Bill, I'm not sure I fully understand your reply. Here's my guess as to the points you were making; correct me if I'm wrong: 1) a kayaker should consider memorizing the Beaufort Scale, especially the descriptions of sea state, and taking into account issues of fetch, current, etc., and thus determine the wind strength, and 2) an anemometer is not something that a kayaker (you) would consider carrying on a cord around your neck. tucked into your PFD. I'm especially interested in the "bragging rights at the local pub, but...." part of your reply. What comes after the but....?
As for 1): I use David Burch's rough guide in Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation--scattered "popcorn" equals about 10 knots; "popcorn" everywhere equals about 20 knots; spray blown off tops of waves, and streaks of foam equals 30 plus knots.
As for 2), I just think it's better to know what the wind strength is, rather than just to guess what it is. The Kestral 1000 is approx. 45mm x 115mm x 20mm and weighs almost nothing--a triumph of modern engineering. Plenty of room inside my PFD for it. Try it; you'll like it!