Sea kayaking is entirely like kayaking, except there’s the added challenge of doing it on the rougher waters of the sea with waves, currents and tides to factor in. It’s a whole lot of fun and a great water sport, so find out where to go sea kayaking this summer.
Photo By: Ryan McKee
What is Sea Kayaking?
Sea kayaking is entirely like kayaking, which involves using a double-bladed paddle, while sitting with your legs out in front, in a long-skinny boat that is pointed at both ends and is also enclosed, except that there’s an added challenge because you do it on the sea. Kayaks are made for one or two people, and because they are enclosed you can store things relatively dryly should you wish to go on a multi-day kayaking tour and camp somewhere overnight.
Kayaking is a great workout working your arms, shoulders and core, and sea kayaking takes it to the next level because you have the power of the sea to contend with.
What You Need to Go Sea Kayaking
If you’re just going out for a few hours, you won’t need much. Hire a kayak and the paddle, make sure you have a life vest on and don’t forget to wear a hat, sunscreen and either bathers or shorts and t-shirt.
If you’re going on a multi-day tour and plan on camping, then you’ll also need to take all your camping gear (pack light!!) and make sure everything is in a plastic or water-proof bag as even though the kayak’s deck is covered water can still seep in and if you capsize you want all of your things to be dry when you right your kayak.
Before you head off, it’s also a good idea to have some training in how to steer a kayak, how to get in and out and how to right the kayak should you capsize. Plus you should get some advice on how to navigate, what direction you’re going in and what do do if something goes wrong when you’re out at sea. Typically sea kayakers stick relatively close to the shore, but you should know what to do if a current or a tide takes you away from where you planned to be.
Obviously, you should know how to swim before going sea kayaking because although they’re relatively stable boats, if you do capsize being able to swim could save your life. A life vest either way is necessary.
In terms of the kind of kayak you’ll need it depends on your proficiency. If you’re just going out for a few hours then the operator you’re hiring from can provide a kayak to suit your needs. If you’re going on a weeks or months long sea kayaking journey then you’ll need to consider exactly what you’re doing, what you’re taking and get the right length and width of sea kayak for you.
Where to Go Sea Kayaking
With a sea kayak you can go anywhere pretty much so long as you’re hugging the coastline. There have been some incredible records set in the past, like one guy who went in a sea kayak from Australia to Europe hugging the coastlines of Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East and then on through the Mediterranean.
Here are some of our favourite sea kayaking destinations:
Dubrovnik, Croatia: The historic walled old city of Dubrovnik is a stunning jewel of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. This is a popular spot for sea kayakers and there are quiet a few beaches where you can rent sea kayaks for half or full days.
Glacier Bay, Alaska, United States: Giant white glaciers that are dozens of storeys high come crashing into the emerald green waters of Glacier Bay in Alaska and there’s no better way to explore this vivid scenery than on the tranquility and quiet of a sea kayak.
Johnstone Strait, British Colombia, United States: Located on the west coast of Canada, Johnstone Strait is famous for sea kayakers mixing with orcas (aka killer whales). There are plenty of tour operators that offer multi-day sea kayaking expeditions including the Broughton Archipelago. There’s nothing quite like the chance to come so close to beautiful orcas in their natural environment.
Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand: On the northern coast of the South Island of New Zealand there are plenty of sea kayak operators and kayak hire places to choose from. The turquoise water, the serenity of it and the tiny inlets and bays where you can explore secluded beaches and the green coast. This is a beautiful, calm spot to try sea kayaking.
Iceland: Surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean Iceland offers plenty of sea for sea kayakers to explore. See the beauty of Iceland’s fjords, glaciers, mountains and small coastal towns. Remember the water is icy cold, so you will need to factor in special waterproof/warm clothes.
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