We have been asked about what types of kayaks we recommend so I thought I would put some advice together for club members. Starting with sea kayaks.
Generally, plastic is cheaper and can take more punishment, brands like P&H ,Valley, Perception and North Shore are about the best. If buying new its worth shopping around as members have picked up a number of bargains over the years. We also get a 10% discount from Nucleus which is always a good starting point. Ebay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are also recommended places to look for boats for sale. Due to our local waters (Blackwater, Crouch, and Thames), mean we have to paddle longer distances to get to locations hence longer boats are advised 16-17ft means you will be able to keep up with most sea kayakers (paddling as a group) and get to more locations.
Hv = High volume for very heavy paddlers or those that are loading for camping weekends.
MV = Medium volume is best by far for most paddlers
LV = Low volume is for lighter paddlers
in order of which I would recommend / purchase
Best plastic sea kayak:
- P&H Scorpio mk2 MV (medium volume)
- Scorpio mk 1
- Valley Etain MV is best HV also good
- Perception Essence 16, & 17 16 for lighter 17 for loading very solid boats
- Valley Aquanought
- Capella, lots of modals available – square hatch oldest but still good. Round hatches on recent better boats
Glass fibre boats
Kevlar carbon is more expensive stiffer and just that bit better but not as strong
Again in order:
- P&H Cetus by far the best stable and fast, available in LV, MV and HV. MV suits most paddlers best
- Valley Etain MV
- NDK Nigel Dennis Explorer. MV is a very good boat
- North shore explorer is another good boat.
There are a number of other good boats out there if unsure just ask for advice this list should be useful if looking to buy second hand kayaks. Finally, always (if it’s possible) demo the boat you going to buy.