Swiftly by Sea: Kayak Along the Virginia Coast

Few outdoor activities provide the challenge and adventure of sea kayaking. We tell you the important details you need to know about your kayak adventure before hitting the waves.

What Is a Sea Kayak?

A sea kayak is designed for higher speeds and more efficient turning than a recreational kayak. To those unfamiliar with kayaking, both may seem like the same thing, but there are differences between the two. A sea kayak is also narrower and generally longer.

New sea kayakers might think of it as boring compared to the waterfall views or ferocious rapids they’ll experience in lakes and rivers. But sea kayaking offers a unique view of the world since you can experience nature in a more personal way than with other types of boating. Many kayakers who have tried and tested their skills on rivers and lakes haven’t experienced the excitement of open water. While this fun sport can be enjoyable no matter where you are, testing your mettle on a sea kayak affords its own unique adventure! Need a place to start? Take a trip up Virginia’s coast!

Sea Kayaking in Virginia

The beauty and biodiversity of the Virginia coast create a perfect setting in which to explore the local environment by kayak. You can visit a number of local tour agencies to arrange sightseeing trips around the area. You’ll pass by interesting locations, such as False Cape State Park, and the many animals that migrate to them.

To see osprey and the resident bald eagles, go to First Landing State Park.  Here you can indulge in a bit of bird watching. If the season is right, you may even be able to spot a variety of other birds like egrets, herons, red-winged blackbirds, and the belted kingfisher.

Beyond the storied songbirds and those that make a home in the area for a time, the Virginia coast is well known for one of its most prominent mammals, the bottlenose dolphin. These curious, friendly creatures migrate between March and November. You can see them up close on a number of local kayaking tours.

Check out the Kayak Search and Find for more things to see while on a sea kayaking trip. Share your favorite photos with friends and family on the FamilyApp.

Learning a few new tricks can be the key to maximizing your enjoyment on the open water. Fortunately, there are a variety of training courses available for those new to the world of sea kayaking.

If you’re a novice to the sport, “Beginner Kayaking Instruction” is a one or two-day course where newcomers can learn many of the basics like paddling strokes, wet exit, and navigation. Technique training like “Tune-Up Paddle” and “Intermediate Paddling Skills” can help refine the skills on the water for the more experienced paddlers. Whether you row in tandem or prefer being the captain of your own sea kayak, there are plenty of ways to improve your kayaking know-how.

Sea Kayak Excursion: What to Pack

Kayaking in the sea may provide a sense of freedom and lightness, but don’t forget the essentials you’ll need for the journey! Here are a few:

  • Sandals– or another appropriate water shoe
  • Hat– to provide good sun coverage
  • Sunglasses-to protect your eyes from the UV rays
  • Sunscreen-to keep your skin healthy
  • Water– to prevent dehydration
  • Healthy Snacks– to keep your energy levels up
  • A Change of Clothes– possibly a long-sleeved shirt or jacket if the weather’s cooler.

An Unparalleled Adventure

You might want to try out a multi-day trip once you’ve mastered the art of sea kayaking. For these, you’ll want to check in with the kayaking company you’re booking through. While the costs of kayaks will vary based on the trip and the company, rentals in the area are currently available for singles ($45), doubles ($65), and covered kayaks ($65).

There’s no better way to see the Virginia Coast than from the vantage point of a sea kayak! When it comes to an open water excursion, you can’t miss the unparalleled adventure of a sea kayaking trip!

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