One of the most exciting outdoor adventures is kayaking.
Lake vs. Sea Kayaks. They differ in length, width, storage, durability, cost, and purpose. They are each designed for a job. Sea kayaks can be tippy and are longer and have more storage. Both have rudders and float on water.
Sea kayaks are longer than lake kayaks. The shortest sea kayak is almost 12 feet while they can go up to 24 feet in length. Lake kayaks are between 8 and 14 feet long. Ocean kayaks have sleek designs and are rather long and pointy.
They have angular profiles. And are 4 to 6 inches narrower than lake kayaks. This makes them pick up greater speed but tight turns tend to be difficult for them. Lake kayaks are flatter and much shorter as compared to sea kayaks. They’re a bit rounded and bulging around the cockpit. So it is easier to maneuver lake kayaks in tight turns.
The boat’s hull depends upon the width of the boat. Sea kayaks have a narrower hull as compared to lake kayaks. This helps them keep in a straight line and cut through the waves. The only advantage of this is that sea kayaks can be a bit tippy for beginners.
Or paddlers who are not accustomed to sea kayaks. The extra width of a lake kayak help it slow down and it can ride on the waves instead of having to cut through them like sea kayaks. This makes them more stable because this means that you can stop paddling and relax for a little while
Sea kayaks have a lot of space for storage and it is more secure than storage provided by other kayaks. This is because out on the sea chances for the kayak being rocked or capsize occurring are quite high and it would be very unfortunate to lose all the gear. Sea kayaks are meant for longer excursions and are used by fishermen quite a lot.
A longer trip calls for fishermen carrying more than usual with them. so the fact that sea kayaks have more storage makes perfect sense. Lake kayaks have storage space as well but not to the same extent. This is due to the fact that traversing a lake does not call for that much storage space. Just strapping a tackle bag while using a lake kayak would be enough for you.
When it comes to durability sea kayaks are more durable because they are to be used out in the ocean where the waters are rough and there can be strong currents, high winds, and even storms.
This is why they are heavier and tougher so that they can put up a fight with the surrounding elements. This also makes them costlier than lake kayaks. Freshwater kayaks are not as tough as ocean kayaks because they are ideal for freshwater. And lakes do not pose as many dangers and threats as the sea.
Both boats have different equipment features. Sea kayaks have more gear and are equipped with a front hatch that makes it easier to access the gear. Sea kayaks have skags and rudders. Skags are bladelike devices that are lowered from the stern into the sea and they improve the kayak’s tracking.
Tracking is the ability to paddle a kayak in a straight line which proves to be an advantage if you are traversing a large body of water. Rudders are used for turning the kayak without using paddles. Pressing the rudder to one side makes the boat turn. Lake kayaks usually do not feature all this equipment. They come with simpler things like rod holders and dry space for storage.
Lake kayaks and sea kayaks both have their pros and cons. If you are wondering which one is right for you then you need to think about what features you are looking for in a kayak and where you will be spending more time kayaking. Oceans or lakes and rivers.
You’re lying if you say that the thought of exploring the ocean on your own never crossed your mind. What lies beyond the visible waters is a thought that has excited humans across generations.
Planning to go Sea Kayaking soon? Here are a few pointers:
Pick the right Kayak
Since you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the water, the Kayak seats need to be comfortable. If you own a Whitewater Kayak, that won’t be comfortable for the sea. Sea Kayaks, also known as touring Kayaks, are longer and more equipped to endure the waves. You can take your River Kayak out in the sea, but only for short distances. For long distances, you need a Sea Kayak, which moves more smoothly in a straight line and has enough space to stock supplies for a long trip. Also, the River Kayak will require a lot more effort than a Sea Kayak to cover the same amount of distance. Since the weather is unpredictable in the sea, in case of rough weather, you’ll want to be on a Sea Kayak so that you can paddle back to shore quickly and safely.
Sea Kayaking is more of an endurance sport
Stamina is the key to Sea Kayaking. You’ll notice that most of the Sea Kayakers are fitter than River Kayakers as they’ve conditioned their body to paddle for hours while venturing the sea. River Kayaking is more of an adventure sport, while Sea Kayaking is more of an endurance sport. One is a sprint while the other is a marathon. There is not much paddling involved in Whitewater Kayaking. A lot of the movement of the Kayak happens with the flow of the water. In Seawater, you have to paddle a lot. Sometimes the wind helps. Other times you’ll have the paddle against the wind.
Turning a Sea Kayak will test your patience
A Whitewater Kayak turns fast. You can make a 360-degree turn with fewer strokes. A Sea Kayak has larger hulls, designed to provide stability and ease for long-distance paddling, not quick maneuvering. If you’re used to River Kayaking, turning a Sea Kayak will test your patience the first few times.
Should I go solo or in groups?
If you’re not familiar with the sea or new to Kayaking, we’ll recommend that you take a few group tours before going solo. Become familiar with the paddling rhythms and your endurance and stamina. You’ll also get to know quite a few safety precautions and survival techniques. After you’re confident enough to go on your own, you can think of exploring the sea in solitude. One of the advantages of going solo is that you’ll have more encounters with sea animals as they generally don’t come anywhere near a place that has large groups of people.
- Always carry a GPS and cell phone with you. Someone on the shore should be aware of your location at all times.
- Life Jacket is a must irrespective of how good a swimmer you are because you will tire in the water.
- Check the weather forecasts properly before leaving. If there are indications of a storm or rains, postpone the trip. Also, check for the fog and visibility in cold weather conditions.
- Check the tide. Most sites have a Tide time table. Paddling against the tide is a waste of time and energy. Plan your trip when the tide is going out and coming back in.
- Don’t go too far off the shore just for the sake of exploring. Please understand that as much as you paddle to reach your destination, the same amount of paddling will be needed to get to the shore back safely. So don’t go that far inside the sea that you don’t have the stamina left to paddle. It’s a rookie mistake a lot of novices make.
- Check for abrasions and holes in the Kayak before taking it out into the sea. A lot of times, a small hole will only get noticed when the water pressure rises. Make sure that you check for it before leaving for a day-long trip. Identify and fix all issues with the Kayak before you begin the trip.