How to Pick the Perfect Kayak or Canoe for You – The HandiWorld Guide

A lot of our loyal HandiWorld customers are water sports enthusiasts, many with a particular interest in kayaks and canoes, so that’s made us pretty intrigued by them too.

The world of water sports equipment is a vast one, with plenty of gear to choose from and different products being right for different people but today we’re going to be making things a little easier by sharing with you our guide as to how to pick the right kayak or canoe for you and we’ll even be throwing in a couple of handy transportation tips to help get your vessel to the waterfront.

Kayak vs Canoe – What’s the Difference?

Before we get on to how to pick the right raft for your water sports adventures, let’s just establish the difference between a kayak and a canoe because that’ll be a big deciding factor in which one you go for.

They may look similar in size and shape but the main difference between a kayak and a canoe is where the rider sits. In a kayak, the rider has a small designated area for seating and the rest of the boat is closed off, hence they are specified as ‘one-man’ or ‘two-man’ because the seating area is purpose-built whereas canoes are either totally open top boats where the rider can sit either side on a raised seat or kneel on the base of the boat.

Another difference between the two is the paddle you use, kayaks are powered by double-bladed paddles and canoes are rowed using single-bladed paddles.

Picking the Right Kayak

Starting with kayaks, there are a few things to think about when choosing the right one for you and they’re as follows:

  • What kind of waters will you be riding in? Open water or closed lakes, will it be warm or cold water?
  • Do you want to sit on top or sit inside and how does this fit with where you intend to ride?
  • What kind of speeds are you looking for? This will determine the length of your kayak

As a general rule, ‘sit on top’ kayaks are better for beginners or people who simply don’t like to be confined. You’re going to get wet using a SOT kayak, it’s inevitable but they’re self-bailing which means they drain water themselves through the design of the raft, they’re also ideal for warmer waters or environments where you’re likely to want to get out and swim.

When it comes to sit inside kayaks, these are ideal for pros who want speed as the general design of the raft is streamlined. If you’re heading into cold water and want to stay warm and dry, a sit inside is a far better option but it’s worth remembering if you happen to flip over, it’s a far trickier situation to recover from.

When choosing the length of your kayak, it’s generally known that the longer and narrower your kayak, the faster it will go but the wider the kayak, the more stable it will be on the water but perhaps slower, so this is something you have to weigh up depending on where you’ll be riding and how well-trained and experienced you are as a rider.

Picking the Right Canoe

Similarly to picking a kayak, there are a few things to consider before choosing the right canoe for you and one of the biggest deciding factors is location, where will you be using this canoe?

The kind of waters you’ll be riding in will heavily dictate the kind of canoe you need, especially the shape of the canoe. have some great advice for picking the perfect canoe and they suggest that the flatter the bottom of a canoe, the more stable it will be but the slower it will travel and the rounder the bottom of your canoe, the faster you’re likely to go but the more instability you’ll experience, so you need to consider whether you need speed or stability when choosing your canoe.

Another reason you need to know where you’re going to want to ride your canoe is that when deciding whether you buy a canoe with a keel or not, this is dependent on where you will be riding. Lake canoes should and will have a keel and river canoes shouldn’t have a keel and this also determines the manoeuvrability of the canoe.

The rocker of a canoe is how much the hull curves from the bow to the stern and this is another factor that dictates hull speed. There’s a choice between fully rockered and moderate rockered canoes, both with differing speed potentials, so choose wisely.

Most experts will advise you to try before you buy when it comes to canoes as there are many things to consider and you need the right one to allow you to ride in the way you want to. Many water sports clubs will have canoes to hire, so test as many out as you can before finally purchasing your own.

Transporting Your Kayak or Canoe

There’s no denying that a kayak or a canoe is a big piece of equipment to transport but HandiWorld can help make light work of it.

When it comes to moving your boat from home to where you want to ride, you need the help of the UK’s only inflatable roof rack, the HandiRack. Our very own patented creation that makes transporting loads of up to 60kg easier than ever before.

Simply attach the HandiRack to your car and then attach your kayak or canoe to your HandiRack using the HandiBungee cords and there you go, you’re ready to hit the road and head off on your adventure.

Once you’ve reached your destination, it’s time to unload the kayak or canoe from the car and move it down to the waterfront and that can be pretty backbreaking work if you do it without the help of a purpose-built trolley.

