Beginner's Guide To Ocean Kayaking

Unlike lake kayaking, ocean kayaking is more physically demanding than flat water kayaking.

In short, you are more exposed when kayaking in the ocean. You will have to deal with: – other vessels – waves – tides – wind

Ocean kayaks are typically between 28″ to 34.5″ wide. The wider width allows better stability in the water.

An ocean kayak also features a v-shape.  The kayak can stay in a straight line when paddling, also means you cut through the ocean water with minimal drag.

Sit-on vs. Sit-in Between the two, many ocean kayakers prefer sit-in kayaks because the vessel’s lower center of gravity provides better stability and control.

For paddles, low-angle blades are better suited for a long day of paddling in the ocean. Ensure that you have a spare paddle just in case one breaks mid-trip.

Wetsuit needed. You can immediately feel the effects of immersion hypothermia, especially when kayaking in 0° water.

A kayak spray skirt goes over the opening of a sit-in kayak. Its purpose is to prevent water splashes and It also blocks cold wind.

Water will get into the cockpit if your kayak capsizes. So, most expert paddlers have a bilge pump in their gear rather than using their hands to get water out of their kayak.

Ocean waters are deeper than lakes and rivers. That’s why you should always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) or a life jacket.

You may want to pack a signaling whistle just in case you need help from other kayakers. Three essential whistle signals: – One whistle:     Attention – Two whistles: Stop – Three whistles:     Emergency

All ocean kayakers need a marine Very High Frequency (VHF) radio to communicate with other marine vessels and the Coast Guard.

A map and maritime chart are necessary for safe navigation whether you are a beginner kayaker or an experienced paddler.

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For more information on gear and tips,

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