Essential Kayaking Kit for Paddlers

For beginner kayakers, the summer is the best time to start the sport – calmer waters, warmer weather, and more time to do it. If you have got your sit on kayak, the next step is getting the equipment required for a safe and fun paddle in the best kayaking spots in the UK. There are several essentials to buy that will make your time paddling even more enjoyable and having quality kit will encourage you to get out on the water more.

Young man using Riber kayak paddle on a sit on top kayak


Kayak paddles are an obvious essential – you wouldn’t go far on the water without one! Kayak paddles are different from canoe or SUP paddles, as there is a blade on both ends, and range between 210cm and 260cm in length. Take into consideration your height when buying one of our kayak paddles for sale; the taller you are, the longer paddle you need. We would also recommend a spare paddle in case you lose or break one, which is very helpful for longer trips!

Paddle Leash

A paddle leash is a handy piece of kayaking equipment, as it not only means you won’t lose your paddle, but if you have more than one, they can double up for keeping other important items attached to your kayak.

Dry Bag

Dry bags are needed for keeping your stuff dry. This could be a spare set of clothes, your mobile, towels and other items that you don’t want to get wet. Dry bags are watertight, so you don’t need to worry about your stuff even if you capsize. The deluxe dry bags we have in stock are ideal for kayaking, canoeing and many other outdoor pursuits, and the padded shoulder straps mean the bag can be worn as a backpack.

Buoyancy Aids

A top tip for beginner kayakers is always to wear a buoyancy aid. Acting like a life jacket, they offer more movement for the arms and neck, which is perfect for paddling. Even if you are a strong swimmer, you never know when you might get into trouble on the water, especially if you are sea kayaking. In addition to the buoyancy aids we have on our online shop, we also stock dog buoyancy aids – perfect for those who want to take their dogs with them on the water!


Beginners and even advanced paddlers generally always wear helmets. Not only do they protect from head injuries should you get into difficulty, but they are very handy for when you accidentally bash yourself with your own paddle (trust us – it happens!) and overhanging branches when going river kayaking. Sea kayakers don’t always wear helmets, but it is still a worthy piece of equipment to invest in.

Wet Shoes

For most water sports, you need wet shoes. Made from neoprene with rubber soles, they provide fantastic grip when walking on slippery surfaces. They also don’t get water-clogged like trainers will and allow you to walk into the river or sea without fear of stepping on something painful and hurting yourself. They aren’t expensive either – you can easily find some online or at a local surfing shop.


The clothes you wear when paddling depends on the weather. In the summer, you could get away with shorts and a t-shirt if you are on flat water, but the water is guaranteed to be much colder. Wearing a dry top or cagoule will keep you warm from water splashes, but wetsuits are a decent investment, especially if you are planning to be a year-round kayaker. They will keep you relatively warm in the water, and help you stay a lot dryer!

Throw Ropes

Throw ropes are an essential piece of safety equipment for water sports enthusiasts, especially on white water. A throw rope is a bag of floating rope designed to be thrown by a rescuer to help out a swimmer. It is a very useful piece of equipment, easy to carry and can be lifesaving. Should you invest in throw ropes, you may also want a kayaking knife, which comes in plastic sheaths and are worn on the outside of buoyancy aids for easy reach.


A trolley is a wonderful item, especially when you are faced with a long walk to the water, over pebbly beaches or down narrow paths. A kayak trolley is helpful if you are kayaking solo too, as it means you have a way to carry the kayak instead of dragging it, which could cause damage to the underside. Be sure to check out the trolleys we have available online.

Now you have the list of essential items you need, all you need is to make a few purchases and get out onto the water! Let us know about your summer kayaking adventures over our social media channels!

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  1. Canoeing With Your Dog | Canoe & Kayak Direct on August 23, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    […] Essential kit for paddlers […]

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