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7 Essential Items for Your Next Kayaking Adventure

Paddling Owens River in Ellero Wood Kayaks

Paddling Owens River

1 – The Kayak – Make sure you have a kayak that fits you well. It should be padded out to fit your body and have a seat that is comfortable for you. Make sure the boat is light so it is easy to paddle and carry to the water. Paddle a kayak that has the stability for your ability to give you the confidence to be on the water. Find the right kayak for you here.

2 – The Paddle – have a paddle that is light for you to hold and has the correct blade for your ability and your boat. The narrower the blade, the easier it is to paddle long durations, but you lose some bracing and rapid acceleration/deceleration.

3 – The Life Jacket – Focus on fit not price. A life jacket that is comfortable is one that you will wear. Choose a life jacket that is made for paddling – they feature less flotation in the back for use in a kayak seat, more open arms for unencumbered motion, and pockets for storage. There are specific models available to fit women better.

4 – Food & Water – Bring your favorite snacks with you. Don’t forget to stay hydrated for your day on the water.

5 – Waterproof Bags – Think about having one small and one large waterproof bag with you. The large bag fits jackets, towels and a change of clothes in case the unthinkable happens! The small waterproof bag is great for your cell phone and keys. Make sure to tie the bags down.

6 – Gloves – If you plan to paddle long distances or in the cold, think about having gloves to protect you from blisters and the cold.

7 – Shoes – I don’t like a sandy/muddy/wet cockpit so I carry water shoes wherever I paddle. On a beach launch, I straddle the kayak, sit down, put my shoes on the back gear rack, dry my feet off, and put on water socks if it is cold. It is nice to have a clean, dry cockpit. We like using