CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sports Blog

Insights and tips on how to protect your adventure sports business, giving you and your guests peace of mind.

Ward, Hayden
/ Categories: BLOG Articles

Canoe, Kayak and SUP Paddling Safety for Outfitters and Guides

Canoe, SUP paddling, Kayak Outfitters

A day out on the water is hard to beat. Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), canoeing and kayaking are relaxing and fun activities for all ages. However, anything can happen and it’s best to be prepared for the unexpected. Stay protected for your next trip with these safety tips.

Checkoff These Canoe, Kayak and SUP Paddling Safety Tips:

1. Proper Gear is a Must

Whenever water is involved, remind your guests to dress with the mindset of getting wet. Depending on the temperatures around your operations, hypothermia is not something to be taken lightly. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, if the water is going to be below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, your group will need to wear wetsuits or dry suits.

Here are some items to carry and teach your group how to use:

  • Life Jacket
  • Throwable Flotation Device
  • Bilge Pump
  • Tow Line
  • Rope Bag
  • Dry Bag (with water, food, sunscreen, etc.)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flares
  • Cell Phone (kept in a dry space)
  • Spare Paddle


2. Let the Weather Be a Guide

Before your paddlers arrive, spend a good amount of time looking at a detailed weather forecast. You want to know what to expect when you first get out on the water and for the rest of the day. Make sure your staff is familiar with tide and wind conditions. Regardless if you are on a lake or sea, the slightest increase in the wind can make your canoe, kayak, or SUP trip dangerous and lead to capsizing.

If your guides take their trips down rivers, remember that heavy rainfall upstream can significantly change the pace and course of the river. Any fast-moving water can be risky and strong currents can be difficult for your groups to handle.

To monitor sea conditions, visit the  National Marine Forecast.

3. Stay Close

Small groups are recommended when on the water. Large groups can easily separate into fast and slow paddlers, leaving some people trailing behind and lost. Though this naturally happens with any size of group, it is easier to keep track of your group when there are fewer people. You never want your paddlers to fade into a series of solo paddlers.

4. Certifications Speak Volumes

It is wise to make sure your team understands the importance of medical protocols. At any moment, the unexpected could happen, putting your group in danger. Knowing what to do in these situations provides you, your team and your customers with peace of mind.

Many outfitters will schedule a time for their team to take First Aid, CPR, or  ACA Instructor Certification. Not only does it prepare your employees, but can also add to the credibility of your business. Customers will be curious about your risk management protocols and training.

5. Protection No Matter What

Customers rely on their outfitters and guides when on the water. Your team has to go beyond basic safety tips before and when they are out in order to keep your travelers safe. Leave insuring your business’ safety to us. Get the protection you need today and  request a free CBIZ Adventure Sport Insurance quote.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. In an actual claim situation, coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

5076 Rate this article:
No rating

1 comments on article "Canoe, Kayak and SUP Paddling Safety for Outfitters and Guides"

Avatar image


So exciting that my boyfriend and I are gearing up for a Delaware River canoeing adventure next week because we both love outdoor escapades and want to soak in the beauty of nature while navigating the tranquil waters together. It's going to be a refreshing break from our daily routine, and we're excited to paddle, explore, and create some unforgettable memories. While looking for a service that can help us, we'll keep in mind that you should spend some time looking at a comprehensive weather prediction before your paddlers show up since you want to know what to expect when you first get out on the lake and for the remainder of the day.


Leave a comment

This form collects your name, email, IP address and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.
Add comment

Theme picker







Overview Icon - AVS



Fins and Feather insurance




800.615.8418 | [email protected]

1504 8th Street | Lewiston, ID 83501  

Monday - Friday | 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. (PST)


CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sports Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services, Inc., is the largest insurer of adventure sports businesses in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we developed a policy coverage to meet the needs for those in the recreation and outfitting industries. Our policy is underwritten by an A.M. Best Rated A++ (Superior) company.