Boat of choice: Valley Nordkapp. SKUK Explorer. Rockpool Alaw. Tiderace Xcite.
Paddles of choice: Streamlyte Kinetic Tour, Streamlyte Kinetic S, Streamlyte Toksook
Favourite areas: West Penwith/Landsend, Lundy Island, West coast of Scotland
What is it?
A paddling trip in this category may involve linking rock gardens, tide races and surf zones over a large area. This is one of my favourite types of paddling because it requires physical fitness, preparing the kayaks, being in exposed locations and taking advantage of some of the amazing cafes and pubs which can be found along our coast. The SKUK explorer kayak allows us to fully engage with the ocean environment. Adventure paddling can be as full on or as relaxed as one chooses and for sure picking the right paddling partners and launching locations is very important.
What trips do I recommend?
There are trips all around the South West of England which are world class.
South Devon:Launching out of Bigbury and Heading towards Salcombe is fantastic. In this area you’ll find, surf, exposed coastline, tide and amazing wildlife. Its worth noting that this section is fully exposed to the swell and predominant winds so take care.
South Cornwall:Launching at Looe and heading towards Fowey is amazing. This is especially good in the winter because this section of coast can often pick up a clean wave when all of the other areas in Cornwall are slightly hectic. This is the smugglers coast and is steeped in history. Check out my article for this paddle in the magazine; Ocean Paddler
The Lizard: The lizard is vast and varied, it’s the most remote location in the South West and holds many surprises, definitely worth exploring.
Landsend and the Scillies: Launching out of Sennen is just fantastic, this environment is full of energy and the swells and winds will provide the paddler with lots of challenges. Caves, surf breaks, rock gardens, hidden beaches, islands and lots of other coastal features can be found in abundance. If you’re paddling in this area make sure you have shore contacts and the right gear.
North Cornwall: North Cornwall is home to the Storm beaches, these beaches which area stripped daily by swells. The cliffs are steep and sometimes landing and launching can be tricky. Its an amazing place and one area which particularly stands out for me is the area around Padstow. Check it out and maybe I’ll see you there.
North Devon, Lundy Island: Lundy Island is a huge lump of granite at the mouth to the Bristol channel. Back in the old days it was owned by my family. Now it’s a top paddling location and the challenge is on to get there! The quickest route is ten nautical miles from Hartland point and involves crossing tide and usually wind.
Adventure paddling is a lifestyle and a commitment. Get the gear which will provide the safety, get some friends and enjoy those amazing locations.