Why do we kayak on openwater? We like the rhythm of paddling and the feeling of being out on openwater, responsible for and in control of our actions. We like the sensation of freedom under a big blue sky, separated from solid ground, and the three-dimensional movement accentuated by wind, waves and swells. When one is completely immersed in the elements, experience is heightened as increased awareness is demanded and dulled senses are rejuvenated.
For us openwater kayakers, this can mean paddling in the exposed waters around Lion Island at the mouth of Broken Bay, exploring the bays of Sydney Harbour or perhaps a short trip ‘outside’ from Jervis Bay. It can also involve paddling on large bodies of exposed water such as the Myall Lake or in the Shoalhaven Gorge where winds can require more advanced skills than flatwater paddling.
Openwater kayaking is the next step up from flatwater and requires higher skill and fitness levels from the paddler. It also opens up far more opportunities for waterways to be paddled, whether a 30 kilometre day trip or a multiday expedition, and because of the expanded horizons offered it is where flatwater paddlers graduate as they develop their kayaking skills and knowledge. As a Rivers’ member, your journey into openwater kayaking is supported by Club training and skills development days and our Australian Canoeing qualified instructors. Then there are the tips and advice experienced members can offer and the personal experience one builds up by coming on Club trips and weekends away.
Pittwater to Maitland Bay lead by Dave in the Black Pearl