These are some frequently asked kayaking questions that we get, see if we’ve already got an answer to your question here.
Booking your course:
What courses are appropriate for me?
Please check out our Levels Page which will help you to understand which courses are most suitable for your current level.
If you are still a little uncertain about which level of course is suitable for you then please get in contact with us and we will ensure you end up on the correct level course for your abilities.
Maximum group numbers
Each course varies, you can find the maximum number of participants for any given course on the relevant course page.
Weight limits & fitness requirement
Our sit on top kayaks have a maximum weight limit of 20 Stone/127kg
Our sit-in kayaks have a maximum weight limit of 21 Stone/135kg
And while you should be in reasonable physical condition (able to walk upstairs without getting out of breath), you don’t have to be an athlete to be able to enjoy one of our courses. You just have to show up ready to explore and willing to learn.
We will send out a link to our waiver ahead of time. Please do tell us of any conditions or injuries that might affect you during your time on the water, it helps your guide in making any adjustments necessary to make your day more suitable and more enjoyable for you.
Is there a minimum age to attend a course?
Our guideline minimum age is 16 for our courses, however, we are happy to cater to those under 16, but this is done on a case-by-case basis. Please send us an email or call us to discuss this before booking.
The exception to this is our British Canoeing Leadership awards for which the minimum age is 16 as set by British Canoeing.
All under 18s must be accompanied by an adult who is actively partaking in the course.
Do you have a minimum number required for courses to go ahead?
All of our courses are guaranteed to run with only one person booking.
You can book your course safe in the knowledge that it will run, even if it’s only yourself booked on!
Want to know why we’re operating this way?
We have many years of experience in the kayaking world and we have all been frustrated when we book a course and make plans around it, only to be told shortly before that the course will not be running due to low participant numbers.
We want to be