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The Complete Sea Kayakers Handbook, Second Edition Paperback – January 19, 2011
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About the Author
Shelley Johnson is well known as both a kayaking instructor and advocate. She is an American Canoe Association certified instructor, a member of the Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guides and Instructors, and a Registered Maine Guide. She is the author of Sea Kayaker's Pocket Guide and Sea Kayaking: A Women's Guide.
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The information is good, lots of common sense, and good things to make sure you pay attention to when you test out a kayak. The info in the book would get 4 stars if it were better formatted for the kindle (and readable!)
Seems to me a yak turns into the wind because the paddler's body acts like a sail and the wind force acting on the body applies a side force AFT of the center of buoyancy. This side force on the paddler aft of the center of bouyancy is transfered to the yak and rotates it.
If the paddler was positioned exactly at the center of buoyancy the yak would not rotate but drift.
With so much discussion in the book about feathering paddle blades it seems odd they ignore wind effect on the body.
This wind effect can be verified by sitting in a stopped yak with a side wind and observing rotation into the wind. A stopped yak without a paddler would mainly drift sideways (translate) and not rotate.
Overall the book is worthwhile to read and gather as many tips as possible.
The kayaking instructor that I went to is definitely a knowledgeable individual but he is, as I have found many in the sport to be, very opinionated. Had I not read The Complete Sea Kayaker's Handbook I think my knowledge of the sport would have been limited to what I learned by trial and error on my own and the limited presentation I got from the instructor. The book is pretty neutral on subjects that are more personal preference like boat selection, skegs vs. rudders vs. neither, paddle selection, etc. There is good coverage of the safety aspects and equipment, beyond what was in the lessons I took.
Overall the book is a really good supplement to lessons and paddling experience. I find myself going back and rereading sections of it after each time I go out paddling. I am sure that will change with experience but it is a great reference.
A great purchase and I'm sure you will not regret it!