Sea kayaking reading list

Sea kayaking is such a great sport that many people have written books about it.  If you’d like to enhance your armchair sea kayaking cred, here’s a list of books to  get you started.  Note that some of them are available from the club library!  Contact any trip leader or club officer to teach you about our checkout system if you’re interested.

Sea Kayaking: Basic Skills, Paddling Techniques, and Expedition Planning, by Dan Henderson.

After reading Chapter 4 I could suddenly keep up with Tim.  It also contains useful information besides just improving your stroke technique.

Sea Kayaker‘s Deep Trouble, by Matt Broze and George Gronseth.

This is a collection of accounts of real sea kayaking trips that didn’t go according to plan.  Many of them take place around Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Olympic Peninsula.  It is essentially required reading if you are going to be a trip leader.  Read these stories and learn vicariously from others’ mistakes so you can paddle more safely. The club has a copy but it seems to be missing.

Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation, by David Burch.

Also standard reading for new trip leaders, this book teaches you the basics of navigating, in particular, reading charts and predicting tidal currents, from an interesting local marine navigation specialist.  The club has two copies!

Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, and Gulf Islands, older editions by Randel Washburne and newest edition by Rob Casey.

This is a classic guidebook with concise information on many of the popular salt water paddles in the area.  The club has at least one copy of the second edition.

Sea Kayaking, by John Dowd.

An instructional manual for kayak expeditions by a great expedition kayaker ( lists a couple of his adventures). I started reading this thinking it would teach me useful skills for kayaking, but instead found it as a launching point into reading about kayaking across oceans.  The club has two copies.

Kayaking the Inside Passage, by Robert H. Miller.

A great, not at all concise, read discussing a series of trips by the author and his wife from the southern end of Puget Sound all the way to Glacier Bay in southeast Alaska.  There is lots of information about and narration of the paddling they did, but also plenty of background about the history of the places they visited.