Kayak visibility — or invisibility as the case may be — is one of the biggest safety concerns of those who venture more than a few dozen yards offshore. As Al Goldberg states in the 9-96 BSKC newsletter:
“There is a universal complaint about kayaks from the general marine community — they’re hard to see on the water. Usually this occurs under daylight conditions since this is when nearly all kayak/boating interactions occur. The problem is that a kayak is small and low on the water, and quite often has a hull color that blends either with the water or with erratic whitecaps.”
Choosing a bright colored kayak, wearing a bright colored pfd and clothing, putting reflective tape on paddles, and using a radar reflector all have a role in improving visibility and safety on the water. A kayak safety flag such as the RISPY, a new made-in-Maine product which we have begun to sell in our shop, can play an important role as well. The height and bright orange color of the flag make it more effective than a brightly colored pfd or even a brightly colored paddle. And while a radar reflector may still be advisable for some paddlers, a kayak safety flag is useful in situations where other boats may not be using radar.
The RISPY is sturdily built and economically priced. While some safety flags are mounted on the kayak deck with velcro or other less secure means, the RISPY is solidly mounted — yet provides the best of both worlds because it can easily be removed when not in use, and has a “break away” feature that will preserve the flag in a case of extreme impact. Check it out on our website!