How to Avoid Being Pitch Poled in a Kayak

There is no doubt in that sea kayaking is an adventurous activity. However, staying away from unpleasant incidents is also necessary during this adventure as even a slight blunder can lead you to potential injury.

Being pitch poled in a kayak is one of these kinds of situations and if you are not well trained then this can be really dangerous in violent water. In kayaking, “pitch pole” is when your boat fails to stand against strong wind and waves and flips over lengthwise.

However, you can avoid being pitch poled by keeping couple of important things in mind.


  • 1

    Check the weather:

    First of all, you should check the weather before leaving for adventure sailing. You may seek help from meteorological department or the internet. Try to avoid boating if there are chances of a storm as the waves will be more violent and you won’t be able to control your boat. Always check the weather information before heading out so that you can anticipate any changes in the conditions.

  • 2

    Plan your route:

    If you are lucky enough to get favourable weather conditions then the next thing you will do is to plan your route. Most of the kayakers think that planning a route limits an adventure but it is better to be safe instead of getting caught in an unpleasant situation at some unknown or remote place. You might want to use a GPS device to keep you on track.

  • 3

    Be ready for sneaker waves:

    Sneaker waves are larger than normal waves and they can catch you off-guard. If they are coming one after another then they will double the trouble for you. That is why; you must be fully prepared for unexpected sneaker waves.

  • 4

    Avoid areas between rocks:

    Another technique to avoid being pitched poled is to avoid areas between rocks. These sea rocks restrict your movements and you cannot employ an effective strategy. Make sure that your route is clear of all the obstacles otherwise there is possibility of any mishap.

  • 5

    Stay in safe zones:

    The experienced kayakers know that there are always safe zones in the sea where they can surf without any trouble. These safe zones do not have harsh waves, strong and harsh wind and unwanted rocks. Try to find such safe zones and move in between them.

  • 6

    Wait and watch:

    If you feel that wind and waves are simply uncontrollable then it is better to watch and wait for a favourable condition. Remember, it is dangerous to paddle blindly as you can lose your balance.

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