Work took me down to Bovington, in Dorset on a training course. On my way back I took the opportunity to pop into Bournemouth Canoes Uk, based near Poole. The shop is based in an industrial unit within easy access of the A35 and proved very easy to find.
The main floor of the unit houses a very good range of kayaks and canoes. Everything from playboats and open canoes to GP and sit on top kayaks were on display. However, I was most interested in their range of Sea Kayaks.
There was an impressive fleet on display both plastic and composite from a range of manufacturers including P&H and Point 65. I managed to avoid getting too close to most of them for financial safety reasons (“must keep credit card in wallet, must keep credit card in wallet…”) but was impressed to see the much praised P&H Cetus (and it’s plastic sibling the Scorpio) in stock.
Seeing the boats stored vertically gave a quick and easy reference to the various lengths available and the Cetus certainly looks long! The staff are keen to get boats out and let you inspect them closely. Their advice was excellent and very welcome, yet they are also happy to let you browse/daydream/drool in peace!
There is also a mezzanine floor within the unit housing paddles and clothing. A very good range of buoyancy aids, cags, sallopettes and thermals was on offer including the very rare ‘Kaikoura Tour’ sea kayaking PFD (More of that in a future post).
Downstairs, around the till area, is a wide range of accessories, books and DVD’s.
Good stock is one thing, but for me this needs to be backed up with friendly and knowledgeable staff, willing to give you the time and advice to get your head around all thats on offer. Bournemouth Canoes did not disappoint.
The guy that served me (Morag) was hugely enthusiastic and friendly, gave excellent advice and was an obvious Sea Kayaking enthusiast. It was really good the chat over local routes, kit and experiences.
All in all a great experience and if you are anywhere in the area I recommend a visit. If you are happy to order over the phone/via the internet they have a great website and you can rest assured this is a paddling shop run by paddlers!
Bournemouth Canoes Ltd
541 Blandford Road