As a keen paddler from the age of 12 and with 8 years coaching experience, I have had the privilege of paddling all around the world in some very beautiful locations but none with the quirky, muddy magic that is Langstone & Hayling.
I believe that there is no finer way to explore this beauty then from a kayak or a canoe. In these you have that rare and sort after opportunity to get really close to nature without the risk of disturbing it.
The following are just a few examples of canoes & kayaks which are ideal to explore Hayling and the local harbours:
Sit-On-Top Kayaks (SOK’s)
SOK’s are a great, affordable, easy to paddle and varied form of kayak that are perfect for those who are just starting out. Here are just a few variations of this wonderful boat:
Inflatable SOK’s are perfect for those that don’t have a way transporting a kayak very easily. There are many different types of inflatable canoes and kayaks out there. Some better then others – as with most things in life; the more money you spend, the better the quality.
Some variations can be transported in a backpack and combined with a set of split-paddles you have a kayak you can take on public transport!
HINTS-TIPS: Ensure that you thoroughly clean an inflatable kayak/ canoe with fresh water after using it in the sea.
These boats are great if you are just getting started as they are very user friendly, stable and cheap. There is a huge variety of SOK’s out there as they are one of the most popular forms of kayak/ canoe.
The beauty of a SOK is they offer all the fun of paddling with none of the pressure of being in a closed cockpit kayak. Basic SOK’s are perfect for family use and very child friendly. As a beginner they are perfect to start learning all the basic paddling skills.
HINTS-TIPS: There are many cheap package deals out there so I recommend shopping around when buying a boat. Most kayak and canoe shops often sell on their ex-demo boats for rock bottom prices.
Higher End SOK’s
There are some really fancy SOK’s out there with all manner of adjustable seats, foot rests, hatches and fishing pole attachments. These types of kayak are great for those who want to spend a longer duration on the water – such as fishing or longer tours.
You can get some fantastic attachments for these types of boats and really customize your SOK to suit your requirements. Most come with a small portable trolley for wheeling the SOK to and from the water which is very handy if you have a larger heavy SOK.
HINTS-TIPS: When it comes to outfitting your SOK make sure you read plenty of reviews on the internet about the attachments you are buying; there are some great ones and some cheap knock offs that won’t last 10mins on the water.
– by Matt Rothwell –