The HandiKart is our very own kayak or canoe trolley that is specially designed to move your boat from your car to the waterside in one swift and easy move, without involving much manpower from you. Made using Camba Wheel Technology to ensure it can roll smoothly on any terrain, the HandiKart weighs just 4kg and measures 560mm wide, making it compact to transport.

If you’re on the hunt for a new kayak or canoe, we hope this buying guide has come in handy. If you’ve got any other top tips for picking a kayak or canoe, share them with us on Twitter or Facebook.



How the HandiMoova Can Help You in the Garden

Now we’re firmly in summer, everyone’s attention has moved away from home renovations and over to doing up the garden, which means it’s the perfect time for us to share some top tips with you on how to make life in the garden a little easier.

No matter how much you love doing the gardening, you’re never going to turn down a helping hand which is why we’re confident all gardening enthusiasts are going to want to know about the HandiMoova.

The HandiMoova is an all-terrain trolley made by HandiWorld, a multi-purpose two-wheel trolley that is particularly handy in the garden. Made with a lightweight but robust frame and Camba Wheel Technology to ensure the HandiMoova is smooth rolling over all surfaces, we’re going to be sharing with you a few ways the HandiMoova can offer you some assistance in the garden!

Moving Rubble and Rubbish

There’s nothing worse than digging out the flower beds or clearing a load of rubble and realising you’ve left it in the middle of the lawn and are now going to have to lug it to the wheelie bin in buckets but you can say goodbye to doing that with a HandiMoova!

When paired with the HandiSac, an extra strong multi-use sack, you can load anywhere up to 60kg worth of rubbish and rubble into the bag and onto the HandiMoova and quickly and easily transport from one area of the garden to another or over to the bins.

Manoeuvring Heavy Pots and Ornaments

Whether you’ve just bought some new ornaments for the garden or want to have a revamp and move some existing plant pots around, this can be back-breaking work if you’ve got heavy stone ornaments but the HandiMoova can make light work of this.

Simply use the HandiBungee cords to strap the pot or ornament you want to move to the HandiMoova and easily wheel it over to where you want it to be, saving you time and any potential injury.

Bringing in New Plants

We’ve all been there, the car boot is filled with new flowers, potted plants and small trees ready to dress up the garden and it’s only then you realise you have to move all this by hand but the HandiMoova can help speed this process us.

Whether it’s a heavy potted plant that is simply tricky to carry or trays and trays of plants you can’t physically transport all in one, load everything up onto the HandiMoova and simply wheel it behind you until you reach where you want them to go.

Clearing Out the Shed

One of the first jobs of summer for many people with a garden is to clear out the shed and get it fit for purpose again but this can involve a lot of back and forth between the bin, the house and the car for things going to the tip and charity shops, so using the HandiMoova can help save a lot of walking by allowing you to transport more in one trip.

Load up whatever it is needs moving and fix in place with the HandiBungee cords and you can easily make your way to wherever you need to go without having to try and juggle armfuls of things!

The HandiMoova’s sole purpose is to make life easier and we think it has proved it can do that in the garden!

To make gardening quicker and simpler, get yourself a HandiMoova and witness for yourself what a great helping hand this invention really is!


Driving Outside the UK – Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to holidaying outside the UK, many of us Brits choose to drive over to nearby European countries in the car to keep all our home comforts in tow but that can pose a bit of a challenge when you reach your destination.

Driving laws differ around the globe and just because you’re a great driver on UK roads, doesn’t mean you’re clued up enough to get behind the wheel abroad.

We’re going to be sharing with you some top bits of advice to keep in mind if you’re taking your own car overseas or hiring a car in a country outside the UK to keep you safe on foreign roads!

Check You Meet Foreign Driving Criteria

To drive in the EU or anywhere else in the world, you must have a valid GB license and therefore have passed your driving test. Some countries outside of the EU require you to have an International Driving Permit which you have to apply and pay for, as well as being 18 years or older with a valid GB license.

If you’re hiring a car abroad, you may have to be over 18 or even over 21, so make sure you check before you head over to that country.

Check Your Insurance

If you’re taking your own car out of the UK and are planning on driving in Europe, you need to make sure you’ve got the necessary insurance.

This is one of the most important things to make sure you’ve got sorted before getting behind the wheel of your car abroad. Some insurance policies will cover driving in other countries and some won’t so be sure to speak with your provider and check your policy to see whether you’re covered or need to take out additional insurance for your holiday.

