Beginner Guide To Sea Kayaking

The salty breeze, open skies and the amplitude of seas beckon paddlers towards the horizon. Sea kayaking is an exciting option if you love to glide along with the dolphins and sea turtles. Sea kayaking is not only a great way to tone your upper body but also a fun-filled sport that keeps you at the helm of excitement every single moment.

You can start sea kayaking as soon as you have developed the necessary skills and your equipment are ready. Sea kayaks are usually 12 to 24 feet in length and are made of materials like fiberglass, rotomolded plastic, carbon or Kevlar. Costlier kayaks are made from carbon fiber and foam core. Most paddlers choose a Touring kayak for sea kayaking for its long and narrow design. Touring kayak is the best option though it poses difficulty in making quick turns.



Surf and Freestyle kayaking are the two newest types of sea kayaking that have taken paddlers by storm. Surf kayaking is identical to surfing. Instead of a surfboard, paddlers use kayaks to ride the waves. Surf kayaking is also known as Wave kayaking in some countries.

Freestyle kayaking is when paddlers attempt daredevil feats while riding the waves. Aerial loops, spins, turns and flips form a part of freestyle kayaking. Special type kayaks are available in the market for Freestyle and Surf Kayaking.

A day-long trip on sea usually covers a long distance. High protein energy bars and ample amount of drinking water is what you should stock on for your sea kayaking trips.

You cannot just launch your kayak into the sea and start kayaking without any knowledge about the tide and wave patterns. Knowing the tide and the wave is an important aspect of sea kayaking. This will not only help you to keep out of danger but will also help you to determine the paddling techniques. If the weather indicates strong waves or storm conditions, it is best to reschedule your sea kayaking trip for some other day.

Guided sea kayaking tours are available for beginners who want to try their hand at sea kayaking for the first time. Their professional and competent guides will lead you to experience a spectacular seascape coupled with a peek at the wild inhabitants of the sea. Multi-day tours are also organized, that include camping at the beaches. These tours have excellent reviews, and lots of kayakers prefer subscribing to them than exploring on their own.

Now, wouldnt it be a remarkable idea to include a sea kayaking trip for your oncoming vacations!

Sea Kayaking Paddling Styles

Kayak paddling techniques for sea kayaking are more advanced because of the need to effectively paddle in more adverse water conditions and typically for longer distances. The novice recreational paddler in calm sea and wind states will have the ability to use a recreational kayak and basic kayak paddling stroke techniques for short, gentle water tours.

 

For more diverse water conditions with wind, swells, or current, paddlers need to take more advanced kayak paddling instructions to be safe and know how to navigate throughout vast and more tumultuous waters. The right equipment is also vital. If you are planning to paddle by sea or large lake on a regular basis, you will need to invest in a good quality touring kayak that is equipped with all the necessary safety gear.

Your Forward Stroke Style Will Need Improvement

The first thing that you will need to improve upon is the efficiency of your forward stroke. Strong-armed paddlers cannot go the distances necessary because they tire sooner than paddlers using the correct forward kayak paddling style. Using the right forward stroke, you will have the ability to move faster and paddle for several hours with burning-out.

Have you ever noticed how an experienced paddler could move faster on the water in a seemingly effortless manner? To master this change in stroke styles, you will need to change the perspective on how you paddle. A novice paddler generally thinks about pulling the paddle blade through the water which in turn forces the kayak to move. Experienced paddlers feel of the paddle blade as more stationery and pull the kayak past the paddle.

Using the Paddle as Leverage to Move the Kayak

Think of the paddle as a pry bar that is applying leverage to move the kayak forward. Using force to push something more easily requires using many parts of your body but not brute upper body strength. To run the kayak past the paddle involves the use of many muscle groups that include your thighs, abs, and lower back. The resulting strokes exude power.

