New to sea & touring

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
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New to sea & touring

Post by deaks101 »

I am looking at purchasing a touring kayak and heading out on my local rivers, canals and the south west coast for multi-day trips.

I have kayaking experience but I would appreciate any guidance on kayak touring please.

Apart from on this forum are there shops which sell second hand kayaks and what would be a good first touring kayak?

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

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Re: New to sea & touring

Post by SJD »

Pretty broad question(s) you have asked. To start things off I’ll ask a couple questions.

What do you mean buy “I have kayaking experience?” For example, are you a highly experienced whitewater paddler or have just paddled on a lake using a SOT a few times, or somewhere in between the experiences? The answer may dictate the type and model of sea kayak.

What specific guidance do you seek regarding kayak touring? Camping gear, clothing, navigation, etc. are just a few of the many considerations.

You may be well served by reaching out to a club if available in your locale.

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Re: New to sea & touring

Post by Mac50L »

SJD is correct, "WHAT?" Touring, have you ever camped, hiking or other ways? What camping gear do you have. Personally we used to always have a stove on board just for a day trip and for brewing a cup of coffee so we have the gear and know how to use it. Do you? Thermos is OK but only for a day trip. This is the sort of background information needed.

Touring - how far, how many days for a trip? Have you actually had any real experience on the sea in any craft?

"New to sea & touring" but then "I have kayaking experience". Definitely needs to be defined - what, how much, where.

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Re: New to sea & touring

Post by Mac50L »

Next lot of questions -

1.) Have you typed "beginner" into this forum's search box? There are 23 pages of advise.

2.) Have you read any books on sea kayaking? Which ones?
Go here -
for the most complete list of kayaking books there is. I'd also suggest reading his books too. He, Paul Caffyn, knew about sea kayaking because he was a caver?

3.) Do you know anyone who sea kayaks?

4.) What is your weight and height? - for recommended kayak size. A 210 cm paddle or shorter is a good start what ever height.

5.) Shops selling second hand - what are they selling. No good saying "Buy this." if it isn't available.

I could say the only way to do it properly is design and built your own kayak and teach yourself. That's what I did but I was brought up with sea experience so it obviously won't apply to you just because it did for me.

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Re: New to sea & touring

Post by charleston14 »

I’d agree that we need to understand your definition of “some experience” before a helpful recommendation can be made. Having done some whitewater and can handle a kayak “in conditions” would be very different to someone who has sat in a kayak a couple of times and not had any training.

The recommendations new paddlers are given to the very common question of “Newbie; what kayak” are usually along the lines of:

joining a club, Try different kayaks out, get skills, don’t go on your own, stack the odds in your favour, learn about handling a kayak at sea and navigating at sea from a kayak. Can you roll and if that fails self rescue ? And it’s also about safety gear like dry suits , bilge pump, spare paddle, Get a vhf and plb, dress for immersion etc.

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Re: New to sea & touring

Post by Pedro75 »

Welcome to the forum! What part of the country are you in? May have some bearing on recommendations for shops etc.
Joining a club is definitely a great way to get into sea kayaking/touring. I’ve been paddling (admittedly on and off) for over 20 years. I started sea kayaking about 2 years ago. There’s a lot to learn but I’m finding it an enjoyable journey. If you can’t join a club it would be a good idea to get some coaching and to find some experienced kayakers to paddle with in your area.

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Re: New to sea & touring

Post by Pitchpole »

Hi Deaks101
Welcome to the forum and sea kayaking. The previous replies may seem a bit exclusive but they are right. 'Kayaking experience' covers a lot of things. We took some people out this weekend all of whom had 'kayaking experience'. One who previously sailed could manage a small overfall around a headland, some could forward paddle and turn on flat water in a bay but one struggled to make way so didn't really leave the beach. I'd make contact with some local people to get a feel for what it is all about.
Don't get put off though, it's a great thing to do.

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Re: New to sea & touring

Post by mrcharly »

I echo the suggestion to join a club, but for a different reason to the ones given.

Most clubs have a variety of boats that you can use and borrow.

That enables you to very cheaply try out different types, models of boat. Much cheaper than buying something finding it isnt what you want

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Re: New to sea & touring

Post by ChrisJK »

Hello Deaks101
I've watched saving lives at sea and there are a couple of clips that stick in my mind. One is of a 13 year old boy who saved his father on a winter trip to Dulas island and another very well equipped but as far as I could see solo paddler who got flipped out of her probably expensive sea kayak when the weather turned.
I started 3.5 years ago with a good spec inflatable but wouldn't attempt to use it on some of the trips I have been on since joining a couple of local(ish) clubs plus buying via them some good pre loved kayaks.
There is safety in numbers particularly when many members will have BCU qualifications. Youv'e only got one life...stay alive.

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Re: New to sea & touring

Post by pathbrae »

First posted on 11th August, a good few replies and suggestions but not a cheep from Deak101 since.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

Chris Bolton
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Re: New to sea & touring

Post by Chris Bolton »

Hasn't logged in. May be reading replies as a guest but bad form to ask for advice and not repond.
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:10 am
Last active: Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:50 am

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