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Discovering Ocean Kayaks

Updated on February 3, 2015

Ocean Kayak - Like a Sports Car In The Surf!

I didn't know I was a fan of kayaks until a friend bought a Mysto Ocean Kayak and suggested a day out at the beach.

Of course, I remember childhood trips to boating lakes, and rides on rowing boats and canoes, but I had never tried kayaking. One sunny August day, last year, I was converted. Hopefully my photos will give you a feeling for that day.

So, what is kayaking? It is a form of paddling distinguishable from canoeing by the number of blades on the paddle and the position of the paddler. In kayaking, the paddler faces forward and uses a double-bladed paddle.

Sit-On-Top Kayaks Are Easy To Use - Although I seem to be concentrating hard here

Kayaks come in three main formats: some have closed decks, some are "sit-on-top" and others are inflatable.

The Mysto, shown here, is a sit-on-top kayak designed for conquering the waves, but it also performs really well on flat water. It is easy to use, and great fun for beginners through to intermediate kayak surfers. I clambered onboard, possibly not by the recommended method, but was soon comfortably seated, with paddle in hands, and ready to go.

Never So Much Fun... - when messing about in boats!

Although we had only one kayak, and four people, we still had a great day. We weren't in a race. We didn't have a destination. We just had a lot of fun, taking our turns to kayak along the shoreline, helping each other when we toppled out, and laughing a lot.

How It's Done

Here are some videos which give you an idea of the basic skills required. If you have a local club or instructor, book some lessons too. It's important to keep safe when you are out on the water.

Ocean Kayaks

Ocean Kayaks are considered by many to be the world number one for sit-on-top kayaks and leads the market for kayak fishing. The Mysto is a great recreational kayak offering versatile and affordable fun. It is robust and colourful, with a self-draining, open cockpit design that gives additional safety, especially for those, like myself, who are less experienced. The Frenzy is a similar compact kayak, suitable for a range of paddlers, children as well as adults.

Both are around 9 foot long and 31 inches wide. I found our Mysto to be comfortable and easy to manoeuvre.The bright and cheerful colours make it easy to see through the waves, which is reassuring when you kayak on open water. The Mysto has a Comfort Tech seatback. The Frenzy has a comfortable molded-in seat.

Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak, Sunrise
Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak, Sunrise

The built-in features include:

Seats one adult with a maximum weight of 325 lbs (147 kg)

Molded keel

Built-in carrying handles

Above deck storage well

A paddle keeper

Molded-in cup holder

with the option to have a 6" screw-in hatch with cat bag.


Ocean Kayaks Look Cool!

This is our Mysto, on the beach. The makers say the Mysto has:

"A sleek and sexy design, this kayak is like a sports car in the surf."

I would agree - with it's a compact shape, not too big or too heavy, it cuts through the water easily, and I soon found myself travelling at a good speed.

It is available in a range of bright colours. So, should the worst happen, and you find yourself in difficulty, the kayak will be easier to spot.

More Kayaks Currently Available

Kayaks come in several different types, including sit on top kayaks, sit inside kayaks, single person kayaks, tandem kayaks, and inflatable kayaks. They vary in length, material and design, so you can choose according to your needs, for example, a fishing kayak or a recreational kayak.

A sit-on-top kayak, with rod holder, and plenty of room for your gear is a good choice for anglers. You need one that is stable, easy to paddle, and has a hull design that is good for tracking on lakes and maneuverable on rivers. A large cockpit will give you room to work with your tackle.

Perception Sport Pescador 10 Kayak (Camo)
Perception Sport Pescador 10 Kayak (Camo)

A great value sit-on-top kayak, with lots of special features. It is 10 foot long, easy to transport and suitable for ponds, lakes, surf and fishing.


Inflatable Kayaks

Inflatable kayaks have the advantage that they are easier to transport. For recreational kayaking on lakes and mild rivers, there are some comfortable and inexpensive kayaks available, including some with seats for two. For comfort, you should be able to find one with adjustable inflatable seats, with backrests. I would also suggest high visibility colors in case you get into difficulty.

