There are several reasons for towing when sea kayaking:

  • Getting a sick or injured paddler back to shore.
  • Assisting a paddler who is in trouble on the water by towing them away from danger.
  • When a paddler has lost or broken their paddle.
  • Assisting a slower paddler, especially if the group is under time pressure e.g. from impending darkness or a storm.

In an emergency situation the best towing method is the one that gets the paddler away from the source of danger quickly.

About Towing  Single line tow  Assisted tow  'V' Tow   Safety Common Mistakes

Single Line Tow

To conduct a single line tow:

  • Connect the tow line carabiner to a secure place on the other person’s kayak such as their decklines.
  • Check your tow line is properly secured to both your own kayak and the kayak you are towing.
  • As you take up the slack, make sure the tow line doesn't snag on anything.
  • Check that your tow line pays out properly and doesn't tangle.
  • Maintain an efficient paddling stroke as you may have to tow for a long time.
  • Ensure that you look behind frequently to monitor the person being towed. 

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