Blue Ocean Kayaking and Sea Kayaking
How to Find the Best and Safest Ocean and Sea Kayak for You
Having a hobby or past-time that makes people happy is important, and I heartily agree with this. We all need something that allows us to relax and escape from the pressure of everyday life. If you are lucky, your hobby may become your job or provide you with income. However, even if you don’t earn a living from your hobby, it can provide you with immense pressure. For many people, getting out on to the ocean in their sea kayak is the key to happiness.
Modern Sea kayaking shares a story with hunters from the past
It is fair to say that ocean kayaking has changed considerably over the years. However, there is a sense of consistency in the activity that can be traced back to its origins. There is evidence to suggest that sea kayaking, can be traced back as far as 5000 BC.
Modern-day kayakers are not commonly hunting for fish to feed their family. However, there are still similarities in the way that people take to the ocean and combat the elements. Today, the activity is more of a fun event, than one which was essential to everyday life.
Kayaking is an environmentally friendly activity
One thing that appeals to many people who kayak in the ocean is that it is an environmentally friendly activity. If you appreciate open spaces and connecting with nature, this is an activity that has a lot to love. If you are used to paddling on lakes, you should be aware that with ocean kayaking there is more to consider. It is essential to consult weather reports and charts before setting off, or you could find yourself in danger.
There is also a competitive element to kayaking in an ocean or sea. It is common for races to take place over courses of up to 12 miles. Even though for some people, kayaking in the sea is a solo experience, it can be a social event. It is always good to find people who share hobbies and past-times. Many people find that sharing stories and experiences enhance their enjoyment.
A brilliant way to escape from it all
I find that a kayak is a wonderful way to spend more time in the ocean, particularly if you can encourage a loved one to join you. It is often difficult for people in a relationship to devote time to their hobbies. However, by going out on the ocean with a partner, it is easy to justify the time.
Kayaks have evolved in the past century
In the 1950s, there was a change in the manufacturing of kayaks. Fiberglass was used to create a light yet sturdy vessel that people would use on the open sea. In 1984, the very first kayak manufactured from plastic was sold. These modern vessels are incredibly durable, light to carry and move and they are very versatile.
From the inflatable kayaks, we recommend the Explorer.
From the sit on top kayaks, you can try the Tarpon
If you prefer to explore the Oceans with a friend, the Pescador tandem kayak will not let you down.
Check out the benefits
While ocean kayaking is a fun activity, there is a wide range of benefits to be had. If you are looking to improve your physical health or your state of mind, kayaking could be a hobby worth considering. Some of the most commonly cited benefits of kayaking are:
- Kayaking can help you to manage your weight
- Many kayakers mention their hobby as a fantastic way to handle stress
- It is a social activity helping to form relationships and friendships
- Cardiovascular benefits help with the heart and circulation
- You will feel more confident in yourself after physical and mental exercise
- Kayaking allows users to increase their vitamin D intake
Be aware of the risks of ocean kayaking and sea kayaking.
It would be wrong to suggest that kayaking only provides benefits. If you appropriately take proper precautions and conduct yourself appropriately, you should find kayaking is excellent fun. However, some people have suffered terrible injuries and accidents. Common injuries associated with kayaking include:
- Shoulder injuries through pushing the paddles through the water
- Wrist injury due to repetitive movements
- Impact injuries
- Being exposed to the elements for too long
If you are looking to buy an ocean kayak, be sure to buy a sturdy one and familiarise yourself with how to use it properly. There is no reason why you cannot enjoy kayaking, but it is vital that you take the activity seriously. Spending time in the ocean or sea provides boundless joy and benefits, but it poses risks and problems.
Dangers to consider when kayaking in the ocean
There are risks involved with kayaking in the sea that you wouldn’t experience when kayaking in minor bodies of water. It is essential to know these dangers, not to be put off by the experience, but to prepare for all challenges.
