A kayak is a fun and easy way to explore the wonderful coasts, rivers, canals, lakes, reservoirs, estuaries, and harbours we have here in the UK. One of the easiest ways to enjoy kayaking is with an inflatable kayak, and these are much easier for beginners.

Benefits of inflatable kayaks

Easy to store & easy to carry: Hydro-Force™ inflatable kayaks have everything you need to get started on the water and can be packed down to easily fit in a car and keep at home. Many include a convenient carry bag too.

Lightweight: From carrying them to your destination to actually using them on the water, inflatable kayaks are more lightweight.

Strong & durable: You might be worried about an inflatable kayak getting punctured but Hydro-Force™ kayaks are designed for strength and durability. It takes a great effort to puncture one.

Comfortable: Due to the nature of the construction, inflatable kayaks are soft and more comfortable to sit in. Our kayaks have a range of different adjustable seats to to make them even more comfortable for each user.

Versatile: Inflatable kayaks, in comparison to inflatable paddleboards, are easier to get used to and use in comfort. You’ll find yourself more at ease on the water and more inclined to use them throughout the year.

Cost-effective: Inflatable kayaks are great for beginners from a cost perspective. They are an affordable and very accessible introduction to paddle sports or just exploring on the water.

Choice: We have a range of inflatable kayaks available as one, two and three-seaters which can be used in a range of different environments.

Good for you: Paddling on the water is really good arm and core exercise. Plus getting out and about is really good for you overall wellbeing.

Getting started with an inflatable kayak

Firstly, make sure you adhere to the 5 water safety tips that includes wearing a buoyancy aid, telling someone what you’re doing and paddling within your ability - meaning that you should start off slow and don’t push yourself. Pick your location and look into whether you’re allowed to paddle on it. Inland waterways in the UK are not necessarily all open to the public. Tidal areas of water like the seas and estuaries & have open access.

Start on calm water. As you’re new to getting used to being in a kayak and getting used to balance, stability and paddling, you don’t want waves or strong currents making it difficult for you or worse, putting you in a dangerous situation. 

Sit up straight, find your centre of balance and hold the paddle with equal distance on either side.  Avoid moving about in the kayak, overloading it and keep focussed forwards on the direction you want to go in.

Move forward on the water by placing one blade in the water in front of you and slowing pulling it through the water to your side, then switch to the other side. Don’t pull too hard in the water or the kayak will veer too much in that direction.

To turn your inflatable kayak, paddle hard on the side of the direction you wish to turn in or do one hard pull on that side. Alternatively, anchor your paddle blade in the water beside you, again on the side you wish to turn, this will also slow you down and steer the boat.

Watch this video by Paddle UK and Go Paddling for more professional tips on getting into a kayak and expert techniques for paddling.

Kayak Safety for Beginners

You can take various measures to stay safe when paddle boarding and these safety measures begin before you step on your board:

  • Check the weather, tides and wind
  • Plan your route
  • Share this plan with someone and tell them when you expect to return
  • Wear appropriate clothing
  • Wear your Personal Floatation Device (PFD) or buoyancy aid
  • Carry your phone in a waterproof pouch so you can call for help if needed
  • Remember to bring the essentials like water, snacks and sun cream.