Kayakers should ask



Sea Kayaking Frequently Asked Questions:

Table of Contents:

Section 1: Buying a Boat

  • What is the best boat?
  • Should I start in a 'beginner' boat, or should I buy an 'expert' boat and hope I can 'grow' into it?
  • Should I get plastic, fiberglass, wood, fabric or something more exotic?
  • How should the boat fit?
  • How should the boat be rigged?
  • How big of a boat do I need?
  • Should I get a single or double?
  • What kind of hatches should I get?
  • Will I have enough cargo space?
  • Do I need a rudder?
  • How much of a consideration is the weight of the boat?
  • How important is the durability of the boat's construction?
  • How much should I spend on a boat? (USA prices)
  • What should I look for when I'm trying a boat out?

Section 2: Learning to Sea Kayak

  • How do I learn to kayak?
  • Am I ready to go kayaking on my own?

Section 3: Equipment

  • The essentials
  • safety gear
  • signalling
  • navigation
  • clothing
  • camping

Section 4: Sea Kayak Construction

  • How do I build a kayak?
  • Where can I get a kit to build a kayak?

Section 5: Folding Kayaks

  • Is a folding kayak a sea kayak?
  • Should you consider a folding kayak only if you require its foldability feature?
  • How do folding kayaks compare in efficiency, performance, and speed with hardshell boats?
  • Are folding kayaks delicate or damage-prone?
  • Do they cost more than hardshells?
  • What are the best materials for the frame and skin in a folding kayak?
  • Is assembly of folding kayaks difficult? How long does it take?
  • Where do I get more information on foldables?

Section 6: Hypothermia

  • What is hypothermia?
  • How can one tell if somebody is hypothermic?
  • Am I hypothermic if I am shivering and/or my hands/feet are cold?
  • How is hypothermia treated?
  • What is the best defense against hypothermia?
  • What is vertigo?
  • What is cold shock?
  • Is this information meant to scare me away from cold water?

Section 7: History

  • What does kayak mean?
  • What does baidarka mean?
  • What is an umiak?
  • Did all native kayaking groups use the two bladed paddle?
  • Did all native kayakers know how to roll?
  • How were kayaks made?
  • What is the difference between a modern kayak and a traditional kayak?
  • Where did the native kayakers live?
  • Were all the boat designs the same?
  • What did they wear?
  • What animals were hunted?
  • How did they get the animals back to the village?
  • What hunting tools were used?
  • Was kayak hunting dangerous?
  • What happened to the kayaking cultures?
  • What is the history of the development of the modern kayaks?

Section 8: Controversial Topics

  • Rudders
  • Rolling
  • British boat mystique


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