Section 2: Learning to Sea Kayak

How do I learn to kayak?

There are lots of options:

1. Buy a boat, take it out and paddle, teach yourself from harsh experience. Books and some videos are available. See the list at the end of the FAQ. Seidman's _The Essential Sea Kayaker_ and Foster's _Sea Kayaking_ are particularly good for beginners. This can be a dangerous way to go.

2. Go on a guided trip. Most outfitters provide guides, equipment, and instruction.

3. Take a class. Many shops that sell sea kayaks have an instructional program. The American Canoe Association and other national paddlesport organizations also offer sea kayak instruction.

4. Join a local club and paddle with some experienced paddlers. Many clubs offer some level of kayak instruction.


Am I ready to go kayaking on my own?

Turing test for sea kayaking, or, are you ready to do a coastal kayaking trip on your own?

These questions are not intended to tell anyone that they can or can't go out kayaking on their own. They are simply a quick survey of the knowledge/skills that are helpful in coastal kayaking. You have to decide for yourself what you are capable of.

  1. Equipment
  2. Loading and Camping
  3. Cold Water
  4. Travelling in Seas
  5. Signalling
  6. Rescues
  7. Navigation
  8. Tides and Tidal Currents
  9. Injury
  10. Experience

Continue to next section

Return to Table of Contents