rollling -- seasick remedies?

I live, paddle, and practice rolling on inland water. I get to the coast only a couple of times a year. Twice I’ve gotten seasick while rolling on moving salt water – itty bitty swells. Once it was enough to make puke like crazy; the other time, just nausea. I don’t get seasick while sitting up in my boat perpendicular to the water. It seems to be when I’m horizontal and bouncing up and down – and tasting salt – that I get sick.

I would like to find a remedy for this problem so that I can keep going down to the coast to work on my surf launches and landings and rolls out in the swell. I would appreciate hearing from others who have experienced nausea and figured out a solution that does not have a lot of undesirable side effects. Thanks a lot.

G Travis

North Carolina

From the archives…
via the search feature:

Seasick prevention
Try “Bonine”. It works, and is non-drowsy. Dramamine works too, but tends to make you sleepy.

seasickness remedies – thanks!
I should have thought to search the archives. That was a great thread on seasickness and its remedies. Bonine – good suggestion. I won’t go out again without taking Bonine or wearing a scopolamine patch.

Thanks, guys, for the help.


Dried ginger candies
You can buy it in candied form at least two ways: a jelly form, and a dried fruit form. I can’t vouch for its anti-seasickness properties but many others say it works.

Usually I don’t get seasick when rolling, but if I do many in a row I do start to get dizzy. It’s not the motion of the water in that case–it’s the spinning.

One thing to be careful of is to take good care of your sinuses. One of the last times I went rolling, I started to feel nauseous very soon, which had never happened before. I hadn’t even started rolling! But my ears had been a little stuffy so sinuses probably were out of whack, and eating a fast-food burger and fries 45 minute earlier was definitely a bad idea. Never again.

sinuses, nausea, ginger
I’m willing to try crystalized ginger.

I roll in a lake and a neighbor’s pond which is often alarmingly scummy. So I try to be religious in my use of a noseclip. I don’t want a sinus infection.

But a burger and fries – man, that sounds good!

The Candied Ginger Works
I found out this summer. Some the night before. Some at breakfast. Some at the put in. Folks around me were getting sick and I wasn’t. Thanks Pika.

and ear plugs

– Last Updated: Nov-21-08 5:34 PM EST –

If I don't use ear plugs when practicing rolling I get nauseous.

I also keep ginger on board. Most recently I keep ginger crystals which I dissolve in water or club soda when I need them.

scopalamine PILL
I have yet to suffer seasickness while kayaking, but in longer sailing voyages, I’ve had my share. I greatly prefer oral scopalamine over the patch or either of the dramamine formulations. Both Dramamines make it hard for me to keep a straight head, and that’s not something I can tolerate while boating. The patch can fall off or wash off, and it takes a long time to take affect. The Scop pill is effective within 30 minutes.

Ask your doctor for a prescription.

My daughter gets motion sickness really bad and we found that candied ginger works great. She takes a piece of it when she gets in her boat and she’s fine.

She used to use Gravol but found that she’d get a bit drowsy (and it takes an hour before it works). The ginger is a much better, natural solution (and it tastes good too).


Avoid ALL alcohol
in the days preceding any potentially seasick days. Don’t ask me how I know.

and limit caffeine

– Last Updated: Nov-21-08 1:59 PM EST –

Likely doesn't directly affect the seasickness, but does impact balance, reactions, mental state, etc. - as well as stomach/gut issues - so can agravate things (not to mention bladder issues).

I experienced seasickness
a few times my first year paddling. I found that (for me) it was because I was looking too much at the bow of my kayak. Something about focusing on the bow (basically a close-up fixed point) while the waves produce background motion… ugh, can’t handle it. Now I tend to focus out in the distance more. Of course I can still look at the bow, but in passing, not keeping my eyes fixed on it for more than a few seconds at a time. Never had a problem since.

Oh, and it’s worse for me in very hot weather… have to be even more diligent then or I’ll end up doing some Olympic hurling.


Have a full stomach
Sounds strange, but it works for me. I have gotten seasick (badly) twice while kayaking, and both times were after leaving without breakfast or eating very little. I now eat a double ration of oatmeal whether hungry or not, and have never had a recurrence, even in much rougher water, rolling practice, etc.