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

Assisted tow

An assisted tow may be necessary when a paddler:

  • Is seasick.
  • Is at high risk of capsize because of the conditions.
  • Has an injury or illness that affects their balance. 

The supporting paddler usually rafts up tightly behind the person being towed. Edging helps keep the kayaks together. 

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