It can be tempting to start sea kayaking right away with so much open water to explore. Furthermore, how difficult can it be? Just imagine that you are paddling in a different body of water. That's not the case, though. In comparison to flat water kayaking, ocean sea kayaking is more physically demanding. You also need the proper equipment to satisfy safety protocols and revisit the fundamentals of kayaking. The information in this article will help you get ready for your first ocean sea kayaking adventure.
What Is Ocean Sea Kayaking?
Sea kayaking, as the name suggests, entails paddling in vast, open ocean waters. In contrast to lake kayaking, where the mountains around you shield you from the wind and the water is generally quiet and level, ocean kayaking requires you to contend with other boats, waves, tides or currents, and wind. In essence, sea kayaking in the ocean exposes you to much more. Although some people might find this discouraging, many kayakers like paddling in the ocean for recreation, sport, exploration, adventure, and fishing.
What is a Sea Kayak?
A wrong assumption often made by many kayakers even some experienced kayakers is that a touring kayak and a sea kayak are the same. Just to clarify this misconception, they are not the same. It makes sense that they would have similar appearances given their slender profiles and long, narrow hulls. You would also be correct in assuming that while many touring kayaks are seaworthy, not all of them are.
In this context, the term "kayak" encompasses a broad range of boat types other than sea kayaks, including recreational kayaks, all-purpose boats, whitewater kayaks, and similar watercraft.
Sea kayaks are long and thin, with sharp, V-shaped hulls and incorporated bulkheads. They also typically have a lot of watertight storage spaces and are made with harsh, open waters in mind. They frequently have a skeg or rudder system; however, they typically have good tracking ability on their own as well.
Sea kayaks are expensive so consider purchasing one an investment because they are specialized open-water boats made to withstand harsh circumstances. A reputable manufacturer, like Wilderness Systems, Perception Kayaks, or Eddyline Kayaks, is a smart choice when buying a sea kayak. If this is your first experience with sea kayaking, it might not be worth it to get one straight away. And if you do decide to buy one, think about where you'll keep it and how you'll get it to the water. By the way, the last part might require a trailer.
Sea Kayaking Gear and What to Wear
When at sea, kayakers should wear a few essential items. Make sure you have a cap to protect your face from the heat and polarized sunglasses to reduce glare from the water, working your way down from the top. To further prevent your sunglasses from falling into the water, you might want to think about securing them to a string or retainer.
For obvious safety reasons, a life vest should always be worn. Another excellent item of clothing for sea kayaking is a jacket, "preferably one that's waterproof and lightweight, paired with an SPF-rated shirt.
Your sea kayaking gear must also include quick-drying shorts, such as the waterproof pocket swim trunks offered by Dry Pocket Apparel, and shoes. Always add layers as needed for comfort, but make sure your clothing isn't getting in the way of your performance. Wear your life jacket at all times as well. Always put safety first when out on the water.
In a dry bag, you can also bring extra clothing and minor necessities like sunscreen, a telephone, and a water bottle. Dry Pocket Apparel provides the only self-sealing dry bags in the world which based on its five-star reviews appears to be the best choice for keeping your personal items dry.
Always Plan Before Your Adventure
The last thing you want to have to do is to cut your sea kayaking experience short because of the wrong gear or attire. Check the forecast for the day before you launch, and select your gear and clothing accordingly. Take your time and plan everything out properly for a fun and safe adventure.