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Sea Kayaking

The freedom of gliding across the salt water to explore hidden caves and coves that can't be reached by land, or the rush of slicing through waves and rock hopping in the swell - sea kayaking opens up a whole new world of discovery and adventure

Sea kayaking is historically one of the earliest forms of paddling, with archaeological evidence suggesting highly developed craft and skilled hunter-fishermen date as far back as 5000 BC.

Our location on the Hamble provides a great base for sea kayaking. This discipline appeals to anyone who enjoys open spaces, salt air and the feeling of being at one with nature. However, the ocean can be temperamental, so weather, tides and charts should be considered and journeys planned.

Want to try sea kayaking?

Our location on the Hamble is ideal for beginners to sea kayaking and we have a fleet of sea kayaks for members to try out. 

We always try to respond to the needs and desires of our members so if you are keen to give sea kayaking a go then let us know and we can discuss how to help you take the next step - normally starting with trying out a long boat with help from a club coach at one of our regular Sunday Bark Store sessions.

Safety & Sea Kayaking

Safety training specific to sea kayaking is recommended whatever your paddling ability. UHCC can offer safety and rescue training specific to sea kayaks at our summer Lakeside sessions. VHF radio courses are also recommended for anyone planning to venture out along the coast.

Find out more...

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Sea Kayaking Opportunities and Progression with UHCC

Sea Kayaking opportunities at UHCC cover a range of ability levels, so not all sessions are necessarily appropriate for every paddler. As with other types of kayaking it is important to understand where we are in our skills progression to avoid getting into a situation that is beyond our capabilities. It is important that we each take personal responsibility to avoid putting the group into a difficult situation dealing with an incident arising from “biting off too much to chew”.

Led groups are an important part of our safety system.  The group leader can advise on anything that is difficult and will be aware of hazards that novices may not be aware of.


British Canoeing have a progression of qualifications that are graded according to the conditions that might be encountered:

UHCC Sea Kayak sessions and trips are graded to help members understand  the skill leve required for each, and how they can progress towards more advanced grades:

It is important to have been comfortable on at least a couple of trips at one grade before attempting a trip at the next level.


  • Using a Sea Kayak at a club session gives a taster of what is different about a Sea Kayak in conditions that are generally benign (safe) in the shelter of the river.  Always Grade A.

  • The Lakeside sessions are good opportunity to learn specific skills.  Always Grade A, opportunity to learn SKA skills.  They will need to be practiced in SKA conditions.

  • The Thursday evening sessions will adapt to the capabilities of the group.  We will experience more tide and wind then we experience in the shelter of the upper Hamble.  It will be best to have built up some of the foundational skills before joining these sessions.  These two-hour sessions are good for building skill and fitness.  These can be grade A, B or C depending on the weather and the participants.

  • The trips that are offered are graded according to the conditions that are anticipated according to tides and trips may need to be cancelled or re-arranged if the weather is unsuitable for the planned trip.

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Thursday evening sea kayaking

UHCC members run a weekly sea kayaking session from early May through to late October. Each session is tailored to the abilities of those attending and the weather, tides and sea conditions, but typically we meet at 6pm at the Rising Sun pub (see map) in Warsash and might paddle ~10 km, either across the Solent to Calshot and back, up to Bill and Ben at the Royal Victoria Country Park or along the north shore to the east to Solent Breezes.

These sessions are not coached, so any members who have some experience of sea kayaking are welcome to join, but as a minimum you should be able to:

  • safely exit your kayak in the event of a capsize if you are not able to roll

  • reenter your boat with support from fellow paddlers

You must be dressed appropriately for this activity, to ensure that if you do capsize that you will not become hypothermic, as you may be a long way from shore and a set of dry clothes!

Intermediate to Advanced Paddlers

UHCC members often organize day or weekend trips exploring stretches of the south coast, such as Studland - Old Harry Rocks - Swanage, Lulworth cove - Durdle Door are all spectacular and very achievable paddles. On rougher days the harbours at Poole, Portsmouth, Langstone or Chichester give sheltered opportunities to see fancy yachts, seals, flocks of sea birds and commercial shipping.

Sea Kayaking needn't be all scenic views, giant lunches and forward paddling. Trips to and round the Isle of Wight require some commitment: Being far from land, navigating tide races at Hurst Castle, the Needles and off St Catherine's Point all provide plenty of excitement. Dedicated thrill seekers can surf the break at Kimmerage bay and trips to Sea Kayaking symposiums in Cornwall and Pembroke have been popular.

During the summer months, multi-day sea kayaking + camping trips are an appealing option, with a huge selection of great destinations on our doorstep and further afield. Summer club trips in the past have also included sea kayaking and camping for a week in the Scilly Isles, Western Isles of Scotland and along the Cornish coast.

Organise a trip

Is there a journey you want to try or a section of coast that you really want to explore? Why not organise a trip with fellow paddlers? For advice and recommendations contact the club secretary or sea kayak rep.

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