Not being a strong swimmer does not matter when kayaking.
I can’t swim. Can I still Kayak?
Even if you can’t swim “yes” you can Kayak. In Australia, it is mandatory for all kayak paddlers to wear PFD’s (personal flotation device). A personal flotation device will keep you on the water surface even if you can’t swim.
Another reason it doesn’t matter if you can’t swim. It is compulsary for all Commercial operating Kayaks to have bulkheads or compartments in them that will not allow the Kayak to sink. The kayak will float full of water, while you are sitting in it. Just to clarify it means if you are suddenly in the water and can’t swim make sure you hang on to the Kayak. Right way up or upside down it will not sink.
Should you become separated from the Kayak simply roll onto your back and wait for your guide or another paddler to assist you.
A trained guide will quickly organize to get you back into the Kayak even if it’s full of water. Then use the bailer and empty the water out. Often our guides will use a pump in this situation to drain the kayak.
As a professional guide, I have taken many people who can’t swim Kayaking.To date, it has never been a problem for any one of them.We always make sure every person has the right size PFD, fitted correctly.
Remember also if you are out with any professionally run Adventure tourism company like Walking Rivers. The training the guides have undertaken means they are capable of assisting both swimmers and non-swimmers in a wide variety of different situations.