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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

  • What are Mission Kayaks made of?
 
  All our kayaks are produced using a medium-density polyethylene plastic and made via Rotational Moulding. All  plastic used is our kayaks is pure and UV stabilised to ensure the colour lasts and you get the longest life possible out of your kayak. The team at Mission Kayaking pride themselves on their moulding and assembly capabilities and only use the highest quality components and inserts when producing our boats. Click here to find out more about our amazing warranty to give you extra peace of mind.

 

 
  • What are the differences between sit on top kayaking, whitewater kayaking and sea kayaking?
 
 
Sit on top kayaks are very user friendly and has over the past 10 years or so become very popular. Sit on top kayaks tend to be more stable due to the wider berth or width of the kayak making them more suitable for beginner paddlers. All sit on top kayaks have self draining holes for any water that is taken onto the kayak known as scuppers. Mushroom Bungs are available for usage when paddling in flat water such as lakes and rivers where you are less likely to take on water into the cockpit. Its important to remember to remove these mushroom bungs when going through surf however to avoid sitting in a bath tub!

Whitewater kayaks are used for swift water such as rivers. Whitewater kayaks are short and designed to turn quickly, so you can manoeuvre quickly.

Touring kayaks (including sea kayaks, open water kayaks) are much longer than whitewater kayaks. They are designed for large bodies of open water such as bays or ocean paddling. They are effective in paddling through waves and move straight forward efficiently, but do not turn as easily as whitewater kayaks.

A lot of people opt to start off in Sit on top kayaks and as their skill sets evolve many look to move into the more specialist categories of sea kayaks, white water kayaks and fishing kayaks.

 

 
  •    Is it hard to learn to kayak?
 
  Kayaking can be as challenging or as easy as you choose it to be, depending on your choice of water sites. You can learn the basics for decked kayaking in protected waters in just a few hours. It's usually best to take a class with a qualified instructor, to get started quickly and safely. With a few basic paddle strokes and some safety skills, you'll be on your way!
 
 
  • How can I try kayaking to see whether I like it?
 
  Many paddling shops will sponsor demo days on protected water in warm weather. 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 spray skirt, 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?
 
  Mission manufactures rotomolded polyethylene kayaks, which are very durable and cost substantially less than composite kayaks. Suggested retail prices for Mission polyethylene kayaks range from $499 for the Squirt up to $4800 for our top of the line commercial tandem sea kayak the Eco Niizh COM

 
 
  • 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, a spray skirt. Sport and recreational kayakers (Minnow-type kayaks and open tops) will need paddles, PFDs and flotation too. (Spray skirts are optional for sport 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:
Shorter paddles work best for beginning boaters, squirt boaters, rodeo playboating, and shallow creeking. Longer paddles work best for advanced boaters or when you need more power on big water. If you're paddling a Torrent (which is wider than decked whitewater kayaks), you'll need a longer paddle (210+ cm).

When choosing a touring paddle:
Paddle size is highly dependent on boat size. Wider boats often work best with longer paddles. Open top kayaks are often easier to paddle with a longer paddle. If you paddle fast (i.e., a high stroke rate), a shorter paddle may be more efficient.
 
 
  • Do you have to be able to swim to kayak?
 
  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 Mission dealer.
 
 
  • 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 listings for events and clubs near you.
 
 
  • What should you take with you when you go kayaking?
 
  Always take your PFD, spray skirt and paddle with you. For whitewater or surfing, take your helmet, too. Your kayak should be equipped with flotation (but that generally is stored in the boat). Take a spare paddle, sunscreen, water bottle, snacks and first aid kit. For sea kayaking you should also take your signal kit and bilge pump. Dress appropriately, in synthetics or wool, cotton is not recommended for watersports. 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 of 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 do you get the kayak on top of your car rack? Can I load it by myself?
 
  There are many different methods for carrying and loading kayaks. One way to carry your kayak is by placing the upper cockpit edge on your shoulder. Another method is to lift it canoe style, holding it by the thigh braces. To load the boat onto your car by yourself, stand behind the car and rest the bow of the kayak on your rear car rack bar or roof. Move to the back/stern of the kayak (hold onto it!), then lift the stern and slide the entire kayak forward onto the rack. This same method can work from the side of your car. Rest one end of the kayak on your car, then lift the other end. If you are concerned about scratching your car or kayak, place a towel on the roof or rack for protection. (Minor scratches do not harm the kayak.) Tie your boat securely to the roof rack. Run bow and stern lines directly to your car, with only minimal tension. (These lines are just insurance, in case the lines holding your boat to the rack loosen.) Too much tension on the bow and stern lines can distort the shape of your boat.
 
 
  • 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. Mission has a cockpit cover designed to keep the little creepy crawlies out of your kayak when storing it!
 
 
  • What is the weight capacity of a touring kayak?
 
  Many factors influence the amount of gear and the weight your sea kayak can hold. These include: weight distribution, weather factors, paddler weight and size, and skill level. That's why it is difficult to give a specific answer in number of kilos, because there are so many combinations of factors possible. (It's a bit like asking how much weight a backpack can hold.) The performance of your kayak, and your comfort in paddling it, will also be affected by the amount of weight and the way the kayak is packed.
As a generalisation, sea kayaks which are trimmed, outfitted and packed properly can hold a combined paddler and gear weight of 100 - 150 kgs. Again, please keep in mind that this is a generalisation. You should always practice packing your sea kayak and paddling a packed kayak prior to any trip. It is also very advisable to practice your self-rescue and rolling techniques with a loaded kayak prior to an expedition.
When packing a sea kayak, try to distribute the weight evenly and keep the weight low within the storage hatches. It is wise to strap down the load to prevent shifting in difficult waters, which may upset the balance. Again, practice, practice, practice!

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