With access points all around it, Hayling Island has conditions to offer every level of kayaker.
For centuries, paddling a kayak was the preferred mode of transport for many indigenous populations when they needed to cross stretches of open water. In fact, you can almost guarantee that Hayling would have been first reached by some form of kayak!
A kayak also provided a vital way to hunt for food, as a means to catch fish.
Historians believe that being able to paddle is a deep-rooted skill that has been passed on through the ages. While many people will have never been anywhere near a kayak in their lives, it is easy to master the basics and get on the way to paddling nirvana
Fun for every level
As a kayak destination, Hayling Island has it all. There are a variety of launch options depending on the tide and a range of sea conditions on offer. Beginners and advanced participants alike can take their pick from gentle cruising and touring to kayak surfing – all available on Hayling.
The sport has never been easier with the introduction of plastic moulded sit on versions of the craft. These types of kayaks are affordable and durable. They also alleviate the fear of being stuck upside down in the water that traditional kayaks previously produced.
Kayaking can be a fun beach sport for all the family to enjoy just as much as being pro can be adrenaline fuelled.
Many kayakers choose Chichester and Langstone Harbour to practice their sport. This is due to sheltered nature of these spots plus the opportunity to study the abundant wildlife in the area. Kayaking is a great way to spot the large seal population that lives in the water around Hayling Island too.
If you are a bit of a ‘wave head’ then west Beachlands can throw up some good rides. The great thing about kayaks is that, due to their flat bottoms and durability, it is even possible to ride the feared shore break the island gets at high tide – although a degree of skill is required here.
As you drive around the island during the summer months a kayak being transported is a frequent sight. This is testament to the popularity of the sport and Hayling Island as a kayak destination.
- It is possible to launch a kayak from any side of Hayling depending on the tide, but be respectful of private property and local wildlife
- There are currently no teaching schools on the island but advice and kit sales can be found at Andy Biggs Watersports
- Make sure that you have a good level of skill before venturing out into the waves. Conditions that look easy from the beach can often prove much more challenging up close, particularly when strong currents apply
- Paddling in the harbours is a safer introduction to the sport and affords peace and quiet, with beautiful scenery. However it is still important to be observant, wary of boat traffic and have an understanding of tides