RAVE Sports Sea Rebel Kayak
RAVE Sports Sea Rebel Kayak

For a less expensive way of enjoying the the lakes and rivers, try the inflatable Sea Rebel Kayak by Rave Sports. This great kayak is lightweight and easy to inflate, and gives a comfortable ride, whether you are fishing or simply cruising the water.


Want the best of both worlds?

This smart inflatable kayak looks and paddles like a hard-shell, but is as portable as an inflatable!

Advanced Elements AE1012-R AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak
Advanced Elements AE1012-R AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak

This Advanced Elements Kayak has built-in ribs that define the bow and stern, which helps to improve tracking. The kayak is preassembled, you only need to unfold and inflate the kayak, and then attach the seat.


Kayak Paddles

Some kayaks are sold with paddles, though not necessarily the paddle that will suit you best. If you are looking for your own, you need to find paddles with lightweight tempered aluminum shafts and durable high-impact blades.

Shoreline Marine Kayak Paddle Rounded 96"
Shoreline Marine Kayak Paddle Rounded 96"

Two piece construction for easy transportation, with contoured blades for good propulsion. Adjustable position system to fit your paddling style, drip guards to keep you drier, and foam grips for comfort.


Paddle Leashes - Don't End Up a Creek, Without your Paddle

A paddle leash is also very useful if you want to be sure not to lose your paddle when you stop for a drink or snack. Seriously, you don't want to find yourself drifting away from shore without your trusty paddle!

The paddle leash should have a minimum of a 4 foot strap of flexible, stretchy material.

Lifetime Universal Kayak Paddle Leash, 2 Meters
Lifetime Universal Kayak Paddle Leash, 2 Meters

Paddle leashes are very convenient allowing you to drink, eat or fish without loosing your paddle! This one is very good value: 2 metres long, constructed of flexible stretch material, with a clip and velcro system.


Easy To Transport - will travel on an everyday roof rack

We found it was easy to transport the Mysto. At 43 lbs in weight and 9' 9" long, it is light enough to sit on a roof rack, and short enough to fit on a family-sized car. Two people can easily lift the kayak on to a roof rack, or one reasonably strong person could manage it by themselves.

Roof Racks For Kayaks

With a properly fitted roof rack, it's much safer and easier to transport your kayak(s).

Keep Safe

Always wear appropriate safety equipment - a lifejacket is essential!

O'Neill Wake Waterski Men's Superlite USCG Vest (Blk/Met/Blk, Large)
O'Neill Wake Waterski Men's Superlite USCG Vest (Blk/Met/Blk, Large)

If you are looking for buoyancy, without bulk, this O'Neill Superlite vest could be the one for you. Constructed from closed cell PVC marine foam, with a durable coated nylon shell, you can expect this comfortable personal flotation vest to last years of heavy outdoor use. A women's version is also available.

Stearns Child Classic Series Vest
Stearns Child Classic Series Vest

So important! Like adults, children should always wear a lifejacket when out on a boat. These durable nylon vests are suitable for children weighing 30-50 lbs. They have secure 1" webbing, and leg strap so the vest stays in place in the water.


Do You Enjoy Watersports?

Tell us more about you and watersports!

Yes, love 'em

Yes, love 'em

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    • kdmarshall lm 4 years ago

      I tried ocean kayaking in Mexico and loved it!

    • savateuse 4 years ago

      @handycrowd: Thanks for sharing your views on kayaks, and for your great feedback.

    • Ian Anderson 4 years ago from Asker in Norway

      Agree that they are huge fun! We lived in New Zealand a while back, and we went kayaking every weekend for 9 months of the year! Sit on tops are great, unsinkable, surf-able and you can even go fishing from them. They are also about the most affordable way into the water.

      Wish I'd discovered them years ago.

      Great lens and I hope it inspires many people to give them a try.

    • Melissa Miotke 4 years ago from Arizona

      Yes! I love anything that has to do with water:)

    • ArmchairBuilder1 4 years ago

      I have a Hobie Oasis with the mirage drive pedals. It's a lot of fun!

    • Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I used to love to water ski when I was younger

    • JackNimble 4 years ago

      I enjoy all types, boating, kayaking, wake boarding, swimming

    • savateuse 4 years ago

      @TeachBen: I hope you enjoy it!

