A selection of books on all things paddling
The following kayaking books help to provide some additional information or simply for some inspiration for your next adventure!
A couple of selected books that cover general paddling.
The Art of Kayaking
Everything You Need to Know about Paddling
by Nigel Foster
A comprehensive manual on kayaking; from the basics to boat repair.
The Classic Manual for Touring, from Day Trips to Major Expeditions
by John Dowd and Freya Hoffmeister
Covers the basics of equipment and technique, essential skills as how to read the weather and the water, how to navigate and group paddling.
The Packraft Handbook
An Instructional Guide for the Curious
by Luc Mehl and Sarah Glaser
A comprehensive guide to packrafting, with a strong emphasis on skill progression and safety.
The Art of Stand Up Paddling
A Complete Guide to SUP on Lakes, Rivers, and Oceans
by Ben Marcus
Covers buying a board and getting started on your local lake to paddling rivers and surfing ocean waves.
While first hand practise with an instructor is best, a few books on paddling techniques.
Sea Kayak Strokes
A Guide to Efficient Paddling Skills
by Doug Alderson
A comprehensive manual on paddling strokes including edging. sculling, sweeps, rudders, braces, draws and rolls.
Kayaking with Eric Jackson
Strokes and Concepts
by Eric Jackson
More advanced stroke work in a white-water context.
Kayaking with Eric Jackson
Rolling and Bracing
by Eric Jackson
More advanced skills with bracing and rolling.
Safety and Rescue
General reference book and some real life stories to help you avoid making mistakes that others already have.
Sea Kayaking Safety and Rescue
From mild to wild, the essential guide for beginners through experts
by John Lull
A comprehensive look at kayak safely in a marine envirnoment. How to detect and handle hazards, fundamental recovery and rescue skills, including rolling.
Sea Kayaker's Deep Trouble
True Stories and Their Lessons from Sea Kayaker Magazine
by Matt Broze, et al
An analysis of 20 harrowing, real-life tales of sea kayaking accidents.
Sea Kayaker's More Deep Trouble
by Christopher Cunningham
Another 20 real-life tales of sea kayaking accidents.
How to get to A to B.
Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation
by David Burch
everything you need to know, from traditional map and compass navigation through state-of-the-art electronic navigation.
Two definitive reference books on knots released a century apart.
The Knot Bible
The Complete Guide to Knots and Their Uses
by Nic Compton
The complete and definitive bible of knots for seafarers.
A general guide to fishing downunder and kayak fishing from an American perspective.
Australian Fishing Guide
by Steve Cooper
Covers over a thousand destinations, 60 fish species and tips and tricks for fishing in Australia.
The Ultimate Guide to Kayak Fishing
A Practical Guide
by Joel Spring
Covers various types, transportion, outfitting, vital safety information with key insights for a successful kayak fishing experience.
Flora and fauna
Not directly paddle related, but useful reference books to help identify animals you see along the way.
A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia
by Peter Menkhorst and Frank Knight
A comprehensive guide to identifying all 379 species of mammals known in Australia.
Birds of Australia
A Photographic Guide
by Iain Campbell, et al
Covers all 714 species of resident birds and regularly occurring migrants using more than 1,100 stunning color photos.
Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia
by Harold G. Cogger
The definitive guide to the 830 species of frogs, crocodiles, turtles, tortoises, lizards, and snakes that comprise the herpetofauna of Australia
There are numerious books from peoples kayaking adventures from around the world and this is just a small sample of these from an Australiaian viewpoint.
The circumnavigation of Australia is the ultimate test of paddling endurance, skills, fearlessness and maybe most importantly sheer dogged determination. You can still count the successful attempts on one hand:
Paul Caffyn 28 Dec 1981 to 23 Dec 1982 (362 days) from Queenscliff Beach, VIC. The first circumnavigation of the country.
Freya Hoffmeister 18 Jan to 15 Dec 2009 (333 days) from Queenscliff Beach, VIC. The first female paddler.
Stuart Trueman 11 Apr 2010 tp 27 Jul 2011 (474 days) from Broome WA. The first completely circumnavigation without a support team.
Jason Beachcroft 12 Jan 2013 to 28 Jun 2014 (534 days) from Rose Bay, NSW. The first to include Tasmania.
Bonnie Hancock 19 Dec 2021 to 28 Aug 2022 (254 days) from the Gold Coast, QLD. The current record holder on a surf-ski with full support crew trailing her in a catamaran.
The Dreamtime Voyage
Around Australia Kayak Odyssey
by Paul Caffyn
The first solo kayak circumnavigation of Australia, a 15,000 km epic taking 360 days.
One Woman, One Kayak, One Continent
by Joe Glickman
The mostly unsupported second sucessful paddle around Australia.
All the Way Round
by Stuart Trueman
A 16-month voyage to circumnavigate Australia by kayak that included crossing the Bass Strait twice to circumnavigate Tasmania.
Keep Australia On Your Left
A True Story of an attempt to circumnavigate Australia by kayak
by Eric Stiller
A true story of an attempt by Eric Stiller and Tony Brown to circumnavigate Australia by kayak.
With a shout out to those that have attempted to cross the ditch; the trans-Tasman crossing from Australia to New Zealand. These are even rarer than circumnavigation of Australias with only three successful crossings, Richard Barnes being the thrid in 2023.
A Man. A Kayak. An Ocean
by Vicki McAuley
Chronicles Andrew McCauley failed trans-Tasman attempt
Crossing the Ditch
by James Castrission
Two mates, a kayak, and the conquest of the Tasman
by Scott Donaldson
A Story of Grit and Endurance from the First Person to Kayak the Tasman Solo
And a small sample from overseas:
Facing Fears, Chasing Dreams, and a Quest to Kayak the World's Largest River from Source to Sea
by Darcy Gaechter
A womans 148-day journey with her two companions down the Amazon, with encounters illegal loggers, narco-traffickers, murderous Shining Path rebels, and ruthless poachers in the black market trade in endangered species.
Cape Horn is not a Gift!
The First Circumnavigation of South America
by Freya Hoffmeister
Documents four years of paddling to complete the continent, stretching from the Panama Canal to Cape Horn, over thirteen countries, and 27.000 km.
The Pacific Alone
The Untold Story of Kayaking's Boldest Voyage
by Dave Shively
A 63 day journey from California to Hawaii by kayak.