Most European Countries Drive on the Right Hand Side of the Road

One major thing to remember if you’re taking your car across to the likes of France or Spain is that you have to drive on the right-hand side of the road, as opposed to the left like we do here in the UK.

If you’ve been driving in the UK for a long time, it’s likely to be second nature to you to drive on the left-hand side of the road, so don’t let yourself slip into habits from home when driving around Europe and stick to the right-hand side!

Give Way to the Left on a Roundabout

Something else that is likely to feel totally unnatural when you first start driving outside the UK is giving way to the left on a roundabout as opposed to the right like we do here in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

This is simply because you drive on the opposite side of the road in countries such as France, so the general rules of the road work in the opposite direction, such as left-hand turns being more challenging than right-hand turns, due to driving on the other side.

Don’t Forget Your GB Sticker

If you do not have a euro symbol on your number plates, you will require a GB sticker on your car to drive inside and outside the EU. The AA highlight how the sticker has to feature black letters on a white background of a size around 80mm high and 10mm wide.

If you’re heading outside the EU, even if you have a euro sign on your number plate, you are likely to still need a GB sticker but check the regulations for the country you’re heading to.

Have Your Reflective Jackets Onboard

Although recommended in this country, it is not compulsory to have reflective jackets in your vehicle at all but in some countries, particularly European ones, it is the law to always carry a high-vis jacket in your car in case of breakdowns or emergencies, so make sure you pack these otherwise you could land in trouble in the country you’re visiting.

Buy a Breathalyser (France Only)

It was passed as a law in 2012 in France that all drivers must carry breathalysers in their cars and would be fined if they were not to have one, however this has now been changed and although it is still considered compulsory to have an ‘alcotest’ in your vehicle when driving in France, there is now no enforceable fine, however it may be worth carrying one just in case.

There’s a lot to remember and consider when it comes to driving outside the UK but luckily there’s plenty of information out there to help you do everything right.

As well as the above, our top tip for every roof rack is to pack the car properly. Overfilling your car is dangerous, distracting and just not a good idea, so instead of shoving everything into the boot, investing in a HandiHoldall and HandiRack bundle will help you distribute your belongings properly and transport everything safely.

If you’ve got any top tips for driving outside the UK, we’d love to hear them, so share them with us on Twitter or Instagram!


What to Pack for a Weekend Cycling Trip

Now we’re in the depths of Spring and soon to be heading into Summer, we’re very much at the heart of cycling season now which means biking enthusiasts have now got their diaries filled with upcoming cycling trips and weekends away on the bikes.

When it comes to packing for a cycling trip, it’s essential to have everything you need but to pack as lightweight and compact as possible, so we’re going to be sharing with you our ultimate packing list and a few top tips on how to pack perfectly for your biking adventure.

What to Pack

How to Pack It

Once you’ve established everything you need and want to take with you, it’s time to turn your attention towards how to pack everything up and that’s where HandiWorld can help.

It’s unlikely you’ll be setting off from home on your bike, it’s more probable that you’re going to be heading somewhere in the car before starting your adventure, so you’re going to need to get all your gear for the trip into the car.

175 Litre HandiHoldall

Our brand new 175 Litre HandiHoldall is the latest addition to our soft roof box range, this one having been designed especially with cyclists and sports enthusiasts in mind. Suitable for attaching to the HandiRack alone if that’s all you need on top of the car or if you need to transport your bike on the roof too, the 175 Litre HandiHoldall can also be fitted to metal sports racks alongside bikes thanks to the specially designed size and shape.

An ideal capacity for storing all the belongings you could need for a weekend away cycling, this new version of our roof bag is lightweight and easy to attach to the car, making your life as simple as possible, so you can get on with the fun parts of your adventure.


Once you reach your destination and are ready to commence on your rides, you’re going to need a way of packing your daily essentials on to your bike and they’re unlikely to all fit in a backpack.

If you’re cycling relatively far from your base, you’re going to need plenty of kit with you in case you need spare changes of clothes or parts for your bike, so packing your bike using panniers is your best option.

Panniers extend the storage space available on your bike and allow you to distribute the stuff you want to carry with you on your trip evenly, so it doesn’t affect how you ride but seeing as we’re not the experts at bike storage solutions, we’d recommend reading Travelling Two’s guide to packing your panniers.

We hope you have a great time exploring the great outdoors on your cycling trips and we’d love to know if you grab one of our new HandiHoldalls to help with the packing process, so let us know how you get on by getting in touch on Twitter or Facebook!