When Does Kayaking Season Start: Complete Guide For Every Season

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Kayaking is fun for almost everyone, including families and fitness freaks. It’s an excellent chance to spend time outside while birdwatching, fishing, or taking beautiful pictures.

Do you long to take your kayak out of storage and paddle for much-needed time on the water? If so, you’re not the only one. But perhaps you’re wondering When Does Kayaking Season Start? Or when does the kayaking season end?

Let’s find out in this article!

When Does Kayaking Season Start?

Depending on the region in which you live, this may vary. 

Kayaking can be done in warm weather regions in the early spring, cold weather regions in the late spring, and hot climates in the southern United States all year.

You might decide to go kayaking in colder weather if you feel comfortable doing so. It is feasible to take your kayak into the water if the water is not frozen. If you decide to go kayaking in the winter or cold water, there are some safety issues to be aware of.

Most of the time, people favor a warm, sunny day. It would be better to avoid kayaking about noon because you wouldn’t want to be out there in the heat of the day. If you want to enjoy weather that is neither terribly cold nor extremely hot, go on a trip early in the morning or before sunset.

Do not assume that rain will keep you from having a fantastic kayaking adventure. Summer showers are lovely since they might cause wildlife to come out. Only extreme weather conditions, such as thunderstorms or strong winds, can lead to the cancellation of kayak trips. So, do not worry about having a bad day just because you see dark clouds.

Best Weather Conditions For Kayaking

Two people kayaking on a slow moving river in nice weather.

You are already at a big advantage if you plan to do most of your kayaking in the area where you have lived all your life. However, there are still many things to consider while looking for the ideal weather for kayaking.

Wind Direction And Speed

The two weather conditions that will have the most effects on your kayaking experience are going to be wind speed and direction.

The wind can move your kayak about and make it hard to move in the direction you’re trying to paddle. The ideal weather for kayaking is little to no wind, as you might expect.

Water Temperature

When Does Kayaking Season Start, a man kayaking on a lake with autumnal looking trees suggesting cold water

When Does Kayaking Season Start? Water temperature is a crucial factor to consider. And it all begins with the fact that while something could feel chilly to you, it might feel crisp and refreshing to someone else. Be aware cold water can be one of the biggest dangers of kayaking.

But there is a more precise formula for determining whether it is “too cold” to kayak. For example, kayaking becomes easier and more pleasurable when the water temperature exceeds 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The 120-Degree Rule

The 120-degree rule can help you decide when it is too cold to kayak or at least when to take precautions when kayaking. If the combined temperature of the water and air is less than 120 degrees, then you should seriously consider wearing a wetsuit or dry suit. Failing to do so could put you at risk of hypothermia if you end up capsizing.

So in practice, if the water temperature is 70 degrees and the air is 55 degrees, then you should be ok, but if both the water and air are 55 degrees, then you need to wear a wetsuit or dry suit.

Can You Kayak Year-round?

Three people kayaking down a river.

You wouldn’t think so, but kayaking is one outdoor activity that can be done all year long! Even though you would believe that kayaking is more of a summer sport, you should not underestimate how breathtaking it can be to go on a few paddle trips on a lake surrounded by frosty scenery and snow-covered trees. Your clothing and equipment are the only things affecting your experience on the water.

Regardless of the season, having the proper clothing and equipment is essential. Dressing for the water’s temperature rather than the air’s is a piece of important advice! Although the air may look pleasant in the spring, the water is still bitterly cold after the winter. It can get freezing very quickly if you are wearing summer clothing when you fall in.

Summer kayaking

The time of year when most people take their kayaks out because the water is usually warm, sunny, and enjoyable. This time of year is also simpler because less planning and equipment are required. Though, it is essential to protect yourself from the sun, which many people could overlook. 

You are more likely to get sunburn on the sea because the sunlight is amplified and reflected, increasing its intensity. To protect your skin from the sun’s rays, pack a lightweight jacket or a thin long-sleeve shirt that you may wear on your upper body and arms.

On the other hand, the cockpit can get quite warm. Therefore we advise you wear either shorts or a swimsuit on your lower body. In addition, it is a good idea to think about the fabrics you want to wear so that you don’t select any that irritate you when you sweat or become wet.

Winter kayaking

The days are shorter, and the water and air temperatures are very low during the winter, which makes paddling very different. There may be severe consequences if you capsize. It is therefore necessary to be ready for anything, including the icing up of the kayak, equipment, and clothing. 

It would help if you also remembered to bring good gripping shoes, or even crampons since they can be helpful when you walk ashore. As many people know, the rocks by the lake may become quite slippery and may even have layers of ice.

A suitable dry suit is a must for paddling in northern latitudes in the winter. It keeps you dry and most of the water out even if you capsize. When paddling in a dry suit, you can use the layered clothing principle to regulate the temperature. You should wear a base layer next to your skin to control your body temperature. 

Dry suits that are made specifically for paddle sports, such as kayaking, are designed with greater mobility and breathability in mind. The drysuit lines from Gill are specifically designed for sports.

You can then add other wool or synthetic layers as needed. You can also wear boots and a neoprene hood to protect the body parts that lose the most heat. It is better to pack a little bit more to avoid having too little clothing that will ruin the entire trip.

Spring Kayaking

Spring follows winter, and the sun’s rays gradually become warmer. But don’t let it fool you. Despite the mild weather, the water is still icy from the winter. 

So, we also recommend that in the spring, you either paddle in a dry suit or use a mid-thickness wetsuit as a base layer with waterproofs on top. Many kayakers prefer the sleeveless long John style of wetsuit because of the increased maneuverability in the arms and shoulders whilst still keeping the body’s core warm.

With a dry suit, you can still control the temperature by wearing layers; begin by wearing a base layer and then decide whether you require more. You will be grateful you are wearing the suit if you capsize. 

With a wetsuit underneath, you will have some protection from the cold water if you capsize, but less so when compared to a dry suit. The advantage of a wetsuit is the ability to remove layers easily if you work up a sweat, something that is difficult when zipped into a dry suit.

Fall Kayaking

The water is still pretty warm after the summer, even though the air may feel a little crisper in the fall. The layering strategy is still effective here. Place a warm base layer close to your body, and then use intermediate layers to control the temperature. Finally, we advise wearing a waterproof kayak jacket with breathability that can be quickly closed around the neck and wrists. 


So, When Does Kayaking Season Start?

The answer is that nobody is quite sure. Make your own choice after carefully considering all the things mentioned above.

Remember to plan, be safe, and bring a friend.

If you venture out into the winter waters, it’s usually best to stick by the rule “the more, the merrier.”

Also Check: Kayaking For Fitness – Can Kayaking Build Muscle?


What is kayaking season?

There is no official kayaking season. You can go kayaking all year round if you take proper safety measures.

What is the best time to go kayaking?

Most people find the best kayaking season is from late spring to early summer, although kayaking can be done all year round with the right equipment.

When can you kayak in Colorado?

The kayaking season in Colorado typically begins in May and lasts until September, with the most incredible rides available in May and June. August is a better month for relaxed kayaking trips.

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