What Equipment do I need to Kayak?

What Equipment do I need to Kayak?

By: Buzz Harries Comments: 0

What Gear do you need to kayak?

Here is a list of key kayaking gear for anyone wanting to paddle on a day trip, a multi-day trip, or for anyone taking a lesson at our waterfront locations.


Usage: All types of kayaking
Supplied at waterfront locations: No 
Why we recommend booties:
Basically, added comfort and much warmer feet! Remember also that you can damage your personal trainers by getting them wet and full of sand.
What's more, if you use non-paddling booties they won't feel great when you get out of the water - they'll be soggy, spongy and cold.
We recommend neoprene booties, or booties that have a firm base to them like these style Astral Shoes, it's a gamechanger.
They will dry out much faster than your running shoes, and they'll keep your feet warmer when you paddle.
Solite Custom Pro 20.5mm Booties


Dry Bags (waterproof bags)

Usage: All types of kayaking
Supplied at waterfront locations: No 
Why we recommend drybags:
Keeping your stuff dry... It's that simple. Water can get into your kayaks (small amounts can get through hatches), and thus we recommend putting your clothing/electronics/pillow/anything you want dry inside that. If you capsize, your kayak will soak anything that ain't in a dry bag. If you're packing overnight camping gear for an overnight kayaking trip, this is a must. We recommend getting 5 litre and 10 litre bags. 5L bags are perfect for storing things like: wallet, matches, electronic devices, cameras, batteries, and clothing layers. 10L lets you stuff all that and more - more clothing, gloves, perhaps a pillow. Having different sized bags is great to because you can stuff the smaller bags in the corners, and the bigger bags in the bigger compartments - everything will fit!
SealLine BlockerLite Dry Sack 10L


Phone Case (waterproof phone case)

Usage: All types of kayaking
Supplied at waterfront locations: No 
Why we recommend phone cases:
They do multiple things: Keeps your phone secure, keeps your phone dry AND it'll enable you to take pics while out on the water.
Because the case can be tied to your PFD for quick access, you won't miss the change to take a pic of an orca whale going by, or your friend trying a roll during a kayak lesson.


Chums Floating Strap

Usage: All types of kayaking
Supplied at waterfront locations: Yes, for purchase
Why we recommend floating glasses strap:
Without a Chums floating glasses strap, if your shades fall off, they'll sink to the ocean floor (forever).
This keeps your shades safe - as the name suggests: your glasses will float if they fall into the water.
Note: We sell these at Coast Outdoors AND at our waterfront locations. In Store purchase only. 


Floaty for your shades



Usage: All types of kayaking. Ideal for kayak lessons & multi-day trips.
Supplied at waterfront locations: Yes, for rental
Why we recommend wetuits
Wetsuits are AWESOME at keeping your body warm when you are submerged in water.
Most our waterfront locations rent wetsuits. But, keep in mind that many people have worn them... They might be sweaty, and smell a bit.
As you paddle, you'll want some freedom to move your arms around. As such, a Wetsuit like a 'Farmer' can be paired with a 'Hydroskin jacket' to keep your body warm when paddling.
Wetsuits come in different thicknesses. Depending on what time of year it is (and how warm you want to be) will determine what thickness to go for.
Our staff at Coast Outdoors can advise on ideal wetsuit thickness - just explain what type of paddling you are doing and they'll be happy to help

Dry Suits

Usage: All types of kayaking. Ideal for lessons & multi-day trips. Amazing protection during colder seasons.
Supplied at waterfront locations: No
Why we recommend dry suits:
Drysuits are meticulously designed to keep the wearer not only dry but also warm and comfortable. It is the ultimate protection while out on the water.
If you're doing a kayak lesson such as Paddle Canada Level 1 or Paddle Canada Level 2, these suits will make the experience so much dryer (on the inside). 
On an overcast day, you will be warmer. Your body temperature while doing overnight camping trips will be easier to warm up if you got wet (in the rain or due to a capsize). We highly recommend Kokatat Drysuits or NRS Drysuits


