Ocean Kayaking is an amazing life experience that can be enjoyed by ANYONE! Even if you don’t swim, you can float with a life-vest. Even if you swim well, it’s wise to wear life-vests and in Florida and Hawaii it is the law.
One of the coolest things about kayaking is that the learning curve is almost absent. It takes little to balance and paddle around waveless ocean. Kids and grandparents can have fun immediately. You paddle as much as you want, or lazily drift along with the current, up to you.
I first sat in an ocean kayak at a place called, “Mad Paddlers” that is on a canal connected to Tampa Bay, in Tampa, Florida. I had never kayaked on the ocean before, though I had frequently rented kayaks and fished from them on the Hillsborough river in Tampa near Hillsborough State Park in search of big bass.
I took to ocean kayaking immediately. For me, the primary motivation was to use the kayak as a fishing platform, but the adventure and exercise factors are great reasons to buy one as well! I bought a kayak called a “Perception” for about $700 USD. It was 14 feet long and built for one person. I outfitted it with some places to stick my fishing rods, bait buckets and other essentials for another $100 USD. The paddle came with it for free.
Perception ‘sit on top’ ocean kayak ideal for fishing or short adventures (day trips).
I had rented an apartment on a canal very close to Mad Paddlers and I kept my kayak on the staircase leading up to my 2nd floor apartment. Whenever I had the chance to go fishing I’d slide it out the door and carry it for 40 meters down to the dock over the canal and drop it in. It was a 2 km paddle to reach the wide-open expanse of Tampa Bay, but once there I felt so free from the stresses of work and personal projects! I’d lazily drift around the bay for six to 10 hours catching trout, flounder, permit, redfish, snook, small sharks, Jack Crevalle, ladyfish, catfish, blowfish and many other fish – even some I couldn’t identify. When I got back to my apartment I always had fresh fish dinner that I’d bake on a pan at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. I’d wrap the fish in foil with lemon, garlic and some secret seasonings that usually included cumin, one of my favorite spices.
When I moved back to Hawaii for a couple years I was able to rent kayaks for exercise at Kailua beach park on the windward side of Oahu very close to where I worked. Ocean kayaking from Kailua is an amazing experience that you’ll likely never forget. The beach has soft sand, a gentle slope, and many trees for visitors to picnic under. The waves are generally tame and there are a couple places that rent ocean kayaks by the hour or by the day. If you’re energetic you can go explore some islands that are close by or just paddle along the beach.
Here’s a 360 panoramic view of Kailua beach park in a video posted at youtube.
Though I didn’t fish from the kayak in Hawaii, as I had no license. I did have the chance to kayak surf some of the smaller waves here in Kailua and that was incredible fun when I wasn’t overturning the kayak! It’s a bit tricky to keep the kayak upright while attempting to slide down the wave. I’d recommend you try it with small waves, but keep an open mind, and don’t bring anything onboard that you can’t afford to lose!
I’d love to share some of my photos of kayaking in Tampa Bay and Kailua, Hawaii but, unfortunately my photos are on hard drives at home in the states!
Ocean kayaking is a unique way to explore the world around you while on vacation. Here in Thailand there are incredible limestone karsts and thousands of small islands to explore by kayak on your vacation. The prices are very cheap here and you can have an ocean kayak for as low as $15 USD for all day at some locations! Here is avideo of some visitors to Thailand taking a long-tail boat around some prime kayaking areas. Kayak tours are seen during the video. The long-tail is a much bigger boat than a kayak and yet this boat gets right into some of the caves. Nice video put together by heinz10 at youtube.
Kayaking in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii with Kailuasailboards.com.
If you want to take an amazing experience, ocean kayaking, and turn it into an Awesome Experience, you should look at the Maui ocean kayaking companies that offer firsthand whale watching experiences from your kayak! Every year the humpback whales are found off Maui’s coast (as well as other Hawaiian islands) in large groups. They give spectacular shows by jumping out of the water (breeching) and slapping their tales against the water dozens of times per episode. I’ve never seen the whales by kayak, but next time I go back to Maui I must have this awesome life experience. I’ll probably go with “Maui Eco Tours” as I heard good things about them when I was a marketing manager for a resort firm on Maui.
Anyone want to relate their ocean kayaking experience? Tell us about it in the comments section!
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