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articles, videos, and resources to help you safely enjoy the water

Topic  Category Type 

ABCs of PFDs

PFD selection and Coast Guard Approval Ratings for PFDS

Safety

Adventure Medical Kits from NRS

Medical supplies grouped together in clear, resealable waterproof bags. Medical kits made specifically for camping, backpacking, and paddling

Safety

Avoiding Foot Entrapment

Description of this common hazard and how to avoid it.

Safety

Basic Gear for Kayak Fishing Safety

NRS ambassador Isaac Miller discusses the equipment and apparel that can improve our level of comfort and kayak fishing safety.

How To Choose, Safety

Boating Safety for Infants & Small Children

Tips on safely taking your kids boating.

Trip Planning, Safety

Boating Safety for 'Man's Best Friend'

Tips on safely boating with your dog.

Safety

Boating Safety's Five Golden Rules

No matter what kind of boating activity you participate in, these five “golden rules” will go a long way toward ensuring that your trips on the water end safely.

Safety

Cold Water Protection and Hypothermia

Walbridge on the dangers of hypothermia and how to protect yourself.

Safety

Cold-Water Layering

Layers allow you to add and remove pieces to match changing conditions, and help your body maintain a safe, comfortable temperature. These layers fall generally into three categories: base layers, insulating layers and outer layers.

How To Choose, Safety

Coming Back Is Mandatory

Learn the limits of your skills and equipment and stay safe.

Safety

Don't Boat Without Number Two

The importance of wearing a life jacket (PFD) when boating.

Safety

Dry Drowning Revisited

Dry drowning can occur on the water and on land. Learn more about it.

Safety

Dry Drowning, by Walt Bammann

An important safety article on laryngospasm ("dry drowning")

Safety

Dry Drowning: An Update

Excellent feedback from readers about this important boating safety issue.

Safety

Drysuits Don't Make You Bulletproof

Your drysuit is only one piece of your boating safety system.

Safety

Fabrics That Protect You From the Sun

Fabrics that provide effective protection from our sun's harmful rays.

Safety

Fall Boating Safety

Your cold season gear has probably been stored away. Its time to get it out and inspect it to make sure its ready to go.

Safety

Feedback on the Dry Drowning Article

Reader feedback on the Dry Drowning article

Safety

File a Boater's Trip Plan

Trip Plan form can help rescue personnel find you.

Safety

Finding Swiftwater Rescue Classes

When things do go wrong, only boaters with swiftwater rescue training can effectively help themselves and others.

Safety

Helmet Know How

Can I wear my bike helmet when boating?

Safety

High-Water Safety Guidelines

Boating safely in high-water conditions.

Safety

High-Water Wisdom

High-water brings more dangers to your boating. Learn tips to avoid them.

Safety

How Much Risk Should Boaters Take?

Life is about balancing risk and reward, and so is boating.

Safety

How to Extend Your Boating Season

Moving from summer boating to cold-weather adventures requires new knowledge and preparation. This article lays out the steps to take to extend your boating season.

How To Choose, Safety

How to Practice the Kayak Wet Exit

How to practice the kayak wet exit,your back-up plan for when your roll doesnt work.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Prepare for Medical Emergencies When Boating

Preparing for emergencies and first aid training.

Safety

How To Prevent Boating Injuries

Body conditioning, proper technique and equipment prevent injury.

Safety

How to Prevent Heat Loss

Four heat loss mechanisms and how to protect yourself.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Stay Warm When Boating

Team paddler shares winter warmth advice.

Safety

How to Understand River Flows

Understanding river flows

Safety

Is Your Life Jacket Safe?

Testing required by the Coast Guard for PFD approval.

Safety

Kid Safety

Safety tips for taking kids boating.

Safety

Know the Ropes

Technical details of rope materials and construction.

Safety

Lend Me Your Ear - About Kayaker's Ear

What you need to know about this serious boater health hazard.

Safety

Let's Stop the Senseless Loss of Life

This helps reinforce the need to wear life jackets, especially when boating in cold water.

