-- Last Updated: Apr-16-13 2:15 PM EST --
Which means ocean is going to happen IMO, at some point that you feel you have this paddling thing licked because you have been out in some small waves on a lake and not capsized. The problem is that most people at that stage don't realize there's more to learn until they are hanging off the water offshore trying to figure out what to do next... because of course they planned not to capsize.
You are close to the ocean. You'll want to be on it. Get a boat that has two bulkheads, one front and one back, because once a boat capsizes and you are alone your only chance of self-rescuing on water is if there is air in both ends (or the boat is a SOT). And preferably learn how to self-rescue before you try the ocean.
You can put in float bags to mitigate this risk, but then you are constantly having to check the air in them, they add some weight to the boat and it can be challenging to figure out how to secure them so they don't just pop our and float away in a rec boat. Unlike a whitewater boat, these boats aren't designed with float bags in mind. The theory is that the boat won't be anywhere it'd matter because they are intended to be flat quiet smaller water boats.
Kayak Deck Gear Bags
Recreational Kayak Paddle
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