Kayaking on Barnegat Bay NJ


First time kayaker here. I am looking to purchase 2 kayaks for my daughter (18) and myself to go kayaking on the Barnegat bay in NJ. I am unsure of what kind of kayak would be appropriate for this type of water. Was looking at recreational kayaks but technically the bay is the ocean so do I need an ocean kayak? I was thinking of getting either the Riot Quest 9.5(AZUL ATLANTIS) or WILDERNESS SYSTEMS PUNGO 125. Could anyone advise me.


You need sea kayaks
Or stay out of the bay, just do stuff like the rivers.

You also need to know how to do an on water rescue if you are going to be responsible for yourself plus a daughter. Actually, you should both know.

is often WINDY


THE ALMANAC can be adjusted for when you expect to be there.

Think about finding a club, taking lessons

and this means kayaks with two
bulkheads. The less water in the boat the easier it is to rescue and it will stay on top level.

the Jersey Paddler in Brick by the metedeconk river,

they will advise you how to get started. they do tours and lessons for all abilities.

well hell
I’ve been on that bay. While it’s not exposed to ocean waves it sure gets a lot of motorboat traffic, which generates plenty of big wakes.

Paddling Barnegat Bay
There is only one place on the bay where newbies can paddle most any kayak safely and that is to launch at the kayak put-in at Area 21 in Island Beach State Park. There, you can paddle around in shallow, protected waters within the sedge islands and right along the shallow IBSP bay shoreline. Anyplace else, you will be subject to boat wakes and wind waves or their combination which can produce difficult conditions. Near inlets, too, there will be strong tidal currents. I have paddled the bay for 30 years and have had to abort 5 day trips due to conditions getting out of hand.

So the key is to get prepared for bay paddling by reading sea kayaking manuals and guides, taking lessons, gaining knowledge of the marine environment as it especially relates to the kayaker. Then you can select a suitable boat and other necessary gear, and go out onto the bay with the knowledge and judgment you need for a safe day’s outing.

Kayaks with 2 bulkheads!
I paddle Barnegat Bay frequently. It’s a great place to paddle but the wind can get up and produce waves and there are lots of motor boats around. A Pungo 140 (with its 2 bulkheads and therefore water tight compartmenst) would be okay but ideally you want a day tourer or sea kayak.

Go talk to the folks at Jersey Paddler (www.jerseypaddler.com) in Brick Township. Nearby is Forge Pond and the Metedeconk river (it empties into Barnegat Bay), both of which are great places for a beginner to paddle.

types of boats
There is an article in California Kayaker Magazine on the different types of boats and their pros and cons. can be read online at http://www.calkayakermag.com/magazine.html. Issue #10.

Recreational boats are made to be very stable and hard to flip, but that design makes it so that when you do flip, they are also very hard to get back in to.

If you want a short and stable boat that would be safer, you might want to consider a sit on top.

The suggestion of going to a local outfitter and talking with them about local needs, maybe taking classes at first to get the right start is not a bad idea.