Buying your first boat

Looking to buy your first boat.

There are so many options when it comes to purchasing a boat that it’s a good idea not to rush in, take some time to look at what’s available. This year paddle sports has been extremely popular and even with contacts in the paddling trade sourcing the ideal boat has been challenging.

Beware the second hand market

Knowing what you are looking for will help and getting out in the boat you think will suit you is important.

Boats are a bit like shoes. A comfortable shoe will be comfortable all day, you can also want to feel that you fit the boat. So what to look for

Getting the size right is a good starting point as squeezing onto a boat that’s too small or too tippy will mean that you’re going to end up look out at something turning green in the garden rather than having a good experience on the river.

One thing that has changed considerably is the design of fittings and boat set ups . Modern boats are so much more attuned to ergonomics with adjustable thigh braces, adjustable backrests and footplates. These will make a huge difference on how you fit the boat and how it handles on the flat and in moving water. Very similar boats will also handle very differently on flat water or in moving water situations.

The best advice is to look to join in on a few paddles with a few different clubs to see the style of paddling you will enjoy most, when setting up Whoosh explore we focused on boats that offer the potential of touring and introducing paddlers to whitewater whereas our local paddlesport club has always focused on racing and sprint and so taster sessions at that club will be leading towards developing racing skills in pointy boats.

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