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Wind & Weather: The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association (NOAA) provides the most accurate information and forecasts for coastal areas. Forecasts include wind, swell, sunrise and sunset data. 

Waves: For the most accurate wave information including swell and surf height, period, and direction, check Surfline or Magic Seaweed for the beach or nearest area where you'll paddle. 

Tides: NOAA also provides accurate tidal information (NOAA Tidal Information). I also like the app, Tide Graph. It gives you data for currents (in knots) for nearby buoys as well as very localized tide information (buoy/marker-specific max ebb and max flood). TideLog is a printed tide log that helps you visualize weekly tidal trends and the currents and volume associated with tidal exchanges. It also shows you astronomically what is going on that impacts the tides for a given week or day. 

Navigation & Trip Planning

  • Charts: For printed or downloaded nautical charts for a specific area, NOAA now provides charts online that you can download and print. You can also order traditional charts as well. 
  • Apps: The app Navionics is super useful to have on your phone. It's like Google Maps but nautical style and gives you a lot of rich information about coastal features by tapping on them. It also makes plotting distances really easy. 
  • Google Maps: Kelly Henry and I planned our expedition in Taiwan almost entirely using Google Satellite and Google Maps to measure distances, view harbors and beach conditions and to keep track of our ideal itinerary. 
  • Bay Area Sea Kayakers Trip Planner: Provides tide, current, weather information as well as launching and landing information for areas all over the San Francisco Bay. 

Safety & Information

  • American Canoe Association sets the standards for paddling skills and safety. They have lots of material useful for every level of paddler, including skill and class progressions, safety recommendations and much more. 

Northern California Clubs

Outfitters, Schools & Coaches

Bay Area & NorCal Resources

  • San Francisco Bay Water Trail is a paddling trail that spans the perimeter of the San Francisco Bay. This site also includes good put-in and take out information. 
  • Dreamflows will let you know accurate river flow data for most California rivers and give you an approximate reading of whether they are runnable for your skill level. 

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What's in My Kit?


  • Sea Kayak: Valley Gemini SP
  • Whitewater kayak: Dagger Axiom 8.5 (M)
  • Whitewater kayak: Jackson Zen (M)
  • Whitewater Canoe: Mohawk Probe 11
  • Surf Kayak: Mega Kayaks Bullit S


  • Werner Cyprus Straight 210 - For distance.
  • Werner Coryvecken - For instruction, power, short days. 
  • Werner Twist 197
  • Gearlab Carbon Akiak Greenland Paddle - For distance, fun, and Greenland rolling. 

Essential Gear: 

  • PFD: Kokatat Maximus Centurion Rescue Vest and Astral's Sea Wolf
  • Spray Skirts: Snap Dragon Neoprene Sprayskirts
  • Helmets: Sweet Protection Strutter Helmet and WSRI Trident Composite Helmet (S/M)
  • Warmth:
    • Kokatat Meridian Drysuit
    • Kokatat Rogue Drytop
    • Billabong Carbon Furnace 4/3 Wetsuit