Tips and Tricks for Kayaking in Dorset


Rediscovering the beaten path or exploring the hidden gems are both exciting and thrilling, especially when embarked on with a kayak. One such location that embodies an idyllic blend of fantastic natural beauty shot with countless waterways is Dorset. Kayaking in Dorset is quite simply a delight, full of stunning landscapes, calm water, and lush greeneries. Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or a novice, one can duly note these tips and tricks to ensure a rewarding and safe Dorset kayaking experience.

Planning Your Trip

Before beginning your kayaking escapade in Dorset, it’s crucial to plan accordingly. Streamline your course, timing, and the weather to spare you any unpleasant surprises. Dorset offers varied water bodies, including calm canals, peaceful lakes, and more challenging sea waters. Depending on your skill level, choose the most fitting kayaking locale.

Dorset’s maritime climate is generally mild and unperturbed, but it’s essential to check the specific day’s weather for any sudden changes. Wind and tide influence can rescue or ruin your kayak adventure, so make an informed decision.

Equipping Yourself

Proper kayaking gear is paramount. Always wear a buoyancy aid, irrespective of how good a swimmer you might be. Kayaks are inherently unstable boats and can capsize fairly easily. Therefore, it’s better to be prepared for any unintended splashes. In addition, consider wearing a helmet if you plan on kayaking in areas where rock collision is possible.

Essential gears other than safety items include a dry bag for your valuables, a map or GPS device for navigation, a paddle leash to keep your paddle secure, and of course, the correct kayak itself. Depending on the chosen waterway in Dorset, a touring, sit-on-top, or sea kayak may be more well-suited.

Techniques & Stroke Mastery

Aim to improve kayaking in dorset your paddle stroke mechanics to ensure a less tiring and more efficient kayaking experience. Learn the forward, reverse, and sweep strokes as they are the base of all kayaking manoeuvres. Additionally, steer clear from “arm paddling” and instead use your torso for more power.

Remember, always keep a low center of gravity to maintain balance, and avoid leaning too far sideways or standing in your kayak to prevent capsizing.

Dorset Hotspots

Once you have the basics covered, it’s time to explore the gem that is Dorset. The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a hot destination for kayakers. This site stretches 95 miles, studded with landmark locations such as Lulworth Cove, Chesil Beach, and Durdle Door. Paddling through this coast, you’ll witness the imposing cliffs, hidden coves, and unparalleled views.

Another place to consider is Studland Bay, a sheltered bay ideally suitable for beginners or family trips. It delivers splendid views of Old Harry Rocks and the Purbeck Hills.

Sherborne Lake, a manmade lake, is perfect for an unhurried paddle, and the calm and peaceful Lake Pier in Poole Harbour is best for practising your strokes and even fishing.

Conserving the Environment

Lastly, while immersing ourselves in the sheer beauty of nature, it’s crucial that we do our bit to conserve it. Follow a “leave no trace” policy and refrain from disturbing any wildlife during your kayaking adventure.

In conclusion, kayaking in Dorset is an exceptional experience that offers adventure, tranquility, and abundant natural beauty. However, the key to truly enjoying it lies in meticulous planning, having the correct equipment, refining your paddling skills, and being a responsible visitor. So, get in your kayak and paddle on to discover the unspoilt paradises nestled in the depths of Dorset!