Tag Archives: kayaks

10 Best Canoe & Kayak Touring Trips in The UK

Whether your just out on a pleasant day’s paddle or a multi-day journey, touring kayaks and even sit-on-tops are perfect for exploring the waterways of the UK. Here’s a few suggestions on some truly classic and some of the best canoe & kayak touring trips and destinations in the UK to get you started.

Once you’ve caught the canoe & kayak touring bug there are plenty more out there, just waiting for you to discover and go canoe & kayak touring.

Below, we list the best UK canoe and kayak touring trips.

1. River Thames

Old Father Thames, immortalised for centuries in prose and verse, is probably the most famous river in the UK! But although it flows directly through the heart of the capital there’s a whole lot more to the River Thames than just London.

It becomes officially navigable at Cricklade in Wiltshire and the upper stretches of the river offer some beautiful potential for paddle touring.

Further downstream the Thames begins to grow in stature.

There are plenty of easy access and egress points along the way and some lovely riverside pubs.

Henley, famous for its boating regatta, and the section between here and Marlow is picturesque and green.

Further down stream at Runnymede you can moor up and then take a short walk to where the historic Magna Carta was signed; and the section between there and Windsor is a popular stretch for paddling day trippers.

Shepperton and Sunbury are great spots to start a Thames paddling tour from and you could journey down stream further to the historic palace at Hampton Court.

After the lock at Teddington the Thames becomes tidal, so it’s a more serious venture, but more experienced paddlers will love the unusual view that the river offers of our capital city, and cruising past such powerful landmarks as the House of Commons with Big Ben looming and the London Eye just downstream is certainly a special paddling experience.

2. River Trent

The River Trent is another of the major rivers of England.

Its source is in Staffordshire and it flows through the Midlands until it joins the River Ouse at Trent Falls to form the Humber

Original Source: Canoe & Kayak UK >>

Top Tips on Buying & Selling Second Hand Canoes & Kayaks

Since the dawn of kayaking and canoeing, paddlers have been buying and selling canoes and kayaks from one and another.

It makes perfect sense, one woman’s outmoded cast-off is another man’s ideal beginner kayak to use and abuse while he’s learning.

Throughout time there’s been a booming trade, propped up by a steady stream of supply and demand.

Sometimes after a few years of paddling a specific boat something will change, you’ll get better, lose weight, gain weight or just alter your preferences slightly and suddenly you’re using the sale of your current paddle craft to finance the purchase of your new one.

Conversely, if you’re in the market for your first boat, it’s unusual to go straight out and buy a state-of-the-art, brand new model before really acquiring a taste for exactly what it is that you’re after.

The market is huge, and it’s pretty much a given that at any one time there’ll be a buyer out there for your boat, and a boat out there suited to your needs. It is just a matter of looking round a bit.

We are fortunate in the paddling community that the second hand market is also a pretty safe one – it’s certainly nothing like trying to get a fair deal on a second hand car!

There is a much smaller pool of people in the paddling world for a start, and as such word of mouth reverberates very quickly around internet forums and the like if somebody isn’t playing fair.

And then, of course, there’s the fact that on the whole paddlers tend to be decent, honest people!

Nevertheless, there are some potential pitfalls and downsides to second hand kayak & canoe trading, all of which are easily avoidable if you know what to look out for.

With this in mind we’ve put together the following guide to help ensure that any second hand deal you enter into is safe, convenient, fair to all parties and that you end up with what you wanted at the end of it.

We’ve also got some top marketing tips for you if you’re looking to make a quick sale, so that you can

Original Source: Canoe & Kayak UK >>

How To Get Started in Sea Kayaking

The sea kayak offers up so much than the sum of its parts.

Maybe it’s because we’re a nation of island dwellers and the call of the sea is ingrained upon our souls, after all did you know that no matter where you are in the UK you are never more than about eighty miles from a coastline?

Or maybe it’s because the sea kayak offers us a very special kind of freedom.

Launch out from the shore and you are instantly master of your own boat and have access to a very different perspective on the wild nature that now surrounds you and the stunning shores and coastlines that present themselves to you at every dip of the paddle.

Getting Started

Whatever your motivation to get out in a sea kayak, the sea is a changeable and dynamic environment, so you’ll need to be fully prepared.

Part of the excitement of the sea is just how quickly it can change from a dead-calm millpond to a raging, rough maelstrom, so good planning, knowing your limits and a solid understanding of the weather and environment is key.

Even if you’re just heading out for a short paddle around a sheltered bay it’s still a wise move to get in to the habit of checking the weather reports and tide times beforehand.

It is a really good idea to attend a basic sea kayaking course and there are a great many specialist sea kayaking schools around the UK that provide courses in navigation, the effects of weather and how to counteract them, and how to interpret tides and plan a trip to fit around them.

Once you’ve added these to your bag of sea kayaking paddling skills you’ll be set to start exploring the sea to your heart’s content.

