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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the differences between whitewater kayaking, seakayaking
and open top kayaking?
Touring kayaks (including seas kayaks, open water kayaks) are much longer than whitewater kayaks. They are desinged for large bodies or open water such as bays or ocean paddling. Touring kayaks are effective in paddling through waves and move straight forward efficiently, but do not turn as easily as whitewater kayaks.
Is it hard to learn to kayak?
You'd be surprised how easy kayaking can be. There are a large range of disciplines which allow you to take recreational kayaking to the extreme, but if you're just getting started, your first port of call should be lessons with a qualified instructor. Your local kayaking retailers will be able to provide information on local clubs and instructors.
How can I try kayaking to see whether I like it?
Many paddling shops will sponsor demo days on protected water. This is a chance to test drive a wide variety of kayaks to see how you like it. Paddling clubs may have open houses or events to introduce people to kayaking.
You can hire kayaks at many paddling shops and outfitters.
Remember, never kayak alone. Taking an introductory lesson can also be a great opportunity to try kayaking and meet kayakers who are just starting out.
Aren't you afraid of getting stuck in the kayak?
Many people are afraid of this...until they try kayaking!
If you paddle a decked boat and wear a sprayskirt, you learn quickly that you'll fall out of the kayak when you pull the loop on your spray skirt. In fact, learning to stay in the kayak is an acquired skill!
As you feel more and more comfortable in the kayak, you outfit your kayak with foam for a snug fit which makes it easier to roll -- righting the kayak from the upside-down position.
Do you have to know how to eskimo roll the kayak to go kayaking?
Eskimo rolling is a great safety skill. For challenging conditions, such as whitewater or kayaking in large ocean swells, it is important to learn to roll. However, you can enjoy kayaking in less challenging conditions before your roll is perfected.
You will normally be introduced to the roll when you take a basic kayaking class. Most people require additional rolling practice or lessons to learn this skill.
Rolling is based more on balance and co-ordination than on strength. With patience and practice, rolling is not difficult to learn.
How much does a kayak cost?
Perception manufactures rotomolded polyethylene kayaks, which are very durable and cost substantially less than composite/fiberglass kayaks.
Suggested retail prices for Perception polyethylene kayaks range from around RM 1,400.00 for the Squirt up to RM 8,800.00 or so for a touring sea kayak such as the Eco Bezhig. Prices will vary from area to area due to freight, which in some cases can add several hundred ringgit to the price of the kayak.
Besides a kayak, what else will I need to get started?
For whitewater kayaking, you will also need a paddle, a helmet, a Personal Flotation Device (PFD), and a spray skirt (for decked kayaks).
For touring or sea kayaking, you'll need a paddle, a PFD and a spray skirt.
Sport and recreational kayakers (Minnow-type kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks) will need paddles, PFDs and flotation too. (Spray skirts are optional for sport kayaks.). You do not need spraydeck for sit-on-top kayaks.
How do you choose a paddle?
If there was a definite answer, we'd give it to you. But the fact is, choosing a paddle is largely a matter of personal preference.
Our best advice? Try a number of different paddles and stick with the one that feels best.
Here are some general rules of thumb that may help your decision. Keep in mind, a paddle is an extremely important piece of gear that can make or break the pleasure of a full day on the water. So take the time to decide what works best for you...
When choosing a whitewater paddle:
When choosing a touring paddle:
No, but it helps. Mostly it's helpful because people who know how to swim are more comfortable in and on the water.
Even if you can swim, you should always wear your Personal Flotation Device (PFD) while kayaking.
Where can I go kayaking?
The best place to find guide books on local kayaking areas is at your local outdoor store, including your Perception retailers. Check out the retailers link at the retailers section to locate your nearest retailers.
How can I find a kayaking club?
Ask your local paddling or outdoor shop for information about clubs in the area.
If your area has a sports newspaper or weekend activities section in the newspaper, check the listing for events and clubs near you
What should you take with you when you go kayaking?
You should always take your bouyancy aid / Personal Flotation Device(PFD) and paddle with you. For whitewater or surfing, take your helmet too.
Your kayak should be equiped with flotation (but that is generally stored in the boat). Take a spare paddle, sunscreen, water bottle, snacks and a first aid kit. For seakayaking you should also take your signal kit and bilge pump.
Dress appropriately, in synthetics or wool, cotton is not recomended for water sports. Take along a paddling jacket - it's always a little colder than you expect! Pack your kayaking gear in dry bags, Pelican Box or heavy zip lock bags. Clip it to your whitewater boat, or put it in the hatch or your sea kayak.
Be sure to preserve our natural areas by using minimum impact skills when you're kayaking (and always pack out your garbage).
How should you store a kayak?
The best way to store your boat is on end, upside down or on its side. Don't hang it by the grab loops, and don't store it in direct sunlight. The colour can fade and the plastic can lose its suppleness because of prolonged exposure to sunlight. Use a cockpit cover to keep dust and critters out.
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