Safety

Overcoming Fear

Suggestions for overcoming the fear produced by a scary swim.

Safety

Preparing for Cold-Season Boating

How to outfit yourself for cold water boating protection.

Trip Planning, Safety

Preventing Shoulder Injuries

Some helpful tips on preventing boater shoulder injuries.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rafting Put-in Safety Talk

The basics of a good put-in safety orientation for rafters.

Safety

Rescue Bag Basics

Basic instructions on using a Rescue/Throw Bag.

Safety

Rescue Vest Aren't For Everyone

Cautions about wearing and using rescue PFDs.

Safety

Riding the Flood

The dangers of high water boating and how to avoid them.

Safety

River & Rapid Difficulty Ratings

Describing the Class I-VI and Class 1-10 Ratings

Trip Planning, Safety

Safety and Rescue Discussion Group

Charlie Walbridge and NRS folks discuss safety and rescue training.

Safety

Sea Kayak Safety Starts at Home: Pre-Trip Tips for Touring Kayakers

Sea Kayak Safety Starts at Home: Pre-Trip Tips for Touring Kayakers

Safety

Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT)

A New Tool for Outdoor Enthusiasts - Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking! (SARSAT)

Safety

Stretching Exercises for Paddlers

Stretching is essential for preventing muscle strain as well as healing injuries.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Sunscreen Labeling Revisions

How the new FDA sunscreen regulations affect your health.

Safety

The Fine Nine

Preparing yourself to prevent or recover from on-the-water emergencies.

Trip Planning, Safety

Too Much Heat or Not Enough

Info on heat exhaustion and making a hypothermia wrap.

Safety

U.S. Coast Guard Regulations for Stand Up Paddlers

SUP is great fun, but do you know what you need to have and do to be legal on the water?

Trip Planning, Safety

We've Come a Long, Long Way, Baby

There wasnt always such a great selection of life jackets to choose from.

Safety

What's in the Water

Excellent resource on microorganisms in backcountry drinking water.

Skills & Tips, Safety

When the PFD Fits... Wear It!

Tips on getting the best fit for your PFD.

Safety

When the PFD Fits... Wear it! Part II: Kids

Tips on getting the best fit for your PFD.

Safety

Winter Paddling at its Warmest

Team NRS kayaker Devon Barker-Hicks gives gear recommendations for staying warm while paddling in icy waters.

Trip Planning, Skills & Tips, Safety

Equipping Your PFD for Rescue

Experienced rescuers equip their life jackets with pulleys, prussics, crib sheets, carabineers and other essential items.

Safety

Good Decisions: How Smart Kayaking Safety Techniques Saved a Kayaker's Day

Sahalie is an easily accessed waterfall on the headwaters of the Mckenzie River in Oregon. First run by Shannon Carrol in 1998, this incredibly beautiful waterfall has seen a relatively small number of descents by expert paddlers in the last few years.

Safety

How to Choose the Right Life Jacket

In this video, we go over the types of life jackets most commonly worn by boaters and help you choose the right life jacket so youll be comfortable wearing it the entire time youre on the water.

How To Choose, Safety

How to Choose the Right Life Jacket for Kayaking

The life jacket is your most important on-the-water safety tool. Choose one that fits well so it wont ride up and will be comfortable enough to always wear when you kayak.

How To Choose, Safety

How to Dress for Kayaking

Kayaking instructor Ken Whiting shares how to dress for kayaking and covers the base layers, insulating layers and outerwear pieces you need to safely extend your paddling past the warm summer months.

How To Choose, Safety

How to Launch Your SUP Board in the Surf Zone

Surfing your board in ocean waves is great fun. This video gives you the basic pointers for paddling out through the incoming waves.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Make a Flip Line

Also called a "guide belt," this piece of webbing and locking carabiner make a valuable boater's tool. Whether you're kayaking, rafting or canoeing you'll find multiple uses for this easy-to-build webbing sling.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Quickly Coil a Throw Rope

Knowing how to quickly coil your throw rope for a second toss is an essential swiftwater rescue skill. Heres a trick to help you make a fast, tangle-free second throw.

