Educate me please.

Hello. I’m new to the forum as well as the sport. I like reading up on things I get involved with and am considering purchasing a kayak here in the future. But, I don’t know where to start or what to look for. Suggestions on literature on kayaking, types of kayaks… etc. I’m a workaholic seeking an outlet for stress and this sport was recommended.


Best thing for stress
Hi It

I too was a workaholic until I got in to kayaking about a year and a half ago.Best thing I could have done for myself(I no longer feal guilty for not working weekends).

A good way to get started is Find a local paddling club where they have courses and clinics for beginners.You will meet old members and newbies like yourself and find a group to go paddling with.

Try as many different boats as you can!!!


Where do you live, what kind of water?
IF you have an idea of where you will be paddling it will help, Ocean, calm bays, rivers -whitewater, calm, lakes (Great Lakes, small, ponds) etc.

Oh boy - are you going to get educated!
Seriously, take the Canadian Footballer’s suggestions of joining a club and trying as many boats as possible BEFORE you buy one. To me buying a boat is like buying a pair of shoes only if it doesn’t fit you (at least I did) get a sore back instead of blisters on your heel.

Books can be found on or in your local kayak shop. Better yet, before you buy any books, go to the local library and see what they have available for check-out.

My personal basic kayaking book is “Kayaking - whitewater and touring basics” by Steven Krauzer. Bought it after checking it out from my local library 4 or 5 times.

Enjoy the sport and stay safe on the water,


I would start by…
finding a reputable kayak center and discuss with them your goals and interests. Before you do anything like buy a kayak, paddle, apparel, etc., take a clinic on getting started. Use as much different equipment as you can before you buy something.

I grew as a paddler by diversifying my paddling influences. I paddled with some local legends with their own philosophy of how to do things then after a few years settled on the BCU (British Canoe Union) for my instructional needs. This sport has a very big range of opinions which is why I would wait until you know what you want before you invest. It works the same for instruction as well as your equipment.

This can be a spendy sport if you really get into it, therefore, minimize your exposure to excessive spending by getting to know a variety of equipment and its intended use before you buy. Clinics from a wide variety of instructors with rented kit may seem like money taken away from a purchase, but in the the medium-not long-run, will pay dividends.

Augustus Dogmatycus


Re: Location
I’m in the along the Alabama/Florida coast line. For now, I’d be interested mostly in lakes, bays, and perhaps some ocean kayaking as well. The bit of information you’ve all provided has been quite helpful in knowing where to start. I’ve already considered and begun preparing my budget for the future expenses to be incurred.

Thank you for the input.


start right here
read the guidelines (button to your left)

Since you don’t sound like you have too many preconcieved notions you ought to try as many different types of paddling as you can.

I’ll suggest that you don’t limit yourself to kayaks. There are as many types of canoes, solo, tandem, whitewater, racing, etc., as there are kayaks.

Finaly take everything you read here with a grain of salt. We have a wide range of opinions as to what we think is best but none of us know what will make you smile.

Good luck,


Intro to paddlesports
The best thing you can do is connect with a person or persons that can introduce you to this wonderful activity. Take a class from a professional kayak school or connect with an active club. Learn the basics and you will be on your way. Welcome to paddlesports.


Some good info if you surf the below

I also enjoyed this book which has a lot of relevant points for a newbie.

Good luck.

Here is a list of books
to start building your library. Take a beginning kayaking class or two. This will get you into a boat or two and then start renting to try different boats. Joining a club is a good way to go and often the members will let you test drive their boats.

Sea Kayaking Safety & Rescue - John Lull

Deep Trouble - Matt Bronze & George Gronseth

Fit to Paddle - Rocky Snyder

The Bomb Proof Roll & Beyond - Paul Dutky

British Canoe Union Canoe & Kayak Handbook - BCU

Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation - David Burch

Complete Sea Kayak Touring - Jonathan Hanson

Kayak Touring & Camping - Cecil Kuhne

re: books
Great list. Thank you. That makes the selection process a bit easier.

Great Sites.


Welcome, it’s a good stress reliever!! There are clubs in Pensacola, Fairhope, Mobile, and the Destin/Niceville areas… I’ve paddled with all of them and find the members very helpful. Some members have extra kayaks that they are willing to take along for a newby to try. There is nothing better than spending a few hours paddling a kayak to really get its “feel”. A web search of kayak clubs will get you their address. Both the kayak shops in Pensacola and Destin have places to try their kayaks close by, usually on the first Sat. of the month. I’m not sure about Fairhope or Mobile shops, but most have days for trying out boats.

What others have said about trying as many boats as you can is GREAT advice, don’t be in a hurry to purchase and renting a boat for the day/weekend is a good test when your selection gets narrowed down.

Paddling from Gulf Breeze…

Would probably be my best bet. I’ve managed to talk a co-worker of mine to consider trying this out with me. We put in 50 plus hours a week and it’s showing. I’m not too familiar with Destin/Niceville since I really have no particular reason to go by that way. I’ll admit one thing. This forum seems to be one of the most active from what I’ve seen. I’ve tried some others but they’re not as consistent. Thanks either way. I’ll check out what I can find in P-cola.


Pensacola-Mobile Area
Since you’ve been doing some local investigation, it seems likely like you may already have this information but I’ll throw it out there just in case…

This is the website for the Mobile Bay Canoe and Kayak Club.

If you’re looking for good boat info and demo opportunities check into the Fairhope Boat Company on North Section Streeet in Fairhope or their sister company Pensacola Kayak and Sail at the end of “Old” Barrancas Street on the west bank of Bayou Chico (just south of the the “new” bridge). Tony at the Fairhope location is a wealth of information and they have tons of boats and equipment to check out. Bob over at the Pensacola location is also very knowledgeable and can put you on the bayou in a demo boat within minutes of your arrival. They carry Wilderness Systems, Old Town, Necky and 1 or 2 other major lines (that I can’t think of at the moment).

Look me up when you get a boat and the weather warms a bit…I’m over near Biloxi, MS I travel to Pensacola regularly.

Good luck!

post a p-net profile, ltnewbie

– Last Updated: Dec-10-05 6:36 PM EST –

And others will see your information and location and know a little about you and will likely email you with thoughts over time. Sign in to p-net and create a profile and then you get one of those cute head looking thingies next to your p-net name (if you click on ours u see who we is). When you have paddled for a while, will you change your p-net moniker to ltintermedie? Sort of like Lil Bow Wow became Bow Wow, or Boys II Men became Men II Men.

P-net info…
Cute. I’d probably go from Ltnewbie to HTnewbie. “LT” in this case standing for “low tolernance.” Work has a tendancy of doing that to people. Perhaps at a later date. No offense to anyone in the forum of course, but I’ve made it my motto to put as little info online about myself as possible since I’ve had some unfortunate mishaps in the past. But so far the info given has been helpful for a good start. No worries. I’ll be checking in to the “masters” and the “doctors” in here as I make progress or as other questions arise. Don’t hold back though. I’ll be milkin’ the internet and you folks while I learn the basics. That is if you all don’t mind.


Good site…
Just what I needed. Thanks. I’ll be looking you up soon.


Reading your last post I see I got your net name wrong sorry(must have had that E-bay commercial on my brain).

No worries…
TL… LT… Same difference, right? No worries.