So the 1st of December is just around the corner and it is time for what has become an annual blogpost on Christmas gift ideas. For those new to the blog, it’s worth taking a look at the 2009 and 2010 Christmas gift blogposts to see other suggestions.

This year the Christmas gift list has grown again with a few more goodies included. Be warned, I’ve also decided to break my ‘affordable’ budget rule for the list with a couple of much more pricey items, however the core of the lists remains in the ‘more affordable’ price range.

1. Sea Kayak With Gordon Brown DVD: Volume 2

The second DVD from duo Gordon Brown and Simon Willis and firmly focused on Rescues but packed with other content – 2 hours worth to be precise. A superb DVD and worth it’s weight in cold for BCU 4* & 5* candidates or those leading groups. £19.95

Available here

2. Sea Kayak Essentials DVD

From Nick Cunliffe and Matt Giblin comes the second ‘Essentials’ DVD focused on Sea Kayaking technique for intermeadiate to advanced paddlers. A nice range of techniques are covered from the Fundamentals to more advanced and featuring some excellent filming and production quality. £19.95

Available here

3. First Aid Kit Dry Bags

Mentioned earlier in the year in this blogpost, these handy little dry bags are in the internationally recognised green colour with white first aid cross symbol on them. This helps distinguish them from other kit in an emergency. Perfect sizes for main first aid kit and for a PFD pocket ‘ouch pouch’. £7.99

Available here

4. Petzl e+LITE Headtorch

A superb, small headtorch with a variety of LED light settings, including white and red. Tiny and compact in it’s own small carry case. A shelf life of 10 years in storage makes it perfect for storing in an emergency kit bag or first aid kit ‘just in case’. £25

Available Here

5. Kari-Tek Coverall

This top is quite simply a potential lifesaver. It’s a simple nylon, over the head cagoule designed to fit over the top of all your paddling kit – including buoyancy aid/helmet etc. The bottom hem is large enough to fit around the cockpit rim, over the top of the spray deck. Really small when packed it stows nicely and makes a dramatic difference to warmth when you put it on. Superb bit of safety kit. £76.50

Available here (Scroll down to mid way through page)

6. Pogies

A couple of years ago I listed neoprene gloves as a gift idea. I’m now adding pogies due to the benefit in combatting wind chill. So small and lightweight, it’s a no-brainer to carry them on Winter paddles. I have a couple of pairs – one set for me and one in my spare clothing kit dry bag. £27

Available here

7. Fat Paddler Book

I’m ashamed to say I’m still only 4/5 of the way through this book (too much night paddling!) and determined to complete it by Christmas. What I have read so far is superb. This is not so much a ‘sea kayaking book’ rather a book about an amazing individual who sea kayaks. I have yet to read anything other than a glowing review. $29 (AUD)

Available here

8. A Course

Ok, this might seem a bit of a wooly idea but after a hectic 12 months preparing for or attending various skills, training or assessment courses in both Sea Kayaking and First Aid I’ve been reflecting on how much my techniques and knowledge have improved. I had money towards these as Birthday presents this year and will be doing the same over Christmas and it makes for a very practical gift idea – ‘teach a man to fish’ and all that! £ various

9. Airbags

I always used to see airbags as something for my WW boat or open canoeing. However carrying them in a sea kayak makes total sense. Inflated in empty compartments in case a hatch cover pops and as part of your emergency kit in case a member of your group holes a boat or loses a hatch. The larger the better! From £15

Available here

10. 5.10 Canyoneer 2 Boots

If these will fit in your cockpit of the Sea Kayak they are simply superb. Very comfortable and awesome for any sort of terrain once you land. Particularly useful in more technical landings which involve clambering around on rocky shorelines. Pricey, but extremely hard wearing. £85

Available here (Third down the page)

11. A Laminator

A superb tool to have access to. I use mine for laminating all sorts of crib cards for coaching or leading, navigation aids, maps, kit lists, group lists and so forth. If possible get a decent make and always go for good quality, thicker laminate sheets. From £25

Available here

12. North Water Turtle Deck Bag

I’m lucky that my own kayak has a deck hatch, however, when paddling boats without one I rely on a lovely North Water Turtle Deck bag. Small and compact but big enough for the essentials you need to hand. £40

Available here (2/3 of way down page)

13. Sea Kayak Navigation Book

Sea Kayak Navigation by Franco Ferrero (published by Pesda Press) is a superb manual for navigation for Sea Kayakers. Small and compact is is easy to carry around and features superb diagrams and graphics. A must have book and very affordable. £9.99

Available here

14. Peak Semi Shortie Cag

I had one too many paddles this year where a thermal T-shirt was too cool but a long sleeve cag was too hot to wear so have invested in a short sleeved cag. (NB: Full disclosure – as a Peak Professional Partner, I am able to purchase Peak UK kit at a reduced rate). £75

Available here

15. Silva Expedition 4 Compass

I’ve had one of these since the early 1990’s. My original one packed in after 21 years of loyal service having seen me through my Mountain Leaders Award and Orienteering Instructors Award. I replaced it with the same model. A superb piece of kit and worth every penny for deck and land based navigation. £22.50

Available here

16. Valley Etain 17.5 Sea Kayak

I’m very lucky through my work with Ocean Paddler Magazine to get to paddle a large range of boats. The new Valley Etain, in particular the Valley Etain 17.5, was without a doubt one of the nicest boats I have paddled. If I was buying a boat tomorrow this would be the one. Large enough for extended trips but remaining highly agile on the water I simply fell in love with it! For larger paddlers/big expeditions the 17.7 is worth a look and the 17.7 Plastic version is also superb.£2245

Available here


Hopefully this years list will provide some inspiration for folks shopping for christmas gifts for the Sea kayaker in their lives. As ever, if there is something you feel should be on the list please add a comment to this post and share your thoughts. Alternatively, simply print out the article, highlght the item/s you want and leave copies strategically position around the house as a not-so-subtle hint!