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Bamboo Glass Top Coffee Table – There are some precautions to be taken when canoeing and kayaking, as well as a few situations in which extreme caution should be exercised.

The threat of a low head dam can be just as deadly to kayaks as it is to boats, and accidents have happened repeatedly. You should be aware of the danger that low-head dams pose. Here you will learn about these issues, as well as what to do when approaching a low-pressure dam by canoe or kayak:

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In general, when approaching a low-head dam by canoe or kayak, there is no safe way to cross the low-head dam and should not be attempted under any circumstances. If you know where the dam is and identify it as a potential hazard, the safest and most effective option is to stay away from it.

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Low head dams are also known as run-of-river dams. These are artificial structures consisting of low-profile concrete walls that run along the entire length of the river from one bank to another.

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They differ from traditional dams in that they do not rise above the water level. Instead, the wall is below and flush with the surface of the water, earning it the nickname “low head”.

Low-profile barriers block the channel not completely, but partially, raising the water level in one section of the river. When water hits a wall, it is free to flow and fall to the lower level.

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Full scale dams with giant weir gates seem much more dangerous, but you are well aware of their presence.

On the other hand, low head dams can be almost invisible under the right circumstances. You won’t see a low head dam until you’re on top of it, whether you’re in a canoe or kayak.

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Seats in canoes have a slight protrusion in height and visibility. Kayakers sit lower on the water, which makes things worse.

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As a result, understanding what to do when approaching low-head dam hazards should be immediate, as you may only have a few seconds to react.

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The United States does not have an official list of low head dams, and all but a few states have had no warnings.

Only three states—Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Virginia—publish estimates, and only three have legislative oversight of public safety at low-head dams. (one)

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They are usually not identified and there are no warning signs because it is not required by law. You won’t always be able to find them on the map either.

Many paddlers tend to underestimate or overestimate their physical abilities in order to withstand the powerful currents that swirl around low head dams.

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The pressure of the dam can be so strong that it pulls everything – debris, boats and people – over the top into the seething stream below. There are large hydraulic forces and poor buoyancy. (2, 3)

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It’s usually a deadly recipe for disaster that could prove fatal to anyone unfortunate enough to be caught.

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So, in addition to fighting the current, you also have to protect yourself from debris, which increases your chances of getting trapped and can cause serious injury.

“Boiling” is a powerful recirculation flow that occurs right under the dam. This is the most dangerous force you will encounter in a low pressure dam. Water flowing over the surface of the dam creates turbulence like a washing machine that swallows everything and everyone in its path.

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No matter how hard you fight, you will be beaten by relentless hydraulic forces that lift you off the surface, drag you underwater, and pin you against the dam wall.

Even if you make it to the top, a constant flurry of water and churning currents will pull you down and the nightmare will begin again.

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Although we recommend highly aerated life jackets, the turbulent waters of a low head dam release enough water pressure to render them useless.

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The most terrible aspect is that once inside, you are completely alone. Rescue at a low-pressure dam is nearly impossible, and many emergency crews end up being victims.

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Doing your research before starting your kayak expedition is the best way to avoid contact with a low head dam. Check maps of local waterways and other kayakers familiar with the area. For this reason, maps of low head dams are available online in many states.

When you are on a river, it is very important to keep your eyes and ears open for any warning signs that may indicate the presence of a low head dam.

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Recognize warning indicators as early as possible so you have the opportunity to react while the water is still calm. You should be able to reach the nearest bank if you keep a safe distance from the low head dam. For every rower, this is the safest course of action.

As you approach a low head dam, it becomes more and more difficult to steer a kayak or canoe until the current completely takes over. Get back upstream, out of danger, before it’s too late. You should not try to cross it; instead, focus your efforts on keeping a safe distance.

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If you want to continue your journey, the only safe way to pass the low head dam is to go around it while avoiding danger.

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Get to the beach and canoe or kayak around the dam until you are back in the available waters. If you want to be especially careful, move further away from the base of the dam. You may have to carry your boat all the way to the shore.

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It must be avoided as “boiling” can affect a wide area, and flows can be deadly even at a great distance from a low-pressure dam. Return to the water only if you are sure that the threat has disappeared.

This is inconvenient – no one wants to carry a kayak or canoe on their feet – but it is preferable to alternatives.

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Before you finish this article, you can check out our other kayak training and product guides.

When you take your kayak on the road, you need to remember to attach it to your vehicle. Cable locks and homemade racks will secure your kayak to the roof of your car. AT

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When it comes to kayaks, the weight capacity is determined by the shape and size of the hull of the kayak. A trained kayaker knows in advance how much gear and human weight the kayak can support, keeping it afloat.

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People with large houses and plenty of storage space have no problem finding space for their kayaks. But when you live in a small apartment, the space is tight and you need to get more.

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Andrey is an experienced kayaker with 15 years of experience. He started kayaking to relieve stress at work, but quickly became an avid kayak fisherman and bait expert. His current passion is lake and ocean kayaking and loves to write and share his experiences. This beautiful mid century bamboo glass top coffee table features a bamboo style base with a gorgeous glass top plated top … more table more zest. less

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