Things to consider before buying a kayak

After having attended a few activities and courses you will start to think it quite a good idea to own your own boat (subject to the availability of funds) though we would encourage you to give it a bit of time before doing so. It’s not as if we are short of boats and need you to help us increase the size of the available fleet, but we would not want you to rush out and buy a boat only to find later that it was not really the best boat or you.

As you grow in to canoe sport you will start to realise that your point of entry to the sport is the thin end of a very wide canoesport wedge, sufficient to say that British Canoeing the governing body of the sport has identified 22 canoe sport / paddlesport disciplines, it would be a shame if you spent £800 on a flat water touring canoe only to find out your real passion is the adrenaline infused white water playboating for which your touring canoe purchase was money wasted.

If you chose to develop your passion for canoe sport beyond the entry level activities provided by the Trust, we would encourage you to first join a kayak club or a canoe club. The local club is Nomads but there are other clubs in Hemel, St Albans, The Chilterns, and Uxbridge and each offer slightly different opportunities in canoe sport. It is worth checking out the British Canoeing website.

So you still want to buy that boat, here are a few more things you should consider:

  • After you purchase it how are you going to move it, most people will need to buy a roof rack for their car, you will also need straps to secure it to the rack.
  • Where are you going to store it at home, do you have somewhere in mind?
  • A boat is no use without a paddle, a buoyancy aid and maybe a spray deck?
  • When you get your boat where are you going to paddle it?
  • We do not recommend you paddle alone; you should always paddle with a friend.

If you feel the need to purchase an item of equipment, we strongly suggest you start by buying suitable kayaking clothing, and then a paddle, helmet, buoyancy aid and spray deck. Check out our Buying Guides for each of these categories of personal equipment.