How to Prepare for Sea Kayaking

Kayaking in the sea is more difficult than kayaking in fresh water. The sea has larger waves and more extreme weather than most freshwater locations. Knowing how to train and what to bring with you is essential to preparing for a sea kayaking trip. The following explains how to prepare for sea kayaking.


  1. Image titled Prepare for Sea Kayaking Step 1
    Purchase a sea kayak.
    • Sea kayaks are different than standard kayaks. They are typically longer and more narrow.
    • Visit a sporting goods store and ask a sales associate for assistance in purchasing a sea kayak.
    • Consider bringing an experienced kayaker with you or calling such an individual to help you determine the best model among those that are available.
    • Consider an inflatable or foldable kayak for ease of transport. These are often of similar quality and price to those that do not offer such features.
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    Buy a paddle. A qualified sales associate or experienced kayaker should be able to recommend a high-quality brand.
  3. Image titled Prepare for Sea Kayaking Step 3
    Take sea kayaking lessons.
    • Find an instructor that is certified by the American Canoe Association or the Canadian Recreational Canoe and Kayak Association if you live in the United States or Canada. Doing so will help ensure that you get a high-quality instructor.
    • A guided sea kayaking trip is an alternative for those who do not wish to hire an instructor. Search the Internet for such trips.
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    Pack supplies for your sea kayaking trip.
    • Pack a life jacket or other form of flotation device for emergency purposes. Consider a floatation device that is brightly colored so you can easily be seen in case of emergency.
    • Pack a helmet to protect your head.
    • Pack a weather radio to get constant weather updates while at sea.
    • Pack a map and a compass or GPS device for navigation purposes.
    • Pack tide charts to remain alert of predicted tide conditions. Such charts can be found on the Internet.
    • Bring signal flares to alert others that assistance is required in the event of an emergency.
    • Pack plenty of food and water. The amounts will depend on the length of your intended trip.
    • Bring camping supplies if you intend to spend the night outdoors.
    • Pack a first-aid kit.
  5. Image titled Prepare for Sea Kayaking Step 5
    Find and avoid areas that are traveled by ships to eliminate safety hazards.
    • Shipping routes can be found online.
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    Check the weather report before you begin your trip.
    • Consider postponing your trip if inclement weather is predicted.
    • Although strong winds and rain should be avoided, be especially careful if lightning is in the area. Lighting kills more people than hurricanes.
  7. Image titled Prepare for Sea Kayaking Step 7
    Take a partner with you.
    • Most kayaking fatalities occur while the kayaker is alone.
    • Having a partner greatly reduces the risks of sea kayaking, because immediate help is available if either of you need it.

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Categories: Canoes, Kayaks, and Rowboats