Sea kayak book

I’m considering purchasing The Essential Sea Kayaker: A Complete Guide for the Open Water Paddler by David Seidman. What do you folks think?? Is this a good one for a beginner to have on their bookshelf?? What did or didn’t you like about this publication??


A good
book if my memory severs me well . My girlfriend that needs the written word to learn better recently purchased a womans guide to seakayaking ----Shelly Johnson I beleive . I read through it and it is an excellant book with good visuals and written in a easy way . I now have that on the suggested lsit for people who want a book in our classes . Dereck’s book is good but much has changed since he was "the only seakayaker in the world " , yes he is an excellant paddler but that doesn’t make him a NICE person.

Woman’s Guide
I second the vote for Johnson’s Woman’s guide to Sea Kayaking. Written so clearly and illustrated so well, I essentially taught myself kayaking by reading a chapter, trying it out on the water, reading another chapter, trying that out, etc. I have taken a class since then, but the basics I learned from the book prepared me so well that I’m sure I got much more out of the class than I would’ve otherwise. Plus, the book remains a ready reference source.

Go Ahead, Get It
you going to end with more than one book down the line. Seidman’s book is as good as any for an overview. Get “Deep Trouble” to know how dangerous the sport can be.

If you plan on doing ocean paddling, I maintain John Lull’s book is the best because it provides a (from my perspective) sound method and approach to skills development for the rough water paddling.


different perception
i had the pleasure of attending part of a symposium that included derek - even though i was a total novice, he could not have been nicer, or more respectful of my beginner status - i also found him to have a great sense of humor - maybe age has mellowed him ?? - but that’s my opinion

Seidman’s book is the one I’d recommend to anyone starting out in kayaking. His description on bracing is the most understandable I’ve seen, and his emphasis on feeling comfortable with your boat by means of various “drills” and silly “games” is not only entertaining, but right on target.


I just bought…
“The Complete Book of Sea Kayaking” 5th Edition by Derek Hutchinson. It’s a good addition to any paddling library. It has sections on equip, strokes and technique, racing, rescues, conditions, navigation and origins of the kayak. Well illustrated. Now, he may not be the nicest guy but you can learn alot from a crusty old salt like him.


Love seidman’s book

– Last Updated: May-14-04 6:23 AM EST –

I see lot's of it's teaching in evidence from other teachers. good humor.

Derek ran a great class. He definitely showed great care to students and I learned a lot from him. Both from what he taught and from watching his instruction methods. When I privately told him about what I had learned from his methods, he unlocked a treasure trove of wisdom in about two minutes. Still I would not show up to his class insisting on having anything on my foredeck, on wearing gloves, or on paddling with an unfeathered paddle. Those who showed up so, were asked politely to change their setup.

Johnson's book is also worth having, but there are a few small mistakes that indicate that it was rushed to get to market, (like her definition of drysuit mandates ankle gaskets. Missed the opportunity to recommend booties, and excluded my drysuit from her definition). Perhaps she could have had an editor who knew about our sport, or given her editor more time.

If you are to become a serious open water paddler, I bet you will have at least a half dozen books at least, some specialized on navigation, some on rescues, some on rescue stories, some just for fun. Some competant American ocean paddlers have never read a book I'm sure, but I bet they are a minority.

Major edit. There are perhaps a lot of indigenous paddlers who live in situations where kayaking, navigation, and storied hazards and rescues are part of their culture. Perhaps the norm there is not to read books.

Thanks folks!!
Found a good deal online for this book so went ahead and ordered it. I’ve read and continue to reference Shelley Johnson’s The Complete Sea Kayaker’s Handbook, but I thought that having yet another authors prospective might be beneficial. You’re right sing, I think I’m gonna have a fair number of kayak books on my shelf down the line.

As usual you folks are the best and I appreciate your input on this thread.


Buy them all
Buy lots of books but not at once. If you’re dinking around your local or not so local kayak shop checking things out but not really needing anything, go ahead and treat yourself to a new book and them to a little financial reward for being there for you.

There are still a couple of books I need to complete my collection. But for me reading up is part of the fun.