A kayak can help you reach dive sites as far as 2 miles offshore. They also are great exercise and expand the adventure of diving. Most dive sites in Broward County are within a 30 minute paddle of a kayak launch point. Necessary equipment includes the kayak (about $500), a paddle (about $45) and a coastguard-approved life vest (as cheap as $8). You will also need a dive flag mounted to the kayak ($10) and a lead line ($15 to $30) to pull the kayak along with you during your dive. Optional equipment includes a GPS to find sites (about $150) and a fish finder (about $125). Our kayaks are Ocean Kayak® Scrambler XT Angler Edition Kayaks which are ideally suited as a dive platform. There is a place made for a scuba tank right behind the seat and they have a socket to insert a dive flag.
How to do it - The kayak can be transported on the top of a car or SUV. Put your tank, BC and regulator together on shore, lay it in the tank well and tie it off. Put your fins and mask in a gear bag and tie it ahead of the diver at the front of the boat. We usually carry some sandwiches and bottled water for a break after the dive. Tether the paddle to the kayak with a short piece of rope so you don’t lose it while underwater and tie on a piece of rope about 5 feet long to tether the BC to the kayak when you get into the water.
When you arrive at the site, tie the BC to the tether rope and throw it overboard. Put on your mask and fins, get into the water and get into your BC. Untie the BC from the tether rope.
Caution If you are using a weight belt do not put it on until you have the BC on and inflated. It is more convenient to use a BC with weight pockets.
Grab the lead line and have a great dive. You can use a lead line with a handle that you unwrap as you go down and wrap up as you come up, but we prefer the type with a reel that you reel out as you go down and wind up with a fishing-reel type of mechanism as you come up. When you arrive back at the kayak, take off your gear, tie off the BC, get into the boat, pull the BC and tank into the kayak and stow your gear for the paddle back. Then before returning to shore, take a break, have your sandwich and appreciate life in general.
Caution: Though we know of no one who has had a problem with decompression sickness, studies indicate that there may be a danger of decompression sickness in some people if they undergo strenuous exercise after diving. Studies also show that this depends on the amount of dives a person has done, how deep they go, how much exercise they perform after diving and their physical condition. You should keep this in mind if planning to paddle a great distance after a deep dive.
Broward County Kayak Launch Points
Broward County Dive Site Map