Sea Kayaking Tips and Etiquette

I’ve created a web page that consolidates sea kayaking tips and etiquette, and invite everyone to take a look.

The page focuses on the little things that can make paddling more enjoyable, while trying not to duplicate what can be found in most kayaking books:

Suggestions appreciated!


web page
Nice web page. I like the look of it and the info provided. I like the fact it comes across as not being a technical manual.

I like it, too
The style is as if coming from a friend or fellow club member, rather than from a condescending authority.

Great page.
I put a lot of effort into the “looking cool” part. I never get out of my kayak anywhere that I can be seen. It totally blows all the cool I built up.

thanks! and a few suggestions
Hi John,

Thanks for posting that web page…as a newbie kayaker, some of it I already knew from researching things, but most of it was new info that was good to know.

Just a couple of suggestions/questions:

  1. You talked about how the second-to-last paddler is in the “sweep” position, but I’m not sure what that is.

  2. On a few other paddling websites I’ve read that you should use your paddle as a pole to push off from shore, but you say not to. I see the point you’re making, but given that I’ve seen tutorial videos showing people using their paddle to push off, is it really that big a deal to use the paddle?

  3. You mentioned some criteria for buying a touring kayak (16-17 ft long and 22-24 in. width), but I’m not sure why those criteria are what they are. Can you elaborate a bit as to why those are the minimums that one should look for in a touring kayak?

  4. You mentioned the need for a “good quality spray skirt”, and I agree, but as a newbie I have no idea what constitutes good quality in a spray skirt :slight_smile:

    Thanks again, your site was very informative!

Thanks for the Feedback
I appreciate the feedback on the paddling etiquette and tips web page. Will revise the page per the comments within the next week or so.

Thanks, and happy paddling,


Good stuff
Hey John - nice set of guidelines. My 2 cents might add that not only should everyone tie down their own boat as you rightly say - I’ve found that it’s best if people stop talking during the process as well, so that everyone can focus on doing it right.

Also, I always ask before helping someone with their boat - not everyone wants help, especially if they have a light, pricey carbon fiber boat that might be easily dinged. And ask what the maneuver is going to be - I’ve offered to help people who accepted, then turned and practically sprinted away with me desperately trying not to drop my end of their boat.

Hideous Font
Comic Sans for a title is fine but consider using a more readable and appropriate font for the content. That font makes things look like a ten-year-old wrote it.

Great stuff otherwise. Thanks for the effort.

Font looks good to me.
Bold and crisp enough to read it without reading glasses.

it doesn’t say a word about tips
here I went looking for tip etiquette – how much I should tip – and it’s virtually silent on the point

The font looks fine to me, can’t agree with the opinion above.

I hope you don’t mind if I link your page for reference. It’s very good.

A lot of it applies well to canoeing and river-running too. Probably bicycling and hiking, as well.

I like the format and style. Good work!

Thanks for saying that on the paddles !
Maybe mention in the step out part to do so on the upwave / ocean side of the boat ?

Like the font.

One little thing

– Last Updated: Jul-21-10 1:22 PM EST –

Just scanned quickly - your picture shows paddlers carrying kayaks entirely by their end toggles. Granted with slippery plastic boats or wet gloves you often need to enhance your grip, but overall the toggles are for rescues, not carrying. Boat fully supported by the arm with maybe a safety hold on the perimeter rigging is usually better.

Lots of good stuff there though - congrats.

As to the above back and forth about the font - it's fine on this monitor but it is a font that may not scale down well for smaller monitors or people who use really high resolutions. I'm not going to say it's a bad thing, just a consideration for how you want the site used.

You may also want to run it thru the check for color contrast available at the World Consortium's site ( The kinda orange background you use is one that I started out with for asite I did for one of my orchestras, but it didn't quite passs muster when I ran it thru that check. I had to go lighter.

Good Content
Less is more where different fonts and colors, and backgrounds are concerned. Does the use of “style” elements add to what you are trying to convey?

Press and hold Control key
then rotate mouse wheel…Glasses are not needed :slight_smile:

paddling website -rewording suggestion
I’d be careful with the following statement: “Paddling alone in difficult conditions is generally safer than paddling with fellow paddlers who may not be able to control their kayaks in the wind and waves, and don’t know how to rescue.”

While in the absolute you are correct in that statement, it does suggest that paddling alone in difficult conditions is safer than paddling with a group. In contrast maybe a more positive statement about the safety of paddling with well trained paddlers being important when you want to push your limits or some such.


One suggestion for Trip Planning section
If you aren’t willing to abide by the trip organizer’s (or the venue’s) rules, then don’t go with that group. I know of trips wherein some people did not bring a portable toilet as required by the organizer and laws of the locale. By ignoring his requirement, they put the leader at risk of getting fined by the managing agency’s law enforcement.

Ditto for other rules, such as a club trip’s requirement that overnight trips are open ONLY to club members, not guests, due to ACA insurance rules. If you don’t like the rules, lead your own private trip instead of causing grief for the club. OR get the rules changed.

15% - minimum

Thanks. Nice work…
Very helpful for beginners and refreshers. Simple and easy to understand. Enjoyed the self rescue link. Don’t mean to be picky but while scanning thru I caught a typo or two.