Kayaking in the UK | TOAD Outdoor Activities

Kayaking

Kayaking

Kayaks are small, lightweight boats that are pointed at both ends and powered by paddling. The boats are usually highly stable, with the paddler sitting close to the water, and were originally designed for use in the Arctic in a wide variety of waterways.

Like canoes, kayaks can be used across a range of competitive and recreational activities. Different designs are suited to particular uses, and allow for single or multiple paddlers in the boat. Whilst racing kayaks may be made out of fibreglass, sea kayaks and beginner boats are more heavy-duty, plastic vessels. The key thing that differentiates kayaking from canoeing is that the paddles are longer and have a blade at either end, whereas canoeing uses a single-headed paddle. Also, kayaks are always seated, without the option of kneeling, and are typically decked boats, whilst canoes are open. Generally speaking, kayakers will sit flat in the bottom of the boat, with legs extended straight under the deck, hips just below the deck and their upper body sitting upright out of the hole. A spray deck can also be attached, being worn around the waist of the kayaker to keep water out of the cockpit where he/she sits.

Paddlers sit facing forward, and use their double-bladed paddle to pull front-to-back on one side and then the other in a sweeping movement. This activity is a great workout for the arms, back and core muscles and participants can choose exactly how hard they want to work and how fast they’d like to go. Thanks to the covered deck, meaning that the legs of the kayaker are concealed, warm and dry, inside the boat, kayaking can be done come rain, wind or shine. The ability to add a spray deck means that kayaks are also better suited to racing or navigating white-water courses.

Sit on top kayaks can be used on the sea, estuaries, harbours and in the surf and are great for paddlers of all ages and abilities. These are the ones you are likely to see on holiday, where paddlers sit in an open, concave deck above the water level, rather than within a hole. They are much easier to get in and out of, and allow paddlers to jump in for a swim if and when they choose!

Fancy giving it a go? Find a location near you below.

All Kayaking Providers

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Surrey Docks Watersports Centre
Rope Street off Plough Way Greenland Dock
Norbury, London
DISTANCE: 3.56 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Dinghy Sailing, Kayaking, Powerboating, Raft Building, Windsurfing, Canoeing...
Stoke Newington West Reservoir Centre
Stoke Newington Green Lanes
Finsbury Park, Haringey
DISTANCE: 3.94 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Dinghy Sailing, Kayaking, Canoeing...
Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre
235a Westferry Road
Isle of Dogs, London
DISTANCE: 4.16 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Dinghy Sailing, Windsurfing, Kayaking, Powerboating, Navigation Courses, Dragon Boat Racing, Yacht...
Wimbledon Park Watersports and Outdoor Centre
Home Park Road Wimbledon
Collier's Wood, London
DISTANCE: 6.47 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Powerboating, Sailing Schools, Orienteering, Canoeing, Kayaking...
Lee Valley Park White Water Centre
Station Road
Waltham Abbey, Essex
DISTANCE: 13.07 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Canoeing, Duckies, Hydrospeeding, Kayaking, Rafting, Raft Building...
Herts Young Mariners Base
Windmill Lane Cheshunt
Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire
DISTANCE: 13.89 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Canoeing, Caving, Dinghy Sailing, Dragon Boat Racing, Kayaking, Powerboating, Sailing Schools,...
Stubbers Adventure Centre
Ockendon Road
Upminster, Essex
DISTANCE: 16.76 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Archery, Abseiling, Shooting Range, Argo Cats, Banana Boat Rides, Bell Boating, Canoeing, Stand Up...
Studland Watersports
Knoll Beach Ferry Road
DISTANCE: 16.76 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Dinghy Sailing, Powerboating, Kayaking...
Stanborough Activity Centre
Stanborough Road
Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire
DISTANCE: 19.95 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Adventure Playground, Orienteering, Kayaking...
Essex Outdoors
Harlow Centre for Outdoor Learning Burnt Mill Lane
Harlow, Essex
DISTANCE: 20.98 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Archery, Canoeing, Climbing, Climbing Wall, High Ropes Courses, Kayaking, Low Ropes, Mountain...
Phasels Wood Activity Centre
Rucklers Lane
Kings Langley, Hertfordshire
DISTANCE: 21.44 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Abseiling, Aeroball, Archery, High Ropes Courses, Hiking, Human Table Football, Ice Climbing,...
Dynamic Adventures
Unit 24 Charlwood Place
Horley, Surrey
DISTANCE: 24.44 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Abseiling, Archery, Bushcraft Course, Canoeing, Climbing, Gorge Walking, High Ropes Courses,...
Bray Lake Watersports
Monkey Island Lane Windsor Road
Maidenhead, Berkshire
DISTANCE: 24.56 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Raft Building, Sailing Schools, Windsurfing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Canoeing, Dinghy Sailing,...
Carroty Wood
Carroty Wood Higham Lane
Tonbridge, Kent
DISTANCE: 26.48 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Abseiling, Canoeing, Climbing, Hiking, Kayaking, Rafting...
Stevenage Leisure
Six Hills Way
Stevenage, Hertfordshire
DISTANCE: 27.01 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Dinghy Sailing, Kayaking, Windsurfing...

 

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