Kayaking PFD

Usage: In Canada, it's the law to Wear a PFD while kayaking
Supplied at waterfront locations: Yes - rent for free
Why we recommend PFDs (Some people call them kayaking lifejackets)
Apart from being a mandatory piece of equipment while kayaking, you should know that PFD's are different to lifejackets... Personal Flotation Devices are designed to keep a person afloat but are NOT designed to turn an unconscious person face up in the water (that's what lifejackets are for). PFD's like the ones we stock here at Coast Outdoors are designed for paddling: They are super comfortable, and they'll allow you to paddle with a full range of motion, while also keeping you safe (and boyant) should you capsize. The best PFDs for kayaking are Vaikobi PFD's and Mustang Khimera PFDs. Note: You should connect a whistle to your PFD too (some PFD's come with a whistle binded to it). 
Vaikobi VXP Low Profile Performance PFD



Usage: All types of kayaking, especially useful on day trips, multi-day trips or kayak lessons (like rolling, or practising capsize recovery)
Supplied at waterfront locations: Yes, free by request
Why we recommend Sprayskirts
Sprayskirts cover the cockpit of your kayak and they help keep your legs dry. It keeps rain out, and prevents all the water from waves crashing into your kayak (soaking your lap and filling up the kayak with water). Sprayskirts are really handy for longer kayak trips, especially if there's a chance you'll run into choppy conditions.

Seals Shocker Neoprene Sprayskirt


Neoprene & UV Layering

Usage: All types of kayaking. Ideal short kayaking (e.g: 2 Hr kayak session), kayak lessons & multi-day trips.
Supplied at waterfront locations: No
Why we recommend Neoprene & UV protective layering:
Vaikobi layering (like the Vaikobi V Cold Hydroflex Long Sleeve and Vaikobi V Cold Pants) or NRS layering (like the NRS Hydroskin Pants & NRS Hydroskin Top) are designed for those that kayak frequently, but don't want to (or need to) wear a drysuit or wetsuit - perhaps you are out for a short paddle on a sunny day. It's almost like having a wetsuit on, but the pants and tops are separate. Please note: If it's winter, you'll need more than just these layers. But, Neoprene layering is what most casual paddlers wear on shorter kayaking sessions in Spring, Summer & Fall. They're a lot like rashguards, and they come in various thicknesses. You can also set yourself up with Summer hydroskin layers (like hydroskin shorts & tops). We're big advocates of Vaikobi and NRS layers as they help you dress for the occasion with less effort! Tip: You can also wear hydroskin jackets and wear hydroskin gloves to boost overall body temperature when paddling on colder days.
Vaikobi V-Cold Flex Thermal Paddling Pants

Duffel Bags

Duffel BagsUsage: All types of adventuring. Carrying wet gear to and from lessons. 
Supplied at waterfront locations: No
Why we recommend Duffel Bags
Duffel Bags will make the transportation of your kayaking gear easier. Damp gear can smell, especially when you put them in a bag that doesn't dry out easily... Some duffel bags are waterproof, some are built to breath (and air out those funky smells). Think of them like damp gear transportation devices. Keep the car fresh.
Salomon Outlife Duffel 45L


A Paddle

Usage: All types of kayaking. Mandatory item (obviously)
Supplied at waterfront locations: Yes, basic paddle comes free when renting
Why we recommend getting your own paddle
Your paddle serves as your primary interface with the water. Therefore, having the right paddle  is crucial for establishing an optimal connection between you and the water. Choosing the appropriate paddle enhances stroke efficiency and comfort, making it gentler on the wrist and shoulders. Additionally, you can explore exceptionally robust yet lightweight paddle options, such as those crafted from carbon fibre, which prove ideal for extended day trips or multi-day excursions (the difference in feel during prolonged journeys is truly remarkable). Paddles are available in various shapes and sizes, and the nature of your intended paddling activities will dictate your selection. If you find yourself uncertain about which paddle to purchase, feel free to head in store or give us a call, and we'll be more than happy to assist you. We sell kayak paddles in Canada. 
Aqua-Bound Tango Fiberglass 2-Piece Straight Shaft

Order Online (serving Canada) or Visit Us In Store  


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