Kayaker Qualifications

All Kayakers must be 18 years or older and have expperience in a kayak. The Kayaker must be able to kayak as fast as their Swimmer can swim. Kayakers must be able to hold their Swimmer until help arrives if necessary

To participate as a kayaker, you must register and submit a $50 application fee by Friday, July 21, 2017.While not required, Kayakers are invited to raise funds and compete for prizes. Volunteer kayakers who are not assigned to a swimmer must meet the same equipment requirements. Please call Leanne at 401-272-3540, x140 to register for the Save The Bay Kayak Safety Squad.


Kayaker Protocol 

  • Kayakers and Swimmers register with volunteers at check in and receive their mesh vest.
  • Mesh vests will be color coded for waves three, four and five (blue, yellow, green).
  • The number on the kayaker’s mesh vest will match the swimmer number of the swimmer they are responsible for.
  • Kayakers will be briefed on the protocol on the water before the Swim and told that mesh vests must be worn on the outside of their Personal Flotation Device (PFD) during the Swim.
  • They will be directed to land in a designated area near the finish line at Potter Cove.
  • They must hand in their mesh vest to volunteer/staff who will be distinguished by a designated, bright-green t-shirt.
  • We can not enforce kayakers to get out of the water in Jamestown.  During the safety briefing, we will announce that kayakers should not paddle back to Newport, but arrange for a vehicle pick up at the finish in Jamestown.
  • Since mesh vest numbers on kayakers will match the swimmer number, the Safety Squad will have better visibility of swimmers in the water.
  • Finish Line: Potter Cove, Jamestown. Volunteeers on beach/in water collect mesh vests; additional volunteers run mesh vests to check out table, calling out the vest numbers in hand while other volunteers check off numbers on pre-printed spreadsheets.
  • Sea-worthy 9.5' (minimum) sea kayak or sit-on-top kayak with a paddle (No tandem kayaks permitted)

Note: You should work out a strategy in advance with your swimmer so they can easily locate you. Decide where in the line of boats you will be and make sure your swimmer has a way of finding you (sign, flag, etc.). It is also a good idea to pull something that floats behind your boat so your swimmer does not have to lift their head to follow you. You will also want to have bottled water on hand for your swimmer.

Each kayaker must have the following equipment to cross the Bay with your swimmer. If you do not have this equipment and your kayak does not comply with the following standards, you will not be allowed to participate.

  • 2 adult life jackets (one for the kayaker; one for the swimmer) 
  • 1 blanket or towel in a dry bag (for your swimmer)

Strongly Recommended Equipment:

  • Paddle float and pump (if there is a cockpit) 

  • Spray skirt (if there is a cockpit) 

  • Paddle leash (or other means of attaching paddle)

  • Water Bottles

  • Recognizable headgear/hat or vest to ensure that your swimmer can spot you quickly

  • Whistle/signaling device

Kayak Rental

  • The Kayak Centre, 401-295-4400. They are located at 9 Phillips Street, Wickford, RI

    Narrow River Kayaks
    , 401-789-0334. They are located at 94 Middlebridge Rd., Narragansett, RI