- Risk of hypothermia
- Being unable to reach land quickly
- Waves and tidal currents
These issues pose significant problems when kayaking in the ocean if not prepared, or are caught unaware. It is vital that you know the area you plan on operating in, as this will minimize your risk. A dependable helmet can help reduce the problem caused by waves.
However, when it comes to dealing with sharks, you may have to rely on good fortune and of course on your paddle. A direct hit on the nose of the shark could stop the attack. The most important is do not panic and wait for the right moment. You can also carry some weapon to defend. Whatever you do go for the eyes and gills, the most vulnerable parts of the shark.
What equipment is needed?
Depending on where you take part, how long for and your activities surrounding kayaking, your equipment needs will differ. A kayaker going for a quick outing in a local lake will have minimal needs. However, someone out for days in the open sea will require a lot of equipment. It is vital that kayakers plan their activity and consider many eventualities and potential problems.
As stated in the dangers of kayaking, the equipment you have can save your life. When dealing with sizable waves, the benefits of a reliable helmet can never be underestimated. When dealing with dropping temperatures, thermal layers may save your life.
You may be limited with what you can hold in your kayak, but it is vital that you pack essential items. Of course, what is critical for your trip depends on where you go and what may happen. Therefore, kayakers must diligently plan and then prepare for a range of possible eventualities. Here are a few items that are a must carry:
- Spare paddle
- Whistle and flashlight
- Bilge pump
- Drinking water
- A tow line
- Inflatable paddle float
- First aid kit
- A means of communication, a cell phone or VHF radio
- Red flares or smoke flares
- Pack a dry bag containing: Fleece pants and top, wool socks, spare jacket, something to eat, a tarp, and matches.
Fantastic sea kayaking locations around the USA
Quite often the best kayaking location for your needs is the one you can visit quickly and easily. Of course, you may have more free time or be able to plan a trip to enjoy kayaking in a stunning location. Here are some of the most famous sea kayaking locations around the USA:
- 1000 Islands, Cocoa Beach, Florida
- Cumberland Island, Georgia
- Down East Islands, Maine
- Glacier Bay, Alaska
- San Juan Islands, Washington
These locations have something for everyone. There are glorious views, picturesque settings and a wide range of challenging waters to choose from. Your starting location will make some more suitable than others but beware of your skillset. Some seas are more challenging than others, and not for the novice kayaker. As you develop your sea kayak skills, you can take on more significant challenges, but be patient.
Best weather and climate for kayaking
Each person will have their view on what constitutes the best weather and climate for kayaking. If you’re a novice, calm waters and a cool day is likely to be the best conditions for you. However, someone looking for more excitement and adventure will appreciate more challenging conditions.
I don’t particularly enjoy kayaking on overly sunny days. Being exposed to prolonged sunlight can be damaging and warm conditions can make the process draining. It is vital that you wear the right clothing. There is often no such thing as poor weather conditions, only poor clothing choices. Reliable waterproof clothing is critical, especially for those venturing out onto the ocean or open sea.
Basic safety tips for sea kayak activities
It is always best to familiarise yourself with safety information, here are tips that I follow before setting out:
- Check weather forecasts and dress or pack accordingly
- Check out the kayaking and boating rules of the area I am in
- Ensure I don’t exceed the weight capacity of the kayak although, be mindful on discussing this with your partner
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol and drugs
- Inform others of the route I plan to take
- Take plenty of food and drink
- Wear a helmet
Following these tips has helped develop my confidence when kayaking, even in new waters. Millions of people kayak on a regular basis, so it is an activity that, can be, enjoyed safely. However, it is best for people to be aware of the challenges that it poses. The right kayak has the power to save a life, and it is vital that you consider it among the many options carefully.
There is no denying that this pastime is thrilling, one that is enjoyed and recommended by many. The best kayaks give couples the chance to explore and adventure together, which is what many people are looking for. This is an activity where your choice of equipment is crucial, and the right sea kayak could even save your life. Hopefully, this guide will have helped you consider ocean kayaking and what you need to enjoy it.