Safety matters and Venice Kayak takes pride in putting safety first.
The canals of Venice are busy roads with all sorts of traffic. Navigating the waterways therefore require experience and specialised knowledge.
Likewise, in the lagoon knowledge of local weather patterns is important, since summer thunderstorms can appear apparently out of nowhere.
Many of the guides at Venice Kayak have years of experience paddling in Venice and the lagoon, and some decades.
All the guides work closely together, sharing their experiences, and the younger guides always have somebody to contact in case of problems.
Regular safety exercises
All Venice Kayak guides participate in regular safety exercises.
Every year Venice Kayak organises internal safety courses for all the guides. We focus on rescue manoeuvres in case of capsizes, towing safely both in the city canals and in open waters, and lifting and carrying weights without causing injury.
We try to take advantage of the occasion when foreign coaches visit us. A couple of outside eyes to check up on our procedures and habits is often helpful. There’s always room for improvement, even if you’ve done something for years on end.
First aid courses
The guides have all taken basic first aid courses with the Italian Red Cross, and repeat these courses every few years.
Needless to say, a tour will never leave without the guide having the basic gear in order. There’s always a first aid kit in the kayak and a working phone to call help if needed.
All the guides have some kind of coaching award. These are mostly from the Federazione Italiana di Canoa e Kayak (FICK), which is the national Italian federation for kayak, canoe and dragon boats.
The awards range from tecnico di base (L1 coach), to istruttore (L2 coach) to maestro di canoa (L3 coach). The FICK is adjusting its levels to the European Paddle Pass (EPP), but the coaching levels are not yet there.
A tour should not go if conditions are not safe. Venice Kayak will rather cancel a tour too many than putting our guests and guides well-being at risk.
Any cancellations are decided by the guide in charge of the tour, based on the available forecasts and the conditions on at the launch site.
If the forecasts threaten poor weather we’ll naturally try to contact everybody well in advance, and if we cancel we’ll refund all payments made.