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JD - LoL, Hey, I'm from Ohio ... But been around the salt water most of my life.

Can not wait to get back and get out, been gone again since Feb.... But as Yak stated, My brain is bigger than my balls - I've come back and put the ice back in the freezer many times.

Cheers,
Stressless
Was that you out there?
 

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What direction wind is the most dangerous? Is it obviously outbound? Also what wind speed would you consider unsafe on the average day?
 

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I would say wind speed is a personal limitation...up until the point of common sense where no one should be out on the water. Aside from the obvious wave action which comes from increased wind speed you have the push affect from the wind. If you have a decked out kayak which becomes in effect a sail on the water a north wind pushes you out to sea rather quickly. If you are a strong paddler with lots of stamina you will be able to over come the wind with greater ease than someone with less physical abilities. And it's not just a north wind pushing you out to sea. And east or west wind can push you far away from your launch site making it very difficult to get back.

Bottom line is know your personal abilities and form your own limitations. And the limitations of your kayak. I'm a relatively young healthy guy who is in shape. But I know my ascend kayak sits lower in the water than most and even 1 ft chop can come over the bow while 2-3ft rollers are no issue. So wind vs current that can stack the waves factors in my decision. Plus I don't like the process of coming in with breakers, even relatively small ones so that comes into play.

If you are unsure pick your days very careful to only pristine days at first and gauge your comfort level. My first few times in the gulf were on windless days where the gulf was like a swimming pool.
 

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I would say wind speed is a personal limitation...up until the point of common sense where no one should be out on the water. Aside from the obvious wave action which comes from increased wind speed you have the push affect from the wind. If you have a decked out kayak which becomes in effect a sail on the water a north wind pushes you out to sea rather quickly. If you are a strong paddler with lots of stamina you will be able to over come the wind with greater ease than someone with less physical abilities. And it's not just a north wind pushing you out to sea. And east or west wind can push you far away from your launch site making it very difficult to get back.

Bottom line is know your personal abilities and form your own limitations. And the limitations of your kayak. I'm a relatively young healthy guy who is in shape. But I know my ascend kayak sits lower in the water than most and even 1 ft chop can come over the bow while 2-3ft rollers are no issue. So wind vs current that can stack the waves factors in my decision. Plus I don't like the process of coming in with breakers, even relatively small ones so that comes into play.

If you are unsure pick your days very careful to only pristine days at first and gauge your comfort level. My first few times in the gulf were on windless days where the gulf was like a swimming pool.
For me, I stick to inshore if winds are over 10mph. Normally I will only go the gulf route if the wind is at or under 7mph, 10 mph if it's S-N. Can I go out in stronger, sure... it's just not worth the chance of things changing for the worse. Don't forget that the surf will always look beautiful when there are winds from the north.

On to the surf re-entry. If there's breakers and you don't feel comfortable, get to the point where the waves are about to start breaking and then do a 180 so you are facing south and let the waves push you in. So much easier to keep yourself upright facing in to the waves.
 

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For me, I stick to inshore if winds are over 10mph. Normally I will only go the gulf route if the wind is at or under 7mph, 10 mph if it's S-N. Can I go out in stronger, sure... it's just not worth the chance of things changing for the worse. Don't forget that the surf will always look beautiful when there are winds from the north.

On to the surf re-entry. If there's breakers and you don't feel comfortable, get to the point where the waves are about to start breaking and then do a 180 so you are facing south and let the waves push you in. So much easier to keep yourself upright facing in to the waves.
Good point on the surf re-entry. Not as practical now but once it warms up I tend to bail out when I get close to the breakers and hold on to the back and swim the kayak in. Never flipped doing it this way.
 

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I appreciate this knowledge guys. I've always been an inshore wader, surf and pier guy. I bought starter kayak this winter(field and stream talon 12'). I intend to fish hard inshore all spring and summer to get somemore experience and hopefully get out this early fall on one of those "pool like days" to start with. I really want to catch some mahi/blackfin out of my kayak. Anyway, outside of a smart phone in a dry bag and life vest(sunscreen, water etc), any suggestions for some must haves on the gulf
 

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Leashes so you can tie everything down, floats on things that aren't leashed (I use wine corks for floats attached to things like scissors)
A handheld vhf radio is a comforting thing to have once you start heading offshore.
A whistle (its good practice to attach it to your life vest)
A visual signaling device (I keep a neon safety vest and a light with me, I'll get flares one day I suppose)
I freeze water in old bottles for ice so I generally have plenty of drinkable water.
 

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Good info, The gulf is is very temperamental and summer storms and winds can occur almost out of nowhere I check the beach before I make any decisions. No mater what the weather reports. Check surf, check winds, check cloud coverage, then I check radar on phone as well as consistently throughout the day. I also think every single kayaker should carry a 6 or 7 watt handheld VHF. Remember it is handheld so range will be short(no 8 ft boat antenna for range). Not only will this provide some additional safety it makes fishing with a partner a million times better than trying to use a cell phone! Do not go out ever with a strong North wind blowing south. Cuba is a long way away!
 

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Never ever go into the gulf alone. Ask my brother in law who used to live and kayak fish in PCB. He took his hobie revo out to some live bottom 2-3 miles out and broke a chain on his drive. Wind picked up from north and he had to paddle that boat for several hours into the wind and beached it over a half mile away from his put in point. He is highly experienced and grew up like me on the gulf coast, but was scared pretty good after that experience he always has a partner fishing in the gulf or he hits the bay


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Never ever go into the gulf alone. Ask my brother in law who used to live and kayak fish in PCB. He took his hobie revo out to some live bottom 2-3 miles out and broke a chain on his drive. Wind picked up from north and he had to paddle that boat for several hours into the wind and beached it over a half mile away from his put in point. He is highly experienced and grew up like me on the gulf coast, but was scared pretty good after that experience he always has a partner fishing in the gulf or he hits the bay


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Good thing he was in a Revo not a PA14. I always carry a mirage drive repair kit. Comes with extra chain, mast, sprocket and fin just in case something terrible happens.
 
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