Welcome to the 2017 season

Our website will shortly be updated so that you can book and pay for your paddling online. Until then, reach us by phone, or by email at enquiries@chesterkayakhire.co.uk, where there will always be a prompt and friendly reply. See you on the river soon!

Tel: 01244 422007

Five kayaking accessories and what they do

A great way to get fit, stay healthy and meet other adventurous people, kayaking in the Northwest has grown in popularity over recent years. A wonderful way for people of all ages to get out and get active, it is important to make sure that you have all the right gear before dipping your paddle.

Ideally, a kayak or canoe will already be available for you to take to the waters of the River Dee. This is hopefully also true of the essential life-jacket, helmet and paddles. However, there are also a lot of other accessories that any responsible kayaker should have.

As they help to maintain safety, keep kayakers comfortable and to deal with all eventualities, many have quickly become essentials. Here are five of the best:

Perfect fit – padding

Unless you have gone to the expense of having a kayak or canoe tailor made to your bespoke requirements, it is unlikely that the boat you have will fit you perfectly. However, to get that all important control over the elements, additional padding is a must.

To achieve this, most paddlers use contoured padding. This outfitting can be as extensive as you want. Commonly, hip pads are most needed, although you can customize the whole boat. There are a number of good quality kits with strong maritime glue to achieve the perfect fit.

Precise protection – ram caps

No matter how good the paddler, there will be bumps and scrapes from time to time. Maintaining the boat well after each trip will of course help here, but some parts of the boat certainly need greater protection. This is especially the case with the tips of the canoe, which can be quickly protected time and time again through the use of robust ram caps.

Bail out – plugs and sponges

A lot of stock boats will already be designed to cope with taking on water. Whether a large wave has got in, you’ve ended up head down or it is simply raining like cats and dogs, having something to help you drain the boat is always useful, particularly when on longer trips.

Drain plugs are a great way to remove small amounts of water, and this can be added if they are not already included. Failing that, just having a sponge to hand will help with most small volumes of water. If things do get altogether wet, simply getting out and tipping up is the way forward.

Stay buoyant – float bags

If the water is winning, a great standby to have are float bags. Helping a canoe or kayak stay afloat when the boat fills with water, the bags add air to the volume of the flooded boat, helping to ease the burden for the paddler’s arduous trip to shore.

Stay safe – rescue bags

Taking all the necessary precautions, wearing the right gear and looking after your boat are all sure fire ways to stay safe on the river or at sea. However, accidents can and do happen, so it is only sensible to carry a rescue bag at all times. With different types available, there is one to fit inside even the snuggest of canoes.