To begin to learn this kayak paddling technique, you should lean forward slightly and then plant your kayak paddle in the water as far ahead as possible. To plant the paddle correctly, you should push your arm forward at about jaw-line level until your arm on the stroke-side is nearly straight. Your lower arm is the acting pry bar pin (axis) to increase your leverage and prevent unnecessary backward arm movement.

Keeping your feet firmly against your kayak foot-braces will give you something to push against while you pull your kayak past your paddle. By twisting your torso and thrusting your shoulder forward slightly as your arm extends, you will gain additional power from this kayak paddling technique. Complete your stroke with your upper arm almost straight at shoulder-level. Your hand even with your chin, and your thumb at the centre-line of your cockpit.

It is going to take a lot of practice in calm water to get this stroke style right. But if your goal is kayak touring, then this skill will be invaluable. Take a sea kayaking lesson to learn all the paddling strokes and safety skills necessary for safe sea kayaking and touring adventure. You might also book a sea kayaking tour to get first hand advise, assistance as needed throughout the tour, and hands-on skills practice. Stay safe and have a great time.

 

Beginner Kayaking - How to pack for a sea kayaking trip

 

In deciding how to pack for a sea kayaking trip, you will need to inventory all of your safety equipment and make sure that everything is in good working order. If any of your safety gear is not working correctly or shows signs of wear, you should replace it. Having the safety equipment to help you through any unforeseen problems should be your priority. Sea kayaking tours can be just as dangerous as whitewater kayaking so you will need to be prepared. Before going into how to pack for a sea kayaking trip, we will first review some of the safety equipment that you should pack for your paddling adventure.

Overview of Safety Equipment

Make sure that you have some paddle parks firmly mounted on your kayak, These consist of several small clips or lines that will hold your extra paddle firmly to your kayak, Make sure that they are installed in a location that you can quickly reach while sitting in your cockpit.


    Sound quality is floating bilge pump. If water gets into your kayak, you could be in a dire situation. Make sure your bilge pump is sturdily made and will pump at a reasonably high volume per minute. If you can not find a bilge pump that floats either brace it to your kayak or attach flotation securely to it so that it can not be lost.


    Kayak compasses are a necessity for sea kayaking tours. Personal compasses are not suitable for the constant motion of sea kayaking and may not be waterproof. Mount a good kayak compass for easy directional viewing. Some people are mounting waterproof portable GPS units onto they kayaks. For those that like hi-tech this may be the way to go. You will also need charts or suitable maps of the area to use with this equipment.


    Paddle floats are a necessity because they can save your life. If you fall out of your kayak in the deep water, paddle floats will help you to get back into your boat. Make sure that you learn how to use your paddle floats by practising in calm water.


    When learning how to pack for a sea kayaking trip, you will discover that an assortment of good quality dry bags is essential. You will also need a waterproof cell phone carrier, camera carrier, and waterproof carriers for other electronic equipment for kayaking. If you have been out in the open water, you know that water gets into everything unless you protect it.


    Safety equipment to pack in your PFD pockets include battery-powered waterproof strobe lights, waterproof portable radio, cell phone in the waterproof carrier, emergency flares, and a pocket knife. You should also wear a good tow belt rated for long-range touring and a kayak whistle.


    You will also need a well-stocked first aid kit, an emergency blanket, and extra non-cotton, water-temperature appropriate, clothing to pack with your other bulkhead-stored supplies. A good pair of waterproof closed-toe shoes, suitable for paddling, in also highly recommended.

How to Pack for a Sea Kayaking Trip Overview

To learn how to pack your kayak for a sea kayaking trip, there are few essential tips to remember. Always pack some extra food and water in case you are out longer than initially planned. You can pack lightweight items into your kayak while on the beach and then load the heavier items just before you get in the cockpit. To keep the kayak stable, you should always pack the most substantial items in the centre of the bulkhead and closest to where you are sitting.

Make sure that you pack into dry bags all supplies that you want to be kept dry and then load them into the bulkheads. Your first aid kit should always be packed on top for ease of use. The more experienced that you become in packing your kayak, the easier it will become. Stay safe and have a great adventure.