    • Psycho Free Zone 4 years ago from USA

      Kayaking in the ocean is a blast! I've got my sights set on paddle boarding next.

    • TeachBen 4 years ago

      I just recently got given a sit on top perception sea kayak. I've been waiting for the motivation to go out but this has certainly excited me about the prospect!

    • writerkath 4 years ago

      Not ALL watersports - but I love swimming and have used an ocean kayak. Also, canoeing down CALM rivers and lakes. :)

    • lanciacommander 4 years ago

      i made once river rafting :)

    • chi kung 4 years ago

      I like watersports but haven't tried kayaking yet :)

    • Robert Zimmerman 4 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      I used these in Hawaii recently. The wind was a problem, it kept blowing us off course! Lots of fun though.

    • Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I love my kayak. We actually have two, one for me and one for my wife. I have been into water sports my whole life. From surfing as a kid to jet skiing and boating as an adult. Love the water!

    • shewins 4 years ago

      I took a whitewater rafting trip on the American River, it was a blast. We saw lots of kayaks along the way, it looks like fun.

    • Guided Abundance 5 years ago from Mobile, AL

      Watersports and me go way back. For me its more the country version. Weekends at the the river house racing on inner-tubes being pulled by jet skis. Fun Fun

    • happydesertgirl 5 years ago

      Give me water and give me happiness! I would love to have one of these! They look like so much fun.

    • sivadarsh1 5 years ago

      I have never been to water sports...But now i think i should try this out some day...

    • sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      I live on a large lake that often acts as a sea. I'd love to kayak, though I haven't yet tried.

    • savateuse 5 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: Maybe if your life really depended on it...

    • Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I like to swim but could not get into a canoe if my life depended on it.

    • Michey LM 5 years ago

      I enjoy immensely! Actually we have a flatable which is perfect for lakes but not good enough for ocean

    • markadamdouglass 5 years ago

      Yes. But I have not indulged in many for a while

    • flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      If it's got water, I like it.

    • intermarks 5 years ago

      Yes, I love kayaking.

    • rallo-smith 5 years ago

      I love going down the river and do it almost every weekend during the summer.

    Sorry, did you mention water..?

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      • maryseena 4 years ago

        I come from a place which would aptly fit the quote "water, water, everywhere" but I try to keep my toes dry! However, I agree that these kayaks look cool!

      All About Kayaking
      All About Kayaking

      A DVD introducing the world of kayaking, including ocean surfing, inland tours, and kayak fishing. Suitable for all the family.


      More About Kayaking

      Recreational Kayaking DVD - The Essential Skills and Safety
      Recreational Kayaking DVD - The Essential Skills and Safety

      Recreational Kayaking is a must-have DVD for beginning and intermediate kayakers. It covers the skills and knowledge you need to enjoy kayaking in safety. Includes choosing equipment, caring for your kayak, essential techniques, staying safe on the water, and much more.


      The photos on this page were taken at Cley beach, Norfolk, which I talk about in my article Five place I love in England. We have to travel about 2 hours to get there, but it's worth the trip. Please share your favourite beach, lake or river in the comments section below.

      Do you have a favourite beach, lake or river?

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          WinWriter 4 years ago

          I've never been kayaking, but it looks like a lot of fun. Maybe some day I'll get a chance to try it. In Jackson Hole would be nice.

        • treehousebrando1 profile image

          treehousebrando1 4 years ago

          I only went kayaking once in Maine. It was a lot of fun. I wish I was able to do it more.

        • Melissa Miotke profile image

          Melissa Miotke 4 years ago from Arizona

          I'm not too picky. Just get me on the water:)

        • Close2Art LM profile image

          Close2Art LM 4 years ago

          I love kayaking down in Corpus, love the lens

        • profile image

          Bartukas 4 years ago

          Love the pictures of you kayaking nice lens and thanks for sharing

        • CampingmanNW profile image

          CampingmanNW 4 years ago

          Deschutes River, Central Oregon

        • chocochipchip profile image

          chocochipchip 4 years ago

          I love kayaking!! You,use have had so much fun!!

