Paddling is enjoyed by all outdoor enthusiasts. The young and the elderly, male and female, families, couples, singles and it’s easy to learn.
Getting you there requires a few affordable pieces of equipment and a little guidance on the basics and you have a new sport or lifestyle activity.
Your first step is finding the right equipment for what you have in mind.
We can help you to find the right boat for what you have planned so you remain safe and enjoy the activity.
Ask yourself; What do you want to do with the boat? To do this try and imagine your perfect paddling day.
- Will it be a cruise on protected waters like dams, lakes, lagoons and estuaries?
- Paddling alone or with a partner or the family?
- Sitting around a campfire far from civilisation after touring down a river, or in the sea with all your gear in the boat for camping overnight . See Canoe and Kayak Touring Club
- Fishing for the catch of the day?
- Using your boat as a platform to swim, dive or snorkell from?
- Playing in the surf, competing with the dolphins for the perfect wave?
- General exercise?
- Competitive paddling, maybe to do the Dusi Canoe Marathon etc.
- Shooting waterfalls, performing radical rodeo freestyle moves?
- Paddling in a boat by yourself or tandem with your partner or perhaps with the whole family?
It is very important to choose the right kayak for the right application and for the size of the paddler using the boat.
Choosing a kayak is like getting clothing or shoes – it must fit. Canoe & Kayak World are the only SA retailer to offer a complete range of paddle craft covering all the disciplines, effectively ensuring an unbiased opinion and recommendation regarding the right craft for the application required.
Demo some kayaks
We would love to arrange a demo day for a group or arrange a time to meet you personally at Hartbeespoort Dam for a demo of some of the watercrafts you created a short list of.
Once on the water, be ready to pay attention to how the kayak performs. The majority of recreation and touring kayaks, sit-in and sit-on have good stability though initially the first kayak you try may feel a bit tippy, however the more you paddle the more accustomed you’ll become to the feel of the kayak on the water.
To get a feel for the different types of boats available try as many as possible, try a long kayak and compare it to a short kayak, try a sit-on-top and compare it to a sit-inside, paddle a single as well as trying a tandem. Paddle in a straight line, practise some turns, get used to the feel of the boat, compare the responsiveness of the different craft.
The features can play a big roll too.
- Does it have enough storage space to hold your stuff?
- Are there handles to make car topping easy?
- Can it be decked out for fishing?
- Is the kayak comfortable – seating in kayaks is most important as well as the ease of adjusting foot-pegs etc?
You should also try to test load the potential kayak onto your car as this can be a challenge, however, there are techniques that will help greatly.
In addition to the canoe or kayak, the correct accessories; paddle, sprayskirt (if applicable) and PFD are important.
It is important to have a paddle that is the right length, weight, feather, shaft circumference, and material for the paddlers size and type of kayak. The paddles are available to demo with the kayak at the demo day.
PFD (Personal Flotation Device)
Similar to a life-jacket, but more comfortable for kayak or canoe paddling). The PFD must be the correct sizing to ensure a correct, comfortable and snug fit for paddling a kayak. Put on the PFD you want to buy, zip it up, buckle the belt, and pull the adjustment straps until they are snug (ideally, the PFD should have a range of adjustability so that you can get a snug, but comfortable fit over a range of clothing, from a T-shirt to a jacket).
Try some paddling motions to make sure the PFD doesn’t chafe or impair your range of motion.
Make sure the PFD does not ride to high up if someone pulls on the shoulder straps. It is important the PFD fits, it is not something to grow into! The PFD’s are normally tried out at Canoe & Kayak World or at the demo.
We have knowledgeable staff and a large selection of carefully selected quality canoes and kayaks covering all the different paddling disciplines and accommodating all shapes and sizes of paddlers.
Our staff offer professional advice and speak from experience and are able to offer unbiased recommendations and advice.
Contact us or visit us in store to arrange a demo or just discuss your needs.