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If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you’ll know I went kayaking last year and absolutely loved it, so to go again was an absolute dream! This year I went with Abby up to the Weir Wood Reservoir to meet Hatt Adventures for a Sussex Kayaking Experience.
On arrival the weather wasn’t looking great, but that wasn’t going to stop us from going out on the water! We met Tom, our instructor, and the rest of our group, before getting kitted out and introduced to our kayaks for the session. Standing as a group, we practised paddle movements and correct handling of the oars, as well as what to do if you capsize (which I was strongly hoping didn’t happen!). After the safety brief it was time to shimmy our way onto the water.
At first we were a bit wobbly, and often found ourselves facing the entirely wrong direction, but with Tom’s expert help and a bit of practice, we were soon sailing along the reservoir at a steady pace. This activity was perfect for getting a good experience of all kayaking has to offer, getting both technical knowledge and the lovely views.
Tom was keen on teaching us manoeuvres such as moving sideways and keeping the boats going in a straight line – which is easier said than done! As a method of practise, we played a ball game in two teams, where the aim was to pass the ball to each other and try to hit Tom’s boat to score a point. Unfortunately us girls lost, but it was definitely a good way of learning and great fun!
We casually paddled along the edge of the reservoir, passing teepees and fields, before heading back to the shore for a de-brief. This experience is great if you’re looking to learn the skills involved in kayaking, whilst enjoying the peaceful surroundings. Because this activity takes place on a reservoir not a river, there are no pesky currents to put you off your game, so you get to practise those moves uninterrupted! A fantastic experience gift for those looking to pick up a new hobby, or just want to try something different. Many thanks to Tom for inviting us along and being a wonderful instructor!
Sussex Kayaking Experience
Experience Days recently spoke to 'Hatt Adventures' in an interview to find out what the future holds as well as some background about the company itself. Hatt Adventures have a broad range of outdoor activities that include; kayaking, abseiling, outdoor climbing and mountaineering. We spoke to founder and director; Tom Hatt in order to find out more!
Please explain a bit about the history of Hatt Adventures. Where did an interest in the industry stem from?
We have operated since 2005, and have steadily grown each year. The business was started by Tom Hatt who wanted to share his passion for all things adventurous with other likeminded souls. Within a year or two the business grew and Tom recruited some of his instructor friends to run the odd course when he was double-booked. The rest as they say is 'history'. Today, we have a number of highly skilled and experienced instructors running a wide range of adventurous courses including; climbing, kayaking, abseiling, mountaineering and much more.
How did a passion turn into a career?
Today we offer courses for a wide range of clients, from individuals to corporate events, stag and hen parties through to kid's parties and school groups. For the office side of things the greatest challenges we face are making sure everything runs smoothly and we have a great team in myself and the two Clare's who keep everything in shape.
Personally I love teaching the technical side of things; from complicated rope work to paddle strokes for surf and white-water activities.
Do you have any exclusive information you can share with us?
We have a couple of big projects in the pipeline, but these are top secret at present! We'll let you know more as soon as we can. We have just launched a new climbing course and a river trip on the River Arun in Sussex.
What makes your experiences unique and special for customers?
Quite simply it's our staff and instructors! We only use the best instructors and we'd rather not run a course that will lower our standards!! This can be seen by our reviews on Trip Advisor.
What's your most frequently asked question from customers?
Our availability; we generally get booked up a long way in advance and people always seem to leave things to the last minute. We always try and help if we can but like we said before we only use the best instructors around!
Thanks Tom for answering all our questions! If you too would like to take one of our experience challenges then follow the links below…
Abseiling Experience Sussex
Rock climbing and Abseiling Experience Sussex
Kayaking Experience Sussex
Group Size & Spectators:
Spectators are very welcome to come along and watch the kayaking lesson from the shore.
This kayaking experience is available for booking on selected dates between March and October.
Current dates for 2016:
20th August 14:30-16:30
11th September 14:30-16:30
29th October 14:30-16:30
This is a two hour kayaking experience. You should allow a little longer than this for the full experience.
The weather may affect your kayaking lesson in Sussex. In extreme conditions, you may be required to reschedule your kayaking experience for an alternative date.
All kayaking equipment and protective gear you need will be provided for you at the kayaking location.
Please bring a towel and a nice warm change of clothes for after your experience, as your clothes are very likely to get wet.
Minimum Age: 18
Maximum Weight: 18 stone.
All participants must be able to swim 50m - 2 lengths of a standard pool - fully clothed.