Sea Kayaking Skills - Comments?

Take care of getting the skills to do what you want to do.

as an inland paddler
I found the article and links informative. A good starting point- not the end-all-be-all but gave me plenty to chew on.

more demanding environments demand more prep and skills

skill can overcome a lot and sometimes reduce the need for equipment

sometimes bad things happen to good paddlers- best to learn from their mistakes so we don’t repeat them

7 crucial sea kayaking skills
Just for fun, I’ll see what comes to my mind.

  1. Ability to understand the environment in which you’re about to paddle in relation to winds, currents, tides, waves, and navigation.

  2. Have an awareness of exit strategies and a general sense of the likelihood for need of exit strategies. Be familiar with implementing the types of exit strategies you may have to execute. (Towing, contact tow, call for help, etc.)

  3. Self awareness. Know your skills, comfort levels, and an awareness of how hard you can push yourself.

  4. Group awareness. Requires self-awareness, and an awareness of group dynamics, including the ability to instropectively assess skill levels and comfort levels of group members throughout the paddle. The outward communication is very important also. The introspective assessment fills in where outward communication hits barriers.

  5. How fast can I travel in the potential conditions? Include how long you know you can paddle at a given pace. What are my worst case scenarios for travel time to completion, or any given exit? This is all part of self-awareness, but I think too important to not have it’s own emphasis.

  6. Assist. Assist others. Assist in your own rescue. Be calm, assertive, and cooperative both ways. Know and communicate where you fall in terms of assisting others in situations you feel you might encounter. Also communicate the same during situations you find yourself in. I’ve heard the #1 rule in rescue situations is to make sure your actions will help the problem, and not add to it. Rushing into something you can’t handle, with the result being one more swimmer and/or injury, is not good. This isn’t black and white. I’m not saying sit idly by. I’m saying take time to consider overall alternative scenarios vs. just rushing blindly in, knowing you’re somewhat out-of-control. Often a few seconds is all it takes to calm down and consider. Consider, and then minimize the potential for injury to the swimmer, yourself, the boats. And minimize the potential for escalation of the emergency. In very cold water, time in the water is a crucial consideration. As water warms up, unbroken fingers become more important than less time in the water. And vice-versa. It doesn’t matter if your hand is unbroken if you’re dead.

  7. Do your best to master the fundamentals. Forward Stroke, Directional Control, Bracing, Maneuvering, Rolling, and very importantly, coordinated balance in an unbalanced environment.

    Yikes! When no one gets to the end of this, we’ll understand why the points are more limited in scope in the article. I should say I’ll understand. I was once told 26 words is some average length of written communication and attention span. I’m glad I’m able to push beyond that, for better or worse.

Certainly for better, Capefear.
Your comments shine.

super !



incidents arise from not knowing where wind WILL BE in the afternoon in relation to tides. Incoming tide against outgoing wind increases turbulence. And not planning for a downwind escape route if weather develops.

The expeditioners asked the native sailor abt conditions up the coast

He replied, “there is a wind”