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Intro to Kayaking


Kayaking is one of the best ways to spend time outside in Washington. With approximately 28,000 miles of Coastline, Washington is a state best explored by water. There's plenty of opportunity for a paddle adventure, from Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean and every river or lake in between.  Washington is truly a paddler's paradise.


What is Kayaking?


Kayaking is paddling a low-to-the-water canoe-style boat from a seated position. Unlike canoeing, where paddlers sit on elevated platforms in the boat, kayakers sit inside the boat at or just below the water level. Kayakers also use two-sided paddles to paddle.


Is Kayaking Safe?


Recreating in the water is always a risk, but kayaking, when done correctly and with the proper safety equipment, is safe. Safety is our top priority at Gearhouse.


You May Enjoy Kayaking if…


You love spending time outdoors, being on the water, and trying new things. Kayaking is a great way to explore nature and get some exercise.


Types of Kayaking


           Lake Kayaking


Lake kayaking is all about leisure and exploring. Lake kayakers use recreational kayaks or ocean kayaks to paddle calm water.


           Ocean / Sea Kayaking


Ocean / sea kayaks are slightly longer and narrower than recreational kayaks. The trim shape allows ocean kayaks to travel faster on the water, which is important as sea kayakers often travel farther distances. Ocean kayaking typically requires more advanced paddling skills, as it can involve navigating through waves and currents and requires more advanced paddling skills. Luckily Gearhouse offers courses in Sea Kayaking to learn the basics with skilled instructors. 


           White Water Kayaking


Whitewater kayaks are short, stubby kayaks used to navigate rapids in rushing mountain rivers. Whitewater kayakers descend whitewater rapids of all classes and even waterfalls. White Water Kayaking requires high levels of physical fitness and advanced paddling skills.


Kayaking Season in Washington


Washington has it all when it comes to paddling, from rushing mountain rivers to calm lakes, Puget Sound, and the Pacific Ocean. It’s possible to Kayak year-round in Washington, but the typical kayaking season runs from late spring (May) through the summer (June - August) into early fall (September) when the weather is mild, and the water is at its warmest.


How to Start Kayaking


Getting started kayaking in Washington is easy, you just need the right equipment and a bit of beta on where and when to go. Gearhouse has everything you need to start your paddling journey, like Oru folding kayaks. Always pay attention to the weather and tide conditions when planning your kayaking trip. Gearhouse's trip planning department is a great resource for new paddlers.


Kayaking Gear


Kayakers need three essential pieces of gear: a kayak, a paddle, and a US Coast Guard Certified personal flotation device (PFD). Head to Gearhouse to pick up all the kayaking essentials before your next paddle adventure. In addition to kayaks, paddles, and PFDs, Gearhouse’s gear library carries coolers, camping gear, dry bags, and other essentials you may want for your next kayak camping trip.  

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