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Guide To Kayaking Apps For Paddling

Mark Armstrong
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Immerse yourself in a digital world that’s not just about scrolling through social feeds or managing bank accounts.

Today, we explore a realm where the virtual meets the visceral: the world of kayaking apps.

As paddling enthusiasts, we’re no strangers to the challenge of sifting through a sea of applications, often with cryptic names and vague descriptions.

To save you from this labyrinth, we’ve navigated the complex currents of the app stores, unearthing the most brilliant kayaking apps available.

Join us as we reveal their unique functionalities and explain how they can elevate your next aquatic adventure.

Best Kayaking Apps Guide - Pinterest ImagePin

Why Kayak 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, like rain. 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 Logger For Watersports

Paddle Logger For Watersports AppPin

This iOS kayaking app is designed by paddlers for paddlers. It helps you track your paddling routes using GPS and is compatible with Apple Watch. This means you can leave your phone safely on shore while you hit your paddle goals on the water.

You can set goals to help with training. It also gives you information on wind speed at your location plus has a PaddleLIVE service (requires a subscription) that keeps your loved ones informed of your location.

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: Tides Near Me

Tides Near Me AppPin

This free app is available for both iOS and Android devices. It can be a useful app if you plan to kayak on coastal waters, as it can give you detailed information and predictions of the tides, with charts and timetables, as well as details of currents.

This uses nearby tide stations based on your location and is aimed at all boaters. But it can be a particularly good kayak fishing app, as it also tells you when the sun and moon will rise and set so you can plan the best times to fish for a particular species.

4: Windfinder

Windfinder AppPin

Available on both iOS and Android app stores, the Windfinder app gives you detailed global weather forecasts, including wind speed, tides, and waves.

This kayaking app is free to use but there’s also a subscription service for an ad-free version and a pro version costing between $7.99 and $12.99 depending on whether you have an iOS or Android device.

This is designed more for kayakers looking to paddle on the coast. It’s also useful for other coastal watersports where wind speed is important, such as kitesurfing and sailing.

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: FishAngler


This can be the ideal app for kayak fishing in a range of different water types and it’s available on both Android and iOS. Some anglers think this is a better fishing app than FishBrain as there are no subscriptions required, just free access to discover new fishing spots.

It has interactive fishing maps, along with details on the best lures and bait to use. It also shows you boat ramps and underwater structures. Plus, you can connect with other anglers in real time.

You can also mark waypoints and save GPS coordinates so you can find your way back to your honey hole later or return to the dock.

7: Savvy Navvy

Savvy Navvy AppPin

This app is billed to be “just like Google maps but for boats”. This is a free-to-download app that can give you a trial for two weeks and can be found in the app stores for both iOS and Android phones or tablets.

The downside of this kayaking app is the annual subscription cost after the trial – it’s $69.99!

The app features chart navigation, marine weather forecasts, tide heights and tidal streams. We think this is probably better for avid ocean kayak anglers rather than a recreational kayaker.

8: Paddle Paddle

Paddle Paddle AppPin

The Paddle Paddle app can be ideal for all types of kayakers, as well as canoeists and paddle boarders. This free app tracks your paddling route, recording your speed and pace, along with pauses. It also notes the weather conditions during your ride.

A nice feature of this kayaking app is that you can set your goals and compare paddling sessions with previous sessions to see whether you’ve gone faster or slower than before.

This could be a good app for training and working out and can be ideal for all types of water, including coastal and inland waterways. Get the app on iOS here and let the adventure begin!

9: River App

River AppPin

Available in both iOS and Android app stores, the River App can be a fantastic app for whitewater kayakers and casual river paddlers, as well as kayak anglers fishing in rivers. This offers information on rivers around the world.

It shows river levels and flow forecasts. It also shows water temperatures and whether a route is navigable by kayak or not.

Another handy feature is that it shows you put-in and take-out locations on various rivers and highlights whitewater parks and popular freestyle locations.

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!

3 thoughts on “Guide To Kayaking Apps For Paddling”

  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.

  2. Not sure what was updated on this article in Jan 2023, but it’s outdated. Paddle Partner, Mountain Buzz, Polaris GPS, and KayakLog, all for iOS, appear to be no longer available. Based on previous responses and the fact that some apps listed here are no longer available, I’m guessing the article isn’t truly monitored (or at least not very well) or even updated. This page seems to be little more than click-bait.


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