Kaupinoja Paddling Safety Guidelines

1. In everything make sure that you have understood the safety regulations and rules which are to abide by. This happens the best when filling out the rental agreement.

2. When signing the agreement you have confirmed us that you can swim or when moving in a group if without swimming capability, you have recieved a life vest that floats you head up high. You also acknowledge, that if you can not swim kayaking can be life threatening, if the kayak capsizes. Therefore you will not lie in this matter.

3. Make sure that the paddling equipment you have recieved are useable
– the vest is the right size and the buckles are unbroken
– the sprayskirt is the right size
– the sprayskirt may leak a bit from the seams by dripping water, but it should not have any holes
– the paddle in unbroken
– adequate flotation in the kayak or canoe. Make sure that the hatches are closed, also the neoprene covers
– the deck lines and/or grab loops are ok
– a water emptying device (sponge, bailer or pump) according to the conditions
– an extra paddle in needed (in a canoe always, in a kayak for longer tours and groups).

4. In longer, at least one overnight duration rentals use the Finnish paddling safety guidelines (can be found here: https://www.melontajasoutuliitto.fi/@Bin/256376/Safety+guidelines+for+paddling.pdf) as a memory list, with which you can make sure, that you either get from us on have youself all the needed equipment. If you are a part of a bigger group, decide who is the head (guide) paddler and who are the assisting (guide) paddlers. Here it is good to notice that the Finnish paddling safety guidelines rule is: one instructor may have at the most 16 paddlers in maximum in 10 vessels under their guidance.

5. When the conditions are windy, make sure that you know where is the safe direction to paddle to and what is the maximum distance from the shore. Here the rental personnel helps you.

6. When the water is clod (below 15 degrees celcius) or very cold (under 10 degrees celcius) remember to beware of the dangers of cold water and when paddling stay by the shore and when the water is freezing cold max 20 meters of shore. The warmer waters ou know by experience, you must acknowledge, that cold water is life threatening for a swimmer in only a few minutes, even if the weather in summer warm.

7. In windy weather a wind blowing towards the shore is safer than wind blowing away from the shore. In these circumstances remember the following action plan:

I. Wind blowing towards the shore:
– First paddle a few rounds in Kaupinoja bay as a test how well you control your vessel in the winds at hand and make sure, that also the rental personnel see your test rounds. If the rental personnel asks or if you yourself feel that you can not paddle or it is too frightening, return back to the shore.
– Ask what is the right direction to paddle to. It is important, that you abide by it, so that the return in the conditions at hand is possible, and you are not caught in an against wind trap. Notice, that the wind direction may change and that the rental personnel have better info on it.
-Ask what is the right distance to paddle away from the shore (too close the waves may hit an unexperienced paddler on the shore rocks, too far – the wind strenght and waves are always higher).

II. Wind blowing away from the shore:
– Notice that when the wind is blowing away from the shore, the danger is to drift away from a safe distance from the shore, and hard to paddle back against wind. If you exceed the limit, where you can not anymore paddle back against wind, you will drift to the opposite shore. In minimum this means 3 km to the other side of the mouth of Aitolahti bay and at the worst to the north parts of Näsiselkä about 10-14 km away. If the water is cold, this situation only needs someone to capsize, and then you are in a life dangerous situation.

For these circumstances always obey the rental personnel and paddle to the direction they have given.

8. When you tell about your paddling experience to the rental personnel, you will get the right kind of equipment. Thus we can serve you the best way possible.

I. When moving in a bigger group, figure out who are experinced paddlers and make them you group responsible persons. They must acknowledge, that in a group the skill level of the participants is different. Especially you must notice, that there may be totally unexperinced persons in the group.

II. If you do not know how to swim, make sure that you are given 100 N life vest and that you are paddling an open canoe. If your kayak capsizes, and you do not know how to swim, the risks are great.

III. From all our canoes, big voyager canoes are the safest boats. If there is a capable paddler at the stern ruddering the canoe and the group has reasonably good physical condition, then the rental is possible in tough wind conditions. If the water is cold or very cold, then the wind limit (taking into consideration the wind direction and weather prediction) is lowered.

IV. A kayak double is also very safe, if at least the other paddler knows the basics of paddling.

V. A very fat person does not come off from a kayak when capsized the same way as a normal weight or a skinny persons would. For this reason a canadian canoe is safer when considering the size of the kayak cockpit size.

VI. You must remember that when paddling with single kayak, beginners do not have much support from eachother.

9. Remember to write your mobile phone number on the rental agreement and make sure, that this particular phone is packed waterproof with you. Notice, that it is hard to operate – sometimes impossible – the mobile phone through the package.

10. If you are uncertain about how long you are going to paddle, make sure that the rental personnel knows this. In other words, inform, if you rent the canoe first for one hours, but may stay longer. This way you can make sure, that the rental personnel will not get conserned and start to phone you and at the worst alarm the rescue department. Make sure that you return at the latest when the rental shop is closing.

11. The general emergency number in Finland is 112. If something has happened, you the client, can get in contact with safety officials with your own discretion.

12. The rental services we provide are self service services, when it comes to consumer legislation. This means that both parties of the rental act have their own responsibilities. We are responsible for making sure that the equipment we provide is functional for the activitie and the right size for the customer. We also inform the customer about the in advance to be seen safety issues. The customer must tell us honestly about matters possibly conserning the rental. When it comes to customer service, self service means, that the customer self deals the rental equipment from our storage to the site of action and vice versa back too. In canoe/kayak rental this means the carrying of the equipment and when returning also the drying of the equipment with a sponge and/or a bailer. The rental personnel may of course help in these matter, if there is time from rental rush and other key elements of our service.