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Sea Kayaking For Beginners – The Full Truth

Posted on Jul 25, 2012 by Tim Willis

Sea Kayaking is a truly wonderful sport and once you have learnt the basic skills, you will discover endless possibilities for day paddles and expeditions in Scotland, and indeed many countries around the world. Read on for our essential sea kayaking for beginners guide.

The Truth About Sea Kayaking - For Beginners!

First steps if you’re a sea kayaking beginner…

Like so many other activities, how you are taught will have a significant impact on how quickly you progress from beginner to a confident paddler, able to venture out in a variety of conditions.  

On a Wilderness Scotland sea kayaking adventure you can relax, enjoy the incredible scenery and marvel at the wondrous wildlife that inhabit Scotland’s west coast.

The quality of the instruction is so important in learning good techniques and feeling comfortable out on the water. We all paddle better when we are in a relaxed state of mind. The body becomes loose and flexible, adapting to the waves. Conversely, if you are nervous or anxious, the body tightens up which in turn becomes rigid.  This will make the body less capable of adapting to the waves and wind.

Comprehensive Sea Kayaking Articles

  1. Read how to Get Fit for Sea Kayaking
  2. The Ultimate Sea Kayaking Resource for Beginners
  3. How to Take the Best Photographs on the Water
  4. FILM – Sea Kayaking the West Coast of Scotland
  5. 26 of Our Best Sea Kayaking Photos from Twitter


Essential skills

The Ultimate Sea Kayaking Resource for Beginners

I’m probably not the only one that has a relatively short concentration span, so the idea of spending all day in one little corner of a loch, pond or out on the sea with hour after hour of tuition, is not very conducive to my learning style!

I want to be able to learn some paddle strokes at the start of the day and then head out along the coast on a journey where I can put into practice the lessons I have learnt that morning, all the while enjoying the wonderful panoramas that evolve every time I paddle round a bay or headland. After all, I learnt to sea kayak so I could be out on the sea, getting that unique perspective of our incredible coastline, which so few are ever able to get from the land.

We run our Introduction to Sea Kayaking trips for beginners with the belief that everyone gets more from the trips if they are run as a combination of time spent learning and enjoying day-long paddles. We get the opportunity to practice the skills we have learnt along any one of the stunning stretches of coastline we have here in the Highlands.


Guiding and instruction

  • We believe in small group sizes and a high guide to client ratio.
  • Guides have time to spend time providing pointers on an individual basis so you can really progress.
  • We all learn at different speeds and a good guide will spot the different levels and tailor their coaching throughout the day.
  • At Wilderness Scotland we have a client to guide ratio of 1:4 and our guides are amongst the very best in the country.

Sea Kayaking Video

Enjoy the beauty of Scotland’s coastline and see what it’s like to paddle as a beginner.

And, out onto the open waters!

I am lucky enough to be a veteran of many sea kayaking expeditions and I can always pick out those that have had the opportunity to be taught well. They tend to be the ones relaxed on the water, able to handle themselves in a variety of conditions, really taking in and appreciating the wonderful environment that they are paddling in and smiling from ear to ear.

I hope that you will join me in learning this very special sport. In life, I never feel more relaxed, happy and in touch with nature then when on the sea, on a sea kayak, paddling next to one of our stunning stretches of coastline surrounded by crystal clear water and with mountains all around.

Itching to experience a sea kayaking adventure?

Check out below to see our sea kayaking adventures that are suitable for beginners. If you want to read for yourself why our sea kayakers trips are rated 4.8 out of 5 then click here to see the reviews.


About the author

Tim Willis

Having travelled and enjoyed adventures in much of the world, for Tim there is nowhere more beautiful, dramatic and captivating than home in Scotland. Travel has made Tim realise just how lucky he is to live in a country with so much history, tradition, scenic beauty and incredible accessibility. In his words "It is a total pleasure and a great privilege to host and guide visitors to Scotland each year."

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