What else to I need to get started.....

-- Last Updated: Dec-26-05 9:42 PM EST --

I am a complete newbie to Kayaking.
Here is what I have so far, what else should I get before starting?

Items I have:
Wood Arctic Hawk Kayak (completed oct 05)
Cricket Design Greenland Paddle 86" - 19 "
Astral Tempo 300T PFD
Seal's Spray Skirt to fit Arctic Hawk
NRS Starter Kit: Mesh Bag with Pump, Paddle Float, sponge, Paddle Leash, Mirror/whistle
Smiley's Nose Plugs
Float Bags front and rear (plus Kayak has Bulkheads front and rear)
AquaMeter Sailor II Compass
Sealine Baja Deck Bag
22 liter Dry Bag
Things I think I still need: WetSuit
Join a Club and lessons Any other things I need?

From one MD’er to another

– Last Updated: Dec-26-05 10:05 PM EST –

The water is COLD...as in 30-40 degree range. If you are planning on going far from shore you will need a DRYsuit instead of a wetsuit. If you have a good eskimo-roll you may be fine with just a dry top. Dry gear is waterproof with latex seals and will keep water out. A wetsuit will allow some water in but will retain its insulative properties. When the water temp. drops below the mid-50 degree range, a drysuit will offer much better protection than a wetsuit.

You will also need head protection from the cold water. I use NRS Mystery storm hoods http://nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp?pfid=2029&deptid=942

You will find a lot of high quality gear at the NRS site.

maybe some

Get Started?
You’ve already started. Put in the water and enjoy. I started with a $125 kayak, cheap paddle, and the desire to explore my corner of the world. Almost thirty years ago. Still don’t own all the accessories. Still exploring, though my world has grown.

The rest of the gear is nice, and may well be wise, but there is no substitute for throwing the boat in the water.

And, depending on where you will paddle, work on some map and compass skills if you don’t already have them.



You really have a great start. I can think of a few small things that you might want to get. However, you should learn a couple of basics as one of your important needs. You can learn the basics in several ways but classes or a friend who has already learned are likely the most common. You should learn the various basic forward strokes, a self rescue, and an assisted rescue.

If your bulkheads are watertight I don’t understand the float bags. Usually with watertight bulkheads you would use your fore and aft compartments for stowage, (though you may have a reason based on your particular boat). Depending on your location you may need waterproof gloves and boots. Depending on your shoreline you may need some sort of boat shoe. You may want a basic first aid kit. You will need a flashlight or some kind of lamp if you go out after dark.

Happy Paddling,


A Canoe…

Fat Elmo

You have the basics
Light on the emersion clothing. What you get depends on the conditions and your financial situation. About a year after you get the wet suit, you may well be wishing you had just put the money into a dry suit in the first place.

If you go the wet suit route, I like a long sleeve hydroskin shirt under it to provide a bit more insulation and to slow water exchange. A paddle jacket is good too.

I almost always wear NRS neoprene paddle shoes (ankle high) and think they are a great investment. They go on over my drysuit booties or over thin synthetic liner socks (socks keep the stink down).

An NRS Mystery Skin hood is nice.

As far as other gear, eventually you will probably want a tow belt and a VHF radio. Paddle leashes are controversial (especially with a Greenland Paddle) but IMO are a good idea if you don’t have a spare paddle & are going to be too far from shore to hand paddle.

Aside from that common sense and a good paddling-buddy are real assets.

Have fun.

Water and a Canoe