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Guide To Kayaking Apps

Mark Armstrong
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Apps have become a big part of our lives, with many of us using various apps everyday. But it’s not just social media and banking that a lot of us are using apps for now. There are plenty of kayaking apps that can help us too.

Best Kayaking Apps Guide - Pinterest ImagePin

But with so many apps out there and all the various categories that exist, tracking them down may not always be easy, especially if you don’t know what they’re called. So we’ve found what we consider to be the best apps for kayaking. We’ll show you what they can do and how they can help you on your next paddling trip.

Why Apps Are Useful (And Almost Essential!)

Since we all now go everywhere with our phones, apps can be an essential everyday resource. When it comes to kayaking, apps can be even more useful, as they can give us up to date information for the location we want to paddle in. They can also help us to navigate old and new spots and stay out of danger.


When you’re out on the water, knowing where you’re going and how to get back can be vital. This can be even more true if you’re paddling a new route or are in a location that’s new to you.

However, this is where an app can come in handy. There are various apps designed to help you find your way around on water and land, including GPS related apps. 

This may eliminate the need for a dedicated GPS device but you would need to make sure that the app can access the GPS signal on your phone when it’s offline. 

There are now many apps that can be used offline or off grid by using GPS. And there are other apps that require various maps and information to be downloaded prior to going offline. But this can then allow you to access the information offline and often you can still track your route as you go.


Safety is important when you’re out on the water and there are numerous apps out there that can help you stay safe.

Apps that can be particularly useful are the ones that can help you plan your trip in advance. These can help you to check water levels, water speeds, tides and even weather conditions. These can be useful when it comes to finding safe places to kayak and helping you avoid any potentially dangerous conditions.

Video: Review River Guide App

You may find that you can send your intended route and planned trip length to others, so that they will know roughly where you are if you happen to get in an accident or don’t return on time.

You will also find apps that can help with kayaking safety, such as with instructions and safety videos or first aid techniques. This type of information can be handy to have and can be ideal in preparing you for how to deal with an accident should it occur while you’re on the water.


Apps can be really useful for kayak fishing, with many of them able to let you find and save fishing locations, whether you’re online or offline.

Video: Fishing Points – GPS & Forecast App

You may find that there are also fish finders that are compatible with your phone, requiring you to download an app in order for your phone to then act as the screen for your fish finder.

As well as this, there are apps that let you see what type of fish has been caught in a specific area, including the bait that was used and when it was caught. This can be particularly helpful, as it gives you a better idea of where the current best fishing spots are.

Several fishing apps can also inform you of the state or federal laws and fishing limits, as well as any required permits that you might need.

Social Media And Photography

Social media can be a great way to connect with other kayakers and there are a few apps that can let you do this. This can give you access to more up to date information about where is best to paddle and if there are any particularly good whitewater runs. 

These types of apps can also let you upload pictures and videos, which can give others a better idea of what to expect on a particular trip.

You will also find that there are several photography apps that can help you create exciting videos and photos of your paddling trip, with various editing software to enhance them. Although, you will usually need a separate camera, such a GoPro, in order to capture the images.

9 Recommended Apps For Kayaking

1: Paddle Ready

Paddle Ready - American Canoe Association (ACA)Pin

This free app is available on both iOS and Android and has been developed by the American Canoe Association (ACA). It features up to date paddling safety information, as well as tide forecasting and river levels.

Paddle Ready also lets you access ACA paddle instructors and send your paddle route to your family and friends before you head out. Another handy feature is that it can let you report an accident, which can potentially be a life saving feature.

2: Go Paddling

Go Paddling App from paddling.comPin

Go Paddling is a free app which is available for both iOS and Android. Formerly Launch Sites, this useful app gives you information about more than 25,000 paddling locations across the US.

It features popular launch sites at each location and users are able to add notes for each location for other users to see.

3: KayakLog

KayakLog AppPin

KayakLog is free to download on both iOS and Android devices and was developed by experienced kayakers.

It can be a great app for tracking your paddling trips, as it can let you log your route as you paddle.

As well as mapping your route it can also record wind speed, temperature and your paddling speed.

It will also store any photos you take during your trip and lets you then upload your trip to their website for your records. You can also share it on your social media if you choose.

4: Polaris GPS

Polaris GPS Navigation AppPin

This GPS app is so far only available for Android devices but it’s free to download and can be a useful tool for planning and tracking your route. Because it uses the GPS signal on your phone, you can use many of the features offline but it also allows you to download detailed maps and plans to your phone before you set off.

The app can also give you access to marine charts to let you view water depths and it can also show you potential campsites along your route.

5: FishBrain

FishBrain AppPin

FishBrain is a free app that’s available for both Android and iOS devices. It features data from over 1.7 million fishing spots, with details of the catch and the bait that was used.

You can connect with other anglers and find new spots to fish, as well as log your catch details for other users to see and to keep a record for yourself.

6: Pro Angler

Pro Angler AppPin

The Pro Angler app can be a great tool for letting you find where the fish are.

It’s a free app for both iOS and Android with the option to upgrade for live information.

The app can give you information on weather, tides and the best times to fish. It also has information on required permits, boat launches and bait shops.

7: Mountain Buzz

Mountain Buzz App

Mountain Buzz is a whitewater forum where you can share your tips and discuss current conditions. It’s a free app on iOS that lets you communicate and share experiences with other paddlers across the western US.

It can also be a great place for buying and selling kayaking gear with their handy classified section.

8: Navionics Boating Marine & Lakes

Navionics Boating Marine and Lakes AppPin

This app gives you up to date nautical charts for kayaking and fishing and includes information on weather, tides and currents.

It is available on iOS devices and is free for the first two weeks.

After that you it offers you the chance to subscribe for a fee of between $9.99 and $14.99, depending on the version you opt for.

9: Paddle Partner

Paddle Partner AppPin

Paddle Partner can be a useful app whether you’re online or offline. It’s available for iOS for $4.99 and can help you navigate around several trails and rivers across the US, including the Everglades National Park.

However, the number of paddling locations is limited, so it’s a good idea to check your favorite locations are on there before you purchase it. But it can tell you your average paddling speed and point you in the right direction for access points and campsites.

Closing Thoughts

As you will have discovered, there are so many apps that can be used for kayaking. Whether you want to plan your adventures and map your route or you want to take advantage of the good fishing in a particular location, you should be able to find an app that can help.

As well as helping you stay safe on the water, apps can also be a great tool for letting you explore new paddling spots. Just make sure you have your phone fully charged before you head out.

Feel free to share this with your paddling community to keep them up to date. And if you have any app recommendations or any comments, let us know!

2 thoughts on “Guide To Kayaking Apps”

  1. Go Paddle is the only APP I found at the App Store. How old is this article? KayakLog can’t find as many of the others listed in this article.

    • I just downloaded Polaris GPS from the App Store so that’s there as well. I don’t know about the others, thats the one thats closest to my needs. The features look good but not tried a trip yet.


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