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woman kayaking on ocean

Sea Kayaks

Updated On February 11, 2021

If you’ve enjoyed kayaking in the past on lakes or rivers or other areas of slow moving water but are looking for something that will give you more challenge and thrills there is ocean kayaking.

Ocean kayaking is a good alternative to surf boarding and we believe also offers more variety, with ocean kayaking you can travel long distances and explore ocean and sea life or go to the extreme and take the kayak out and hit the waves like in the video we have posted below.

Ocean kayaks are usually longer than your regular kayaks and are typically about 15 feet in length, whatever you do don’t use your standard kayak at sea, make sure you use the right kayak for the correct environment.

There is a significant difference in kayaking on inland waterways such as lakes and rivers compared to ocean kayaking. Ideally you will team up with an experienced partner who will show you the ropes or you can take a few lessons and get coached in the correct instruction for ocean kayaking.

Ocean kayaking can be a lot more physical than your standard kayaking so make sure that you are physically fit enough before getting out on the ocean. How fit you need to be is dependent on how extreme you want your ocean kayaking to be.

One thing that will happen is that you will get a lot wetter than if you are out on a regular kayak trip, so make sure all your gear is either water proof or stored in water proof containers.

Safety is paramount for any ocean based sport and ocean kayaking is no exception. Common sense must prevail, so make sure that your family or friends know where you will be kayaking, make sure you wear bright clothing, have reflectors on you kayak and some form of communicating as well.

Make sure you have checked the weather forecast in the area you are kayaking, tidal and wind conditions will dictate if you go out on the water or not. Lastly be aware of other boats and ships in the water.

two kayaks in the sea 

How Do I Start Sea Kayaking?

Working with different sea kayakers. People ask me many different questions like what time is it? Where’s the bathroom? What do I do with this thing? Etc.

But the most common question of all is without a doubt, how do I start sea kayaking? Although the answer is not complicated at all. It does force us to ask another question.

See kayaking can cover a wide range of possibilities and types of hobbies which leads us to our first question.

What do I want to learn sea kayaking for?

If I want to learn to sea kayak just to entertain myself occasionally, with a relaxed paddle on a flat water body of water on rides of one or two hours then you would only require a recreational kayak, a paddle, a life vest and the desire to have fun in the water.

Kayaks that are appropriate only for calm waters, short paddles by design and size are called the "recreational kayaks". These include mainly kayaks that are sit on top kayaks where the paddler sits on top of the kayak and is not protected by a cover.

Otherwise, if your condition is kayaking for physical exercise, participation in adventure races or competitions of speed, your focus should be on the correct technique of rowing, physical performance and a strong training program focused on achieving your goal. The type of sea kayak will depend on the type of competition but they will usually be kayaks designed or modified for speed.

Finally, if you are looking for a sea kayak to use as a vehicle for exploring or travelling either lagoons, lakes, coasts or rivers on journeys of several hours or several days and independent of the conditions of the time and season of the year you would need more knowledge and a more diverse skill set.

Doing this encompasses a vast amount of knowledge that we develop with time and practice. Techniques of paddling, rescue, navigation, camping, meteorology, planning trips and routes, first aid, etc.

The first step

would be to take a course on rescue which will give you the basic knowledge and skills, and more importantly will make you feel safe and comfortable in a sea kayak. Also learn alone or with the help of videos or books as a possibility by if you want to speed up the process a course is recommended.

There are several companies throughout States and Provinces that will allow you to take intensive courses of 15 days or more covering all aspects of sea kayaking.

Your next step

is to acquire the necessary equipment.  To choose a kayak there are many considerations to take account including the material, size, capacity load, etc. we recommend some of our kayak buying guides to learn more.

Sometimes shops will offer a kayak paddle and skirts included within the price. You must note the model and quality of these extras along with the price of the kayak to make sure you are getting a good deal.

In this case, any savings on quality may not be worth it in the long run. A good lifejacket is fundamental not only if you have to swim but also in the comfort that we deliver on a long journey, and in different weather conditions. Appropriate vests are designed to not interfere with the paddling and are adjusted perfectly to the torso of the rower.

At this point, we are already full of the basic knowledge of sea kayaking and the equipment necessary for going out on a daily basis. If we rule out using a guide for reasons of cost. The question now falls to who wants to go for a paddle with me! 🙂

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About the author 

Andrew Bell

Andrew is a seasoned kayaker with 15 years of experience under his belt. He began kayaking as a way to reduce work stress but quickly became an avid kayak fisher and lure expert. He currently enjoys both lake and ocean kayaking and loves to write and share his experiences.

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