Sea Kayak Clubs

Another great way to get started is to join a club.

Most clubs will contain at least a couple of salty sea dogs who can take you on trips that you couldn’t plan yourself, there may also be kayaks that you can try out, and there will be lots of people eager to share their enthusiasm for this very special branch

Original Source: Canoe & Kayak UK >>

Buying a Kayak Paddle – How to Find & Buy The Right Kayak Paddle For You

A kayak paddle is just a paddle, right?

No, not really.

Just like with all bits of kit for our sport, a lot of clever people spend a lot of time designing what they hope will be an ideal paddle for a very specific purpose.

We have been at the stage for a long time where you most probably wouldn’t choose to use the paddle you take on whitewater on a touring trip, and you certainly wouldn’t do so the other way round.

This article is designed to help you know exactly what to look for in a paddle – whether it’s for whitewater kayaking or kayak touring use – when you go out to buy one for yourself!

Whitewater Vs Touring Paddles

There are a few fundamental differences that make a kayak paddle suitable either for whitewater kayaking or for kayak touring. The most obvious are blade shape and shaft length.

Whitewater paddling is aggressive, and requires ‘high-angle’ strokes, where each time you plant the paddle at as steep an angle as possible, engaging maximum trunk rotation and body movement.

An ideal stroke is almost a ‘scoop’ with the shaft angled as close to vertical as possible. This gives you maximum power, allowing for quick acceleration and maintained speed through holes.

The best sort of paddle for this aggressive style is one with an asymmetric blade that has plenty of surface area without being too long.

You need to be able to switch from one side to the other quickly in order to maintain a high stroke rate, so ideally whitewater paddles shouldn’t be too long, between 190cm and 203cm is the norm.

Kayak touring paddles, on the other hand, are generally longer (usually between the 210cm and 240cm mark), and have much longer, narrower blades generally suited to a more relaxed and maintainable ‘low-angle’ style of paddling perfect for long periods of time spent paddling your kayak at as steady pace.

Obviously, these are general lengths, and choosing the right length for you is an important consideration to make when buying a paddle (see ‘Sizing Your Paddle’ box).

Often a manufacturer will make a model of paddle in a selection of

Original Source: Canoe & Kayak UK >>

Airkayaks Guide to selecting a tandem inflatable kayak (13 to 16 foot options)

At Airkayaks, we get asked all the time – what two (2) person (tandem) inflatable kayak should we buy?

In this guide, we are going to segment the 2 person (tandem) inflatables to those that are 13 – 16 feet in length. The kayaks under this range will be discussed in another guide.  The reason why is that most kayaks in the smaller size range are entry level oriented. There are less differences between models.

Don’t want to read the article? Check out our FIND YOUR KAYAK Quiz where we suggest relevant options to you based on our years of experience.


In the 13 to 16 foot size range, the first thing to discuss is price. Most of these kayaks will be $899 to $1699 in price. We know that is a big range, and we will be detailing the differences for what you can expect at each end of the price spectrum.


In this range, there is a certain table-stakes level of features that you can expect, yet there are still a couple value options available. One thing you can expect: All of these kayaks will work great for a day at the lake, or a slow moving river.

Most models will offer these features

Dropstitch floor on top of a standard I-Beam Low Pressure Floor

Dropstitch (high pressure) floorupgraded seatsMultiple sets of carry handlesEnhanced tracking such as a removable fin / skeg, or like the AE models, a hydrodynamic hull design. (AdvancedFrame & StraitEdge models)

Look at these features to differentiate models in this range:

Carrying Capacity (AE1007E, Chelan, Blackfoot, and Deschutes SeriesQuick Dry Time (AirVolution, StraitEdge2, Chelan, Blackfoot, and Deschutes Series)Extra mounts (Chelan, Blackfoot)High Tech Construction (AirVolution)Ability to handle coastal and ocean paddling (AE1007E)Capability for 2+ paddlers, and on the other end excellent 1 person seating options. (Blackfoot 160 & Chelan 155 – 2+), (AirVolution, Chelan 140 & AE3027 StraitEdge2 – 1 person Conversions)


13-14 foot models will typically offer 40-50″ of room for the rear paddler. In most cases these are comfortable for two paddlers up to 6′ each, and if one paddler is shorter to 6′, then the other can be larger than 6′. These kayaks are excellent one paddler choices when the seat is set to the center position. See the Chelan 140 or AE3027 Straitedge2 Pro.

15-16 foot models are usually great 2 & 2 + paddler kayaks, with seating for 2 adults and a furry friend, or 2 adults and a youngster. We’ve even seen the Blackfoot 160 set up for 2 adults and 2 children.

Kelsey and Kyle Walter paddling near the north end of Lake Chelan, WA.

Take a shortcut to the end of the guide for a Comparison Chart with all models.

Lightest Weight Tandem Kayak

Deschutes 145. This kayak features a

Original Source: AirKayaks >>