Myrtle Beach and other places along South Carolina’s hundreds of miles of oceanfront offer a tremendous opportunity for paddle sports enthusiasts to get their fix. If you do not own a kayak or paddleboard, you may decide to rent one from the many outfitters in the region.
Before renting a kayak, paddleboard or another type of personal watercraft, you must think about your safety. After all, the number of paddle sports fatalities nationwide has climbed significantly in recent years. Here are some tips for ensuring you have a safe rental experience:
1. Find a reputable outfitter
As you may suspect, not every rental service is reputable. In fact, some outfitters have a history of safety and other violations. Therefore, before renting a kayak, paddleboard or another type of watercraft, do some research. While renting from a reputable outfitter does not guarantee your safety, your odds of sustaining a serious injury when working with one are likely lower.
2. Read the rental agreement and waiver
The rental agreement and waiver that many outfitters require are legal contracts. As such, you should fully read anything you plan to sign. If you sustain an injury in a rented kayak or paddleboard, though, you should not let the waiver you signed dissuade you from pursuing compensation for your injuries. Instead, check with a knowledgeable attorney to explore your legal options.
3. Wear safety gear
If you want to stay safe on a rented piece of paddle sports equipment, you must wear appropriate safety gear. A safety-rated life jacket is essential. Still, you do not want to stop there. You also should wear goggles, sunscreen and other protective items. If the outfitter does not provide you with what you need to stay safe, bring your own gear or choose a different rental service.
With the many quality paddle sports outfitters in South Carolina, you do not have to own a kayak or paddleboard to enjoy the water. Nevertheless, before you rent a watercraft, you must understand how to stay safe on waterways in the Palmetto State.