Kayaking shops are the best place to find great advice on buying kayaking kit. Whether you are a kayaking beginner who just wants to go kayaking in London or a semi-professional paddler, you'll want to find the nearest kayak shop to you.
You want to come out of a kayaking shop feeling like the shop assistant's knowledge has helped you make exactly the right purchase. So where you can you find the best kayaking shops in the UK?
CANOE & KAYAK STORE
Damery Works, Woodford, Berkeley, Gloucestershire, GL13 9JR
Canoe & Kayak is an independent kayaking shop based in Gloucestershire. It was started by avid kayaker Richard Bennett in 2000 who started paddling when he was just 11 years old. The staff at Canoe & Kayak offer top-notch advice and will make sure you come away with correctly fitted kayaking kit. They have another store at Cardiff International White Water Centre where you can demo their boats on the whitewater course.
Visit the Canoe & Kayak Store website here
KAYAKS & PADDLES
Unit 1 Richmond Place, Central Avenue, Lee Mill Industrial Estate, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 9RL
Kayaks & Paddles is one of the UK’s largest kayaking shops. They have a huge storeroom and showroom in Ivybridge, Devon near the Dartmoor rivers and Devon/Cornwall coastline. The staff at Kayaks & Paddles are all keen paddlers, ranging from whitewater enthusiasts to anglers and surf kayakers. These guys will be able to answer kayaking kit questions you might have, plus they have a well-stocked online shop if you can’t make it down to Devon in person.
Visit the Kayak & Paddles website here
New House Farm, Kemsing Road, Wrotham, Kent, TN15 7BU
Kent Canoes have been selling top quality kayak and canoe gear in their specialist kayaking shop since 1993. The owner Grant knows a thing or two about kayaking - he’s a BCU Level 5 Coach, the highest kayaking qualification you can get in the UK. Kent Canoes offer some great deals and won’t pressure you into buying anything - you’re welcome to come and browse their huge showroom filled with whitewater kayaks, sit-on tops, canoes and more. Playboaters and river runners can even demo these boats before you buy.
Visit the Kent Canoes website here
Unit 4, Cranford Court, Hardwick Grange, Warrington, WA1 4RX
If you live up in the north-west of England, get yourself down to Manchester Canoes. Like Kayaks & Paddles, they are part of the Canoe Shops group who have kayaking shops all over the UK. Manchester Canoes describe themselves as “an exciting toy cupboard for kids and grown-up kids alike" - and they aren’t wrong. They have all the best kit for beginner kayakers right up to expert whitewater paddlers.
Visit the Manchester Canoes website here
Holme Pierrepont, Adbolton Lane, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 5AS
Desperate Measures have been Nottingham’s top kayaking shop since 1987, supplying quality kayaking kit to paddlers across UK and Europe. Their Nottingham showroom is a great place for good honest advice from the knowledgeable staff inside. Can’t make it down to their shop? Just send them an email - they have a great website and can offer help over the phone as well as in person.
Visit the Desperate Measures website here
WHITEWATER: THE CANOE CENTRE
Shepperton Marina, Felix Lane, Shepperton TW17 8NS
Whitewater The Canoe Centre is the only specialist kayaking shop in London. It is a large, well-stocked store, based at Shepperton Marina near the river Thames in west London. The staff here are very experienced paddlers who can give you great advice on any kayaking kit you need. Despite the name, they don’t just specialise in whitewater kayaking - they cater for all needs from flatwater beginners to advanced slalom racing paddlers.
Visit Whitewater The Canoe Centre website here
Old Road, Darley Dale, Derbyshire, DE4 2ER
Peak UK are one of the top kayaking clothing and equipment manufacturers in the UK. It was founded in 1990 when slalom racer Pete Astles could no longer compete and decided to start making his own kayaking gear. It started with a jacket and PFD - and progressed from there. They now have their very own factory on the edge of the Peak District where they made custom gear for the London 2012 Olympics. You can visit their showroom during the weekdays as well as check out their online shop.
Visit the Peak UK website here
SEA KAYAK OBAN
6-8 Argyll Street, Oban, Argyll, PA34 5SG
Sea Kayak Oban is a specialist kayaking shop for sea kayaks, based on the west coast of Scotland. If you are looking to buy a sea kayak in Scotland, this is the shop to visit. They have all the best sea kayaks in store for you to browse, just two hours travel from Glasgow. They also run kayaking holidays around Scottish islands nearby.
Visit the Sea Kayak Oban website here
SOUTH COAST CANOES
4 Liberty Close, Woolsbridge Industrial Park, Three Legged Cross, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 6SY
South Coast Canoes are an independent, family owned specialist kayaking shop based in Dorset near the Moors Valley Country Park. It’s a great location if you are in the Poole, Bournemouth or Southampton area. These guys pride themselves on offering excellent customer service, so you can rest assured you will get great advice from this team. They even offer free local delivery service if you buy a kayak or canoe from them.
Visit the South Coast Canoes website here
WHITE WATER CONSULTANCY
Bronwydd, Carmarthen, West Wales, SA33 6BE
White Water Consultancy (WWC) are one of the best kayaking shops in Wales. With a huge 10,000 square foot showroom, you won’t be disappoint with the array of kayaking kit available here. One of the coolest things about WWC is they have the river Gwili running just outside the shop, so you can demo the boat before you buy it. Whether you are looking for a canoe, a river runner or even a stand-up paddleboard, White Water Consultancy are the ones to visit in west Wales.
Visit the White Water Consultancy website here