Chapter 02 - Basics



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Just getting started? Here are some basics.



To provide basic information about kayaks and kayaking to individuals just starting the sport and a reminder to those with experience. Included is information on terminology, types of kayaks, kayak dynamics, strokes, bracing, and rescues.

01 - Kayak Terminology

A guide to kayak & nautical terms. What is it and why is it important?

02 - Types of Kayaks

There are four broad categories of kayaks: General Recreation, Touring, Whitewater and Racing. What questions do you need to answer to determine which type of kayak is best for you?

03 - Kayak periodicals

Online publications for Kayakers provide another source of basic information.


04 - Kayaking organizations

Links to kayak organizations and associations that could help you get started.

05 - Where to find, buy, or rent kayaks

Here are some links to kayak stores, manufacturers, outfitters and communities.

06 - Kayak instruction and training

Where to get instruction and training about sea kayaks.

06.01 - Kayak Training Courses by ACA Certified Instructor

Kayak training is available for all skill levels in the Baltimore, Maryland area.

07 - Kayak Bibliography

Books about kayaks and kayak expeditions.

08 - Cold Shock

Cold shock is arguably the most likely killer of kayakers. It is also the least known. Even those who know a lot about hypothermia often know little about cold shock.

09 - Hypothermia

Killer Cold - An introduction to the dangers of hypothermia

10 - Other Medical Considerations

Dehydration, Sun Stroke, Heat Exhaustion, Hyponatremia, Cold Shock, Trench Foot

11 - Sharing with the big boys

General guidelines for safety around large vessels

12 - How to kayak - Making your kayak go

The forward power stroke and forward touring stroke

13 - How to kayak - Making your kayak stop

The backward power stroke is used for stopping and going backwards.

14 - How to kayak - making your kayak turn

Sweeps, rudders and draws. Strokes for turning your kayak.

15 - How to kayak - keeping your kayak from capsizing

High and Low Braces - Staying on top of your kayak.

16 - How to kayak - What to do after a capsize - wet exiting

You missed your brace. You capsized and now you are the keel instead of the mast. Now what do you do?

17 - How to kayak - getting back in your capsized kayak

Paddle float rescue and other self and assisted rescues that work

18 - How to kayak - getting in and out of your kayak

Get in and out of your kayak with grace and safety. Kayaks are tippy, especially when you are not in them. Use these techniques to enter and exit a kayak safely.

19 - Basic Equipment

Here is a list a basic coastal kayaking equipment, safety gear, signaling devices, navigation, clothing and camping gear.

20 - Paddle types shapes and sizes

Paddles - everyone likes something different and that is a good thing, otherwise we would all be trying to buy the same paddle. I use a Lightning paddle.

21 - Navigation Aids

Aids to Navigation can provide a boater with the same type of information drivers get from street signs, stop signals, road barriers, detours and traffic lights.

22 - Low-head dams: A not-so clear and present danger

Rivers can be treacherous, not only because of the tremendous power they possess, through the movement of flowing water, but because of structures they flow over, around and through.

23 - Mosquitos

They may be low on the food chain, but they are above you! Mosquitos are an unavoidable fact in the summer months. Here are some suggestions on how to do battle with the little buggers.

24 - Seasickness, Mal de Mer

If you are one of the many who are susceptible to seasickness, some preparation and knowledge might prevent a very unpleasant experience.

25 - Choosing a spray skirt

A spray skirt is important for safety and comfort when kayaking. Fit and function vary among the many types of spray skirts available.

26 - Basic Kayak Kit for every paddle

What should you carry every time you go paddling?

See also......

Intermediate Topics

Advanced Topics




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EVEN THE BEST BOATERS CAN FIND THEMSELVES IN SERIOUS TROUBLE ON THE MILDEST OF DAYS IN THE OCEAN. PARTICIPATION IN THIS SPORT IS A STRENUOUS ACTIVITY. CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE UNDERTAKING ANY SUCH ACTIVITY. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT EACH BOATER TAKES FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS OR HER OWN SAFETY, AND IS TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSESSING THE DANGER LEVEL AND ACCEPTING THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTICIPATING IN THIS SPORT.

Copyright on original material by Sea Kayak Chesapeake Bay TM 2001 through 2014. All rights reserved.


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