Safety

How to Re-Enter a Sit-Inside Kayak

There are a number of ways to get back aboard your kayak if you go for a swim. This video covers several techniques when you have another paddler available to lend an assist.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Restuff a Rescue Throw Bag

The proper way to repack rope in your throw bag.

Safety

How to Safely Fall Off a SUP Board

This video shows the best way to land in the water and different techniques for climbing back on the board, rescuing your paddle and standing back up on the SUP board.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Wet Exit a Kayak

Getting out of the kayak, making a wet exit, isnt complicated, this video will show how to wet exit a kayak, helping you to get out smoothly and safely, while hanging on to your paddle and the boat.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Kayaking Fundamentals: How to Do a Kayak T-Rescue

The kayak T-Rescue is a great kayaking technique to master. You flip upside down and a buddy brings their boat up to assist you.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 10: Foot Entrapment Intro

Rescue for River Runners, swiftwater rescue instructor Jim Coffey introduces techniques for assessing foot entrapment situations and formulating a plan to assist the victim.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 3: Swiftwater Swimming

Swimming efficiently in whitewater, or swiftwater swimming, is essential for self-rescue, rescuing others and building your kayaking, rafting and canoeing confidence.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 4: Throw Bag Techniques

This video covers throw bag techniques including throwing,safely bringing the swimmer to shore, how to brace so you dont get pulled into the water, and how to catch and hold the rope if youre the swimmer

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 5: Victim Contact Techniques

This video covers victim contact techniques for safely paddling, swimming and wading out to the victim

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 6: The Rescue Harness

This video shows you how to safely and effectively use the quick-release rescue harness on your life jacket.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 7: Live Bait Rescue

This video shows several different live bait techniques and describes the best ways to do them safely

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 8: Boat Extractions

This video demonstrates how to retrieve a pinned kayak or canoe using methods ranging from pushing and pulling to setting up a mechanical advantage system.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 9: Self Rescue

This video shows whitewater kayakers and canoeist the basic techniques for self rescue. It discusses how to swim to safety and how to avoid dangerous foot entrapment in moving water.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Episode 11: Foot Entrapment Strategies

foot entrapment strategies for making a river rescue

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue for River Runners: Ep. 1: Getting Started

Rescue for River covers the gear you need to have with you, from your rescue life jacket, protective apparel, throw bags, rescue hardware to first aid kit and communication devices.

Safety

Rescue for River Runners: Ep. 2: Team Strategy

Smart teamwork and preparedness make everyone safer on the river with the swiftwater rescue playbook.

Safety

Rescue Video Series: Episode 12: Putting Rescue Skills to Use on the Water

Putting Rescue Skills to Use on the Water

Safety

SUP Board Flip Rescue with Nikki Gregg

This important SUP Board flip rescue technique allows you to rescue an unconscious, unresponsive or physically compromised victim using your stand up paddleboard as an aid.

Safety

SUP Safety

Standup paddle boarding is really a very safe sport, but since you're out on the water, there are a few things you need to do to keep it that way.

Skills & Tips, Safety

SUP Surf Techniques and Etiquette with Nikki Gregg

NRS athlete Nikki Gregg shares the skills and insider knowledge you need to safely and successfully ride waves in the surf.

Skills & Tips, Safety

SUP: Leashes and Life Jackets

This excellent video from ACA tells you how to choose the right ones for the type of SUP paddling you’re doing.

Safety

That Time Mike Almost Drowned

Dramatic whitewater safety video.

Safety

The Hand of God Rescue for Whitewater Kayaking

Team NRS paddler Stephen Wright shows you how to help a fellow paddler roll upright with the hand of God rescue if they've flipped and are having trouble.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Touring Kayak Safety

Touring kayak safety doesnt have to be hard, and following a few commonsense guidelines will help keep you safe as youre learning kayaking skills.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Winter Rolling Tune-Up

Your local swimming pool is a great place for perfecting your kayak roll. Team NRS kayaker Devon Barker-Hicks gives valuable tips for getting it dialed in.

Skills & Tips, Safety