like crocodiles and alligators; however, some areas are entirely croc and gator-free if you would like to avoid these encounters altogether. There are beautiful places to kayak in Florida.

These beautiful places include Everglade Park, which has stunning views and animals. If you are under six years old in Florida, you need to wear a life jacket; otherwise, you only need to have one on board. Don’t drink and paddle; you can land in jail! There are some dangers to kayaking, but it is so worth it to go paddling.