The BCU Sea Touring Committee looks after the interests of sea paddlers in Britain and is involved in all aspects of the sport. Sea kayaking is historically one of the earliest forms of paddling, with archaeological evidence suggesting highly developed craft and skilled hunter-fishermen as far back as 5000 BC.
Nowadays sea kayakers are not normally in the position of fishing for the family fare, but the craft are remarkably similar in lines to their museum antecedents. If you are interested in trying out the sport, there are opportunities to join BCU organised trips and meets with experienced sea paddlers.
Sea kayaking is environmentally friendly and appeals to everyone who enjoys open spaces, salt air and the feeling of being at one with nature. The sea is not, however, a big lake and the ocean has a temperament and character, which need to be understood. Weather, tides and charts should be considered and journeys planned. Not all sea paddling is on calm water and for some the essence of the sport is in meeting challenging conditions, undertaking long open crossings, or playing in overfalls and tide races. A new development in recent years has been the introduction of sea racing.
Standard expedition sea kayaks are raced over distances up to 12 miles. All the races are friendly and informal and have touring classes.
Sea kayaking for many, however, is a quiet, individual experience to be enjoyed quietly, away from the crowds. Symposiums and other open events are great social get-togethers as well as being informative and practical. Whatever sea paddling means to you, the Sea Touring Committee is on hand to help if you need them.