The Complete Sea Kayaker’s Handbook


Are you someone looking for a little high seas adventure without the benefit of motor or sail? Have a look at Shelley Johnson’s “The Complete Sea Kayaker’s Handbook,” a 307-page resource that will give you all the ins and outs of what exactly you will need to make that dream a reality. Johnson, an experienced kayaker, brings her expertise to you in a manner that is both accessible and a pleasure to read.

Johnson, who also wrote “Sea Kayaking: A Woman’s Guide,” takes you through every step of the process, offering tips on how to select and buy a canoe, what supplies to stock for your trip, how to learn to navigate and keep up your strength as you paddle and what to do if you capsize. She also discusses more specialized topics, like how to deal with a strong wind and how to tie lasting knots, and she includes several recipes that kayakers might want to try on their journey.

Throughout “The Complete Sea Kayaker’s Handbook,” she scatters several sidebars that include useful facts and explore certain issues in more depth. The instructions on how to master the different strokes will be especially helpful to beginners, and anyone would be impressed with the full-color photographs that she includes. These are eye-catching and very helpful in visualizing the experience.

“The Complete Sea Kayaker’s Handbook” is a pretty extensive volume, but it never drags, since Johnson has an enjoyable writing style that is clear but stylish. Additionally, you can always flip through the book, skipping around as you read the sections that are of the greatest interest to you. Johnson is so thorough that this could genuinely be the only book you ever need to read on the subject. Certainly, it’s an ideal choice of textbook for a kayaking class, and it would make a great gift for someone who is just getting interested in this type of boating.

For such a comprehensive book, it doesn’t cost very much, with a retail price of $19 that is often lowered online. If you’re looking for a little guidance on using a kayak in the open sea, “The Complete Sea Kayaker’s Handbook” is for you.