Wear a personal flotation device! PFDs -- also called life jackets or vests -- prevent drowning and are required on all North Sound Sea Kayaking Association outings. Many retailers sell life jackets specifically designed for kayaking. Some boat launch areas have loaner life jackets.
Know your limits and dress for immersion while kayaking cold waters -- by definition, water 59ºF or below. Drysuits or wetsuits are required on most NSSKA outings. The water in the Puget Sound remains cold year round. Check here for average temperatures. Learn more about hypothermia, drowning and cold-water survival.
If the wind forecast is for 10 knots, what conditions should you expect on the water? Check out the Beaufort Wind Scale. Are you looking for wind? Find it at Windfinder!
Tides and currents must be accounted for when planning a trip in Puget Sound. Here’s a handy tool for predicting tides and currents. Here’s another super cool tool: NOAA Charts with animated tides and currents (requires Microsoft Silverlight).
Going river paddling? Check streamflows at the USGS Washington Water Science Center.