Buying a Sea Kayak – Pros & Cons of Plastic Boats

buying a sea kayak

Plastic Sea Kayak Storage

Buying a sea kayak can seem like a complicated process.  We often are asked about the differences in the materials used to build sea kayaks, and many people are drawn to plastic boats because of their comparatively low price and reputation for not needing much care. While the first consideration is true, a “put away and forget” attitude toward a plastic kayak may result in future unhappiness!

So, let’s talk briefly about what a “plastic” kayak is. They’re made of polyethylene plastic, heat molded by various processes so that the hull and deck form a single unit that only requires cutting out the hatch and cockpit openings and attaching the outfitting (seat, deck and carry lines, bungee cords, etc.). By contrast, composite boats made of fiberglass and other materials, have the deck and hull made separately, then joined together. The composite materials are more expensive and require much more labor to construct. Consequently, the resulting boats are more expensive.

The advantages of plastic kayaks are durability, particularly if dropped on a hard surface or from impact while paddling; and as mentioned before, this construction results in the lowest prices for both brand new and used boats. There are limits to the “no care” concept, however, as you’ll see below.

Continue reading

Sea Kayaking the Summer Solstice – Moon Jellies, Seals, and More

Sea Kayaking Hale Passage

Sea Kayaking Hale Passage and Lummi Island’s West Side

Summer has arrived! To celebrate, we had a Summer Solstice Paddle on Monday evening the 20th. Departing from Gooseberry Point and paddling all the way to the entrance of Legoe Bay, on Lummi Island’s west side, we had smooth waters through Hale Passage and just a little wind chop on the way back. The sunset was gorgeous and the full moon rising as we were loading up at the end of the paddle was the perfect cap to a great evening.

We saw some lion’s mane jellyfish, lots of moon jellies, eagles, kingfishers, harbor seals (one of which was seen chowing down on a fish dinner), and a congregation of river otters. The otters, 7 or 8 of them, scampered off a tiny patch of sand and swam ahead of us for several hundred years, “spy hopping” and grunting at our presence.

Our next Fun Paddle is this coming Sunday, the 26th; but we have others on the calendar and might even have some “last minute” ones added. Come join us!  Click here to register.  To view Fun Paddles scheduled in July and August, check out our calendar.

Remember: if you own your boats and gear, there’s no charge; and it’s only $40 per person if we supply you with everything you need. Just register and make your payment on the website.

Women in Sea Kayaking – 6 Reasons to Take the Plunge and Learn to Paddle

sea kayaking for women

Kelly Paddling on New Year’s Day

In the second grade, my PE teacher told me I didn’t have to try to do a pull up or push up in class.  “It’s ok,” he said, “girls can’t do that.  They’re not strong enough.”  Needless to say, I’ve spent a good part of my life since then proving I can “hang with the boys.” Guys are strong and athletic, and I’m in no way discrediting their achievements.  Rather, I want to address all the women out there who have thought “I can’t do that,” or even “I’m not strong enough.”

Shortly after entering the sport of sea kayaking, I learned that not only can women paddle, they can be kickass paddlers.  Some of the most talented, accomplished paddlers I’ve met have been women – including one who’s solo paddled Alaska’s Inside Passage from Anacortes, WA to Juneau, AK.  Learning to sea kayak has been one of the most amazing and empowering  experiences of my life, and teaching sea kayaking has only made it better.

There are few things better than watching a self-doubting student grow.  I’ve had students who, on the first day of class, told me “I’m too heavy to paddle, really.  I probably won’t fit in the boat, and besides, I’m scared of the water.”  Some of those women have become so strong in their paddling skills that they learned to enjoy whooping it up while surfing waves in Deception Pass.  In other classes, I’ve worked with students who were so afraid to do their first wet exit from a boat, they cried.  After a couple of days, they were teaching their husbands how to do a proper wet exit and self rescue!

So, in the interest of supporting all women out there who are interested in entering the “intimidating” sport of sea kayaking, I’ve written a list for you to dispel what may be your reasons for not jumping in (pun intended) and giving it a shot: Continue reading