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2023 starboard best inflatable touring stand up paddle boards

Are you planning a kayaking adventure? Before you hit the water, it’s important to have the right equipment to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned paddler, having the proper gear is crucial for success.

In this section, we’ll discuss the essential gear you need for kayaking, including tips for choosing the right kayak, important safety equipment, must-have accessories, proper attire, and transportation and storage. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to gear up and explore the best kayaking spots with confidence and ease.

Key Takeaways:

  • Having the right equipment is crucial for a successful kayaking adventure.
  • Choose the right kayak based on your skill level, type of adventure, and body type.
  • Essential safety equipment includes PFDs, helmets, and signaling devices.
  • Must-have accessories include paddles, dry bags, navigation tools, and waterproof phone cases.
  • Proper attire is essential for comfort and protection.

Choosing the Right Kayak

When it comes to choosing a kayak, there are several factors to consider to make the right decision for you. Here are a few tips to help you pick the perfect kayak:

Consider Your Skill Level

As a beginner, start with a wider and shorter kayak that is more stable. Advanced kayakers can use thinner and longer kayaks that are more maneuverable. For more insights on choosing based on skill level, see 5 Reasons Why Inflatable SUPs Outperform Hard Boards.

Think About Your Kayaking Adventure

Are you kayaking in a lake or river? Will you be kayaking for a long time or just a few hours? Answering these questions will help you identify the type of kayak that is most appropriate for your trip.

Find the Right Fit for Your Body

Your body size and shape determine the type of kayak that will be most comfortable and efficient for your adventure. A larger person will need a more spacious kayak, while a smaller person can use a narrower kayak.

Test Before You Buy

Before finalizing your purchase, test the kayak to see how it feels. Make sure you are comfortable in it, and test its stability in the water.

By taking the time to choose the right kayak for your kayaking adventure, you can enjoy the water with confidence and security.

“The kayak is a slender and elegant craft, designed to optimize the experience of paddling through the water. Choosing the right kayak is important for a safe and enjoyable kayaking trip.” – Jean Laval, Kayaking Expert.

Essential safety equipment

Nothing is more important than safety when kayaking. If you’re not properly equipped, you run the risk of injury or even death. The right kayaking equipment can help you stay safe on the water.

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

A personal flotation device is essential kayaking equipment. They come in many different sizes and styles, but they all serve the same purpose – to keep you afloat if you fall out of your kayak. It is imperative that you wear a PFD at all times while on the water. Don’t risk your life by foregoing this simple piece of equipment.


If you’re kayaking on rapids, a helmet is essential kayaking safety equipment. It can protect your head from rocks and other obstacles in the water that can be dangerous. Even if you’re simply paddling on flat water, a helmet is still a good idea to protect against any unexpected accidents or collisions.

Signaling Devices

In case of an emergency, it’s important to have a way to signal for help. Flares, horns, and whistles are all good options. Make sure you have at least one of these signaling devices in your kayaking equipment.

Remember, even the most experienced kayakers can get into trouble on the water. Don’t risk your safety by neglecting any of these essential pieces of equipment. For more information on kayaking and paddle boarding safety, check out Inflatable SUP Safety: Essential Tips for Beginners. Stay safe and enjoy your kayaking adventure!

Must-have accessories

While the basic kayaking equipment is essential for a safe and fun adventure on the water, there are also a few accessories that can take your experience to the next level. Here are some must-have accessories to consider:

  • Paddles: Choosing the right paddle can make a big difference in your kayaking experience. Look for lightweight and durable options that are comfortable to grip.
  • Dry bags: Keep your belongings safe and dry with a waterproof dry bag. These bags come in various sizes and shapes to fit all your needs.
  • Navigation tools: A compass or a GPS device can help you navigate the water safely and plan your route.
  • Waterproof phone cases: Capture and share your kayaking memories without worrying about water damage with a waterproof phone case.

With these accessories, you’ll be prepared for any situation and able to enjoy your time on the water even more.

“Bringing along accessories that suit your kayaking needs can make a huge difference in your overall experience.”

Dressing for success

When it comes to kayaking, dressing appropriately can make all the difference. Not only does the right attire provide necessary comfort, but it also ensures protection while you’re out on the water. Here are some essential tips to consider when getting dressed for kayaking:

  1. Wear moisture-wicking clothing: Kayaking can be a sweaty activity, so it’s important to wear clothes that will keep you dry. Look for clothing made from synthetic materials like polyester or nylon that have moisture-wicking properties.
  2. Dress for the water temperature: What you wear will depend on the water temperature. In colder temperatures, wear a wetsuit or drysuit to stay warm. Conversely, if the water is warm, wear lightweight, breathable clothing.
  3. Protect yourself from the sun: Even if it’s cloudy, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Wear sunscreen and a hat as well as sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  4. Wear appropriate footwear: It’s important to wear shoes that are comfortable, supportive, and can get wet. Kayaking shoes, water shoes, or sandals with an ankle strap are all great options.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-dressed for a successful kayaking adventure. And don’t forget to always wear your personal flotation device (PFD) for added safety!

kayaking safety

Transporting and storing your kayak

If you don’t own a kayak, renting one is an excellent option for beginners or those without adequate storage space. Many companies offer kayak rentals and can provide information on the most suitable equipment for your needs. Once you have your rental kayak, it’s crucial to know how to transport and store it safely.


Transporting a kayak can be challenging, but with the right equipment and techniques, it doesn’t have to be. The first step is to ensure your kayak is securely fastened to your vehicle. Use a roof rack with tie-down straps or a kayak carrier to keep your kayak in place during transportation. Make sure the kayak is facing the correct way, with the bow pointing forward. Secure any loose equipment and double-check that the kayak is firmly in place before hitting the road.


When not in use, it’s essential to store your kayak correctly to protect it from damage and prolong its lifespan. The best storage option for your kayak depends on the available space and personal preferences. Wall-mounted racks and storage hoists are excellent for those with limited floor space, while free-standing racks are suitable for larger storage areas. Avoid storing your kayak in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as this can cause warping or cracking.

Safety Tips

Always wear protective gear when transporting your kayak, including gloves and closed-toe shoes. Ensure your kayak is entirely dry before storing it to prevent mold and mildew. Consider investing in a kayak cover to protect your equipment from the elements and keep it clean.


Congratulations! Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of the essential gear for kayaking, you’re ready to embark on your next adventure. Always prioritize safety by wearing a PFD and other essential safety equipment, choosing the right kayak, and dressing appropriately for the weather conditions.

Don’t forget about the must-have accessories that can make your kayaking experience even better, such as a reliable paddle, dry bag, and waterproof phone case. And if you don’t own a kayak, renting one is a great option. Just be sure to transport and store it safely.

Get ready to explore the best kayaking spots and enjoy the many benefits of this exciting outdoor activity. Happy paddling!


What essential gear do I need for kayaking?

To have a safe and enjoyable kayaking adventure, you’ll need the following gear: – A kayak: Choose the right type of kayak based on your skill level and the type of kayaking adventure you plan to undertake. – Paddle: Invest in a high-quality paddle that suits your height and paddling style. – Personal flotation device (PFD): A properly fitting PFD is essential for safety on the water. – Safety whistle: Carry a whistle to attract attention in case of an emergency. – Dry bags: Keep your belongings dry by storing them in waterproof bags. – Bilge pump or sponge: To remove any water that enters your kayak. – Navigation tools: A map, compass, or GPS device can help you navigate unfamiliar waters. – First aid kit: Be prepared for any minor injuries that may occur while kayaking. – Sun protection: Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. – Water and snacks: Stay hydrated and energized during your kayaking trip. Remember to check local regulations and requirements for additional gear needed in your specific location.

How do I choose the right kayak?

Choosing the right kayak is crucial for an enjoyable paddling experience. Consider the following tips: – Kayak type: Decide whether you’ll be kayaking on calm lakes, rivers, or coastal waters, and choose a kayak that suits the specific conditions. – Skill level: Beginners usually find stable recreational kayaks or sit-on-top kayaks easier to handle, while experienced paddlers may opt for more maneuverable sea or touring kayaks. – Body type and size: Ensure the kayak’s cockpit size and weight capacity accommodate your comfort and gear. – Sit-in or sit-on-top: Decide whether you prefer the traditional sit-in style or the open sit-on-top kayak, which provides ease of entry and exit. – Try before you buy: If possible, try renting or borrowing different kayaks to see which one feels the most comfortable and suits your paddling style. Always consider safety, stability, and comfort when choosing the right kayak.

What essential safety equipment should I have for kayaking?

Safety should be a top priority when kayaking. Here are the essential safety equipment items you should have: – Personal flotation device (PFD): Ensure you wear a properly fitting PFD at all times on the water. – Helmet: If you’re kayaking in whitewater or rocky areas, a helmet is necessary to protect your head from potential impacts. – Signaling devices: Carry a whistle or other sound-producing devices to signal for help if needed. – Bilge pump or sponge: These tools are essential for removing water that enters your kayak. – Communication device: Consider bringing a waterproof phone case or a handheld marine radio to communicate with others in case of emergencies. Remember to familiarize yourself with local safety regulations and guidelines for kayaking in your specific location.

What are some must-have accessories for kayaking?

In addition to the basic gear, there are several accessories that can enhance your kayaking experience. Some must-have accessories include: – Paddle leash: This handy accessory prevents you from losing your paddle if it accidentally falls into the water. – Kayak anchor: An anchor helps keep your kayak stable in currents or windy conditions. – Dry bags: Keep your personal belongings dry by storing them in waterproof bags. – Kayak cart: If you need to transport your kayak over land, a kayak cart makes it easier to move it from your vehicle to the water. – Navigation tools: Carry a map, compass, or GPS device to help you navigate and explore new areas. – Waterproof phone case: Protect your phone from water damage while still being able to access important features. – Paddle float: A paddle float is a valuable tool for self-rescue if you capsize and need to get back into your kayak. These accessories can make your kayaking adventure more convenient and enjoyable.

How should I dress for kayaking?

Dressing appropriately for kayaking is important for comfort and safety. Consider the following tips: – Clothing: Wear lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing that provides protection from the sun. Avoid cotton as it retains moisture, which can make you cold if wet. Dress in layers, so you can adjust according to the weather conditions. – Cold weather: In colder temperatures, wear a wetsuit or a drysuit to protect yourself from hypothermia. Layering with thermal clothing is also recommended. – Footwear: Wear water shoes or sandals with a grip to protect your feet and provide stability while walking on rocky or slippery surfaces. – Sun protection: Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen with a high SPF to shield yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. It’s important to dress for the water temperature and weather conditions, as they can affect your safety and overall enjoyment.

How can I transport and store my kayak?

If you don’t own a kayak, renting one is a great option. When it comes to transporting and storing your kayak, follow these guidelines: – Vehicles: Use a kayak rack or kayak trailer specifically designed for transporting kayaks. Make sure to properly secure your kayak to prevent any accidents while driving. – Storage: Store your kayak in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If possible, suspend your kayak using straps or a kayak hoist system to prevent warping or damage. – Kayak rental: Many kayak rental companies provide transport racks and offer advice on proper loading and securing of kayaks. Ensure you follow all transportation and storage guidelines to keep your kayak in good condition and prolong its lifespan.