        • JackNimble profile image

          JackNimble 4 years ago

          My wife and I recently discovered Netarts Bay near Tillamook OR. I want to rent some kayaks and go for an adventure there. Seems like a great place for kayaking.

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          dellgirl 4 years ago

          Congratulations on getting the Purple Star for this great lens, I enjoyed reading here. Nice work, thanks for sharing.

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          I used to have a Nimbus Telkwa it was an awesome kayak I wish I still had it, nice Lens

        • writerkath profile image

          writerkath 4 years ago

          During the fall, after tourist season, John & I enjoy renting a canoe and floating down the Saco River for an overnight (Conway, NH area). It's so peaceful! We did use ocean kayaks on a vacation in the Dominican Republic a few years back, and enjoyed it a lot! Can't wait for our next vacation to do that again.

        • aesta1 profile image

          Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

          Muskoka in Ontario Canada. I have not really kayaked in the ocean only in the lake. You look like you really had fun.

        • gottaloveit2 profile image

          gottaloveit2 4 years ago

          Beautiful article! I just used an ocean kayak on vacation in the Dominican Republic. It was a blast!

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          savateuse 4 years ago

          @RawBill1: Sounds wonderful!

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          Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

          My favourite beach would be Currumbin Beach on the Gold Coast where I live. A nice blend of surf and calm water in the river mouth along with lots of great sand to soak up the sun on! Great fun to kayak in too.

        • VspaBotanicals profile image

          VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

          Lake Laneir, and there's a beautiful green-blue man-made lake in Fort Yago Ga. that's like a tropical island. Oh my goodness, it is beautiful.

        • CoffeeWriter LM profile image

          CoffeeWriter LM 4 years ago

          Fortunately I live within 10 minutes of two beaches and a national park.

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          Guided Abundance 5 years ago from Mobile, AL

          Hi great lens and by the way you've just been pinned. Check it out on my lens Pinterest: Have you been pinned? lens

        • savateuse profile image

          savateuse 5 years ago

          @esichrissa: Kayaks with built-in umbrella?

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          esichrissa 5 years ago

          I'm thinking of starting a rent-a-kayak business but I'm worried about rainy days

        • savateuse profile image

          savateuse 5 years ago

          @LisaMarieGabriel: You should try it... Lots of fun!

        • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

          Lisa Marie Gabriel 5 years ago from United Kingdom

          Questing for something I always wanted to try. Of course I have canoed on the lake with a bear in the undergrowth, but not kayaked yet :D

        • sheilamarie78 profile image

          sheilamarie78 5 years ago

          We live on Kootenay Lake in British Columbia, Canada. It's a great place for kayaking.

        • Lady Lorelei profile image

          Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

          Loved the pictures of you kayaking. How fun this lens is.

        • Michey LM profile image

          Michey LM 5 years ago

          Yes! We like the lakes in Adirondack and we did a lot of camping closer to lakes.

        • savateuse profile image

          savateuse 5 years ago

          @markadamdouglass: New Zealand... sounds good to me!

        • markadamdouglass profile image

          markadamdouglass 5 years ago

          I have not been kayaking in years... this has definitely inspired me to do so. I really want to go canoeing in New Zealand

        • savateuse profile image

          savateuse 5 years ago

          @chas65: certainly sounds sunnier and warmer than here!

        • chas65 profile image

          chas65 5 years ago

          We live about 2 miles from the Tenn. River. We need to send you some of our sun, hit 102 yesterday.

        • savateuse profile image

          savateuse 5 years ago

          @mbgphoto: Yes, it was a lot of fun. Just waiting for a sunny day...

        • mbgphoto profile image

          Mary Beth Granger 5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

          Looks like great fun...your photos really add to your story.

        • intermarks profile image

          intermarks 5 years ago

          I had done before whitewater rafting. It was really nice and adventurous.

        • microfarmproject profile image

          microfarmproject 5 years ago

          Not too many lakes in Phoenix, AZ where I live, but I love to spend time on the water when I can.

        • rallo-smith profile image

          rallo-smith 5 years ago

          North and South Umpqua River!

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          strategery 5 years ago

          I haven't been to Cley beach yet, but I'm going to look it up since I live near Norfolk. Thanks. Nice kayak!