If you’ve been following my adventure posts, you’ll know that I have an inflatable kayak in which I take my dog out in.
I bought it about a year and a half ago from Amazon and I’ve had a lot of fun with it.
I usually get a lot of questions about it, especially when people see us paddling down the canal, so I thought I would address them in this post.
Strap yourself in.
Why did you get a kayak?
I bought the kayak specifically for my dog.
I know that sounds like a really weird present to buy a dog, but hear me out.
Winston and I have always enjoyed our walks, hikes, bike rides, and adventures, but he’s not getting any younger. He’s almost 10-years old (his breed has a life expectancy of 12-years) and I’ve noticed that he’s starting to slow down a bit.
Although he’s still super-enthusiastic, it would be irresponsible for me to keep taking him on such physically demanding days out. But the thought of going on an adventure and leaving him at home breaks my heart. I know that he wants nothing more than to come along with me.
Cue the kayak.
Even though his body may no longer be able to get him up a mountain, he can still sit in a kayak and the adventures can continue.
No matter how old and how slow he gets, we can always enjoy a relaxing day on the water.
How do you kayak with your dog?
I purchased a two-person kayak (Intex also does one-person kayaks) and I simply take the front seat out to create space for my dog to sit.
Training-wise, I only have one rule that he must follow, and that is not to get in or out of the kayak until I say so when we are docking. You can see this in action in the video at the bottom of this post.
Other than that, it’s pretty simple.
The first few times we went out he didn’t quite know what he was supposed to do whilst I was paddling. But each time we went, he became more and more relaxed. He’s now found a comfy spot to sit at the front of the kayak and will happily chill out and enjoy the view whilst I do all the work.
Dog floatation vest
My dog is a brilliant swimmer and he loves the water! (Typical spaniel.) So, people always ask me why I put a floatation vest on him.
The answer is for two reasons:
- If he falls (or jumps) out of the kayak, his jacket provides me with with easy to grab handles to pull him back in.
- The bright orange color means that he can be easily spotted in the water, not only by myself but other boats, kayakers, and paddleboarders.
I don’t think I’ve been kayaking where he hasn’t gone overboard (intentionally or not) at least once. He usually goes for a little swim and then comes back over to the kayak for me to pull him back in again.
The flotation vest gives me extra peace of mind, especially since I don’t always know what is under the water that we’re paddling on.
Why did you get an inflatable one?
When I started shopping for kayaks, I was looking at plastic sit-on-top ones. My thought process what that these kayaks are suitable for beginners and my dog could sit-on-top too.
However, after doing some research, I finally decided on the K2 Explorer Inflatable for a few reasons.
- Relatively cheap to purchase.
Compared to the plastic kayaks, this kayak was much cheaper. (I paid just over £100 for mine.)
- Easy to store.
I only kayak in the summer and on warmers days. I have no interest in getting wet and cold during the winter. Therefore, during the colder months, it’s easy to fold it down and store it out of the way.
- Easy to transport.
Although I have a van with roof bars, I didn’t fancy my chances of being able to lift a two-person kayak onto the roof on my own. Whereas the inflatable kayak fits nicely in the back of my van or in my roof box.
- The shape.
I like this kayak because it provides a secure place for my dog to sit and relax, rather than having to balance ontop of anything.
1. How long does it take to inflate?
About 15-minutes. Although I did purchase a better pump. The pump that it comes with, although it will do the job, it’s a bit small and a bit naff.
2. Are you worried about your dog popping it with his claws?
This was an initial concern of mine when I first purchased it. But once it arrived and I noticed how thick and durable the latex was, my mind was put to rest. It would take a lot of effort and scratching for my dog to pierce a hole.
3. Is it easy to paddle?
This is the first kayak I’ve ever had, so I don’t have anything else to compare it to, but I’m still going to say no.
Although anyone could get in the kayak and enjoy a day on the water, it’s not the most streamlined thing in the world. You’re not going to be breaking any water speed records!
But for a fun day out, it’s more than suitable.
4. Is it heavy?
I wouldn’t describe it as light or heavy, but it is manageable and I can carry it around (inflated or deflated) on my own without too much worry.
5. What else do you need to go kayaking?
Here’s what I take with me for a day on the water:
- Personal floatation vest (PFD).
- Waterproof dry bag that clips around my waist to hold my phone and van keys.
- British Caoneing membership card. (You need to have a licence to paddle on most of the UK’s canals and rivers – costs approx by a £45 per year)
- I alway pack some snacks and water but I leave them in the van for when we get back. Oh, and a towel.
- Other optional stuff include a waterproof actioncam and headphones.
Life is about adventures
Adventure doesn’t have to mean trekking up Mount Everest. It can also mean spending a few hours paddling down a river.
And the more adventures (both big and small) that we can squeeze into our already busy lives, the happier we will be.
…or, at least, that’s my philosophy.
Overall, I love my banana boat.
I am far from a professional paddler, but for me and my dog, it’s just a fun day on the water.
Of course, not every dog will enjoy this activity, but if you think your dog would then I urge you to give it a go!
P.S. If you have any other questions about my banana boat, pop them in the comments below.
P.P.S. Stay safe on the water! Here’s a handy checklist from GoPaddling!
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