Answering Frequently Asked Questions About Kayaking

Kayaking is an exciting water sport that can be a social activity, a great workout and a fun hobby to take up. If you are looking to buy a kayak or kayak paddles and accessories, we have a great range on our website that will get you started on the sport and are also great updates to your kit. For those who want to know more about kayaking, below are some answers to frequently asked questions.

Two people on a two-seater sit on top kayak

What is the Difference Between a Canoe and a Kayak?

A canoe is paddled with a single blade paddle, and the boat is open, with a paddler kneeling or sitting. Kayaks use a two-handled paddle, and there is a choice of sit in or sit on kayaks; sit in kayaks, the paddler is inside a cockpit. Sit on kayaks have the paddler sitting on top of the kayak, more open to the elements.

What Do I Wear?

When it comes to kayaking, it is best to be prepared for the elements. In the summer, clothes and shoes you are ok getting wet are sufficient, though in winter wearing a wetsuit is beneficial, although layering up with thin clothes and bringing a waterproof jacket will do as well. You should always wear PFD for safety in case you get in the water and find yourself in difficulty.

What Should I Bring?

When you head out on a kayaking trip, there are some essentials you need to bring: bottled water, sunscreen, sealable bags for personal items, gloves, a change of clothes and a hat – cap in summer and warm hat for winter. If you want to take a camera on a trip, make sure you can keep it safe when you are not using it.

Will I Get Wet?

It is highly likely you will get wet when kayaking, even if you don’t take a tumble into the water! Your feet are likely to get wet when launching into the water, and your paddles and people paddling around you are likely to splash you too. If you find you are cold, having an extra layer with you will help.

Do I Need Experience?

You don’t need any experience to get started kayaking, and you can easily pick it up. However, it is important you know how to swim at least 25 metres, in case you fall in the water, though the river bank is never far away.

Do I Need to Be in Shape?

Kayaking is a sport and does involve exercise, but you can take it up whether you are in great shape or not. However, some kayaks will have a maximum weight limit as excess weight can lead the kayak to capsize. Nevertheless, the more you kayak, you are sure to get into better shape, which will lead to longer sessions on the water.

Will I Capsize A Lot?

It is infrequent that kayaks capsize, and when it does, it is often due to people acting inappropriately or a sudden or uneven distribution of weight. Our kayaks are very stable and easy to handle, so capsizing should not be a common occurrence.

Is it Safe for Children?

Kayaking is definitely safe for children, and with our two-person sit on top kayaks for sale, you can easily keep an eye on them. We advise that children are aged four or older go kayaking when they are of an age whereby they can understand and follow instructions.

What if the Weather is Bad?

Kayaking can be an all-weather activity, and in the UK you are likely to come across all types of weather when paddling. Though best enjoyed on warm days in summer, you can still enjoy getting out on the water when it is cold, overcast or raining. Nevertheless, don’t go out kayaking when conditions are too dangerous such as when high river levels, high winds or heavy rain are present.

What Should I Do When I Need Repairs to My Kayak?

At Canoe & Kayak Direct, we have stock of spare parts if you can fix you kayak yourself at home. If you find your boat needs some expert repair, we can advise you on the best solution.

Take a look at some of our other blogs on kayaking for more information and if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us:

Top tips for beginner kayakers

The best apps kayakers need to download

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  1. Steve on August 31, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Hello. I am brand new at this and have a quick paddle question: I purchased 2 of them and am waiting to hear your advice before returning one of them. I was under the impression that a fiberglass shaft is the way to go – so I bought one that has plastic fins. It is 2.5 lbs. I have read that the lighter you can get the better, so the other one is an aluminum shaft with fiberglass fins. That one is lighter at 2.1 lbs. Which one would you recommend keeping? Thank you.

    • Adam Hunter on September 3, 2019 at 10:32 am

      Hi Steve,

      Fibreglass and Carbonfibre paddles are the better ones on the market as their strength to weight ratio is the best compared to plastic/metal. That being said, if you are more of a recreational paddler then you may not notice the difference. Generally, the stronger style fins will be glass/carbon fibre but their plastic variations are still very good.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Sophie on April 14, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    I like kayaing, thought tried it only once, but I’m afraid to fall off…. Any advice?

  3. GeoTrippin on October 11, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Thanks for such a comprehensive list of FAQs.

  4. Garry on November 28, 2020 at 5:34 am

    What is a good kayak for dogs, my dog weighs about 50 lbs, would rather him ride up front on a sit on top!

  5. Drizzt on January 3, 2021 at 11:10 pm

    I bought 2 12 foot pelicans for around $350 ea. The stability of them is fantastic. But are they enough to cross macinac at the bridge if conditions are met?

  6. Ex Mascellino on March 12, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    As far as Fishing goes I was wondering if a peddle kayak can go in shallow water and how stealthy they are for Fishing thanks

    • Adam Hunter on March 24, 2021 at 11:48 am

      Hi there
      We don’t sell peddle kayaks so its not our area of expertise I am afraid.

  7. Doris Peyroux on April 17, 2021 at 4:24 am

    I want to purchase a Kayak, I’d like to know the type of kayak I should buy considering that I am 128 kilos

    • Adam Hunter on May 11, 2021 at 8:55 am

      Hi there, many of our Riber kayaks have a capacity far exceeding your weight. For example, the Deluxe Sit on Top Kayak has a weight capacity of 180kg. You can see this kayak here
      Check out the descriptions of some other kayaks on our website too for more information about what might be best for you. Thanks

  8. […] Experienced kayakers can vouche for the fact that it’s not impossible for the kayak to flip over, and it actually happens quite frequently. They typically flip over because of an uneven distribution of weight, so you should make sure that your weight is spread evenly throughout the kayak to avoid capsizing. […]

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