When heading out to kayak on the ocean, it is important to have the correct gear before you hit the water. While there are many things we could list here, these are the top five things every ocean kayaker needs:
1. The right kayak. Not all kayaks are the same; if you are planning on fishing, you will want to use a kayak designed with rod holders and storage space specifically for fishing gear. Similarly, if you’re kayaking solo, you probably don’t want to use a tandem kayak designed for two. Read more about different types of kayaks here.
2. Life jacket. No matter how great of a swimmer you think you are, you will need a life jacket to stay safe. Wake from water craft and, on the open ocean, waves and sea creatures could cause your kayak to capsize. Think of your life jacket as an insurance policy when you are out on the water.
3. Dry bag. Bringing a “dry bag” with you is a must to keep your cell phone, camera, car keys and wallet safe and dry. Dry bags are specially designed to be waterproof so even if the bag goes overboard, your things will not be any worse for wear.
4. Sun protection. Out on the open water, there is no natural protection from the sun’s rays, so being prepared ahead of time is critically important. Using a high-SPF sunscreen on all exposed areas of skin is a great start, but it’s also important to use adequate protection for your head, neck and ears. Chrome Dome Caps are certified UPF 50+ and provide UV protection. They fit well under helmets and as a bonus, they will even help keep your sunglasses in place.
5. Helmet. You never know what might lurk below the surface of the water and you don’t want to knock your head on a rock or reef. Wearing a helmet just makes sense.
Remember to keep an eye on the weather forecast, as conditions on the open ocean can change quickly and you don’t want to be caught off-guard.
When you are well-prepared with the correct equipment and protection from the elements, you will be able to fully enjoy your ocean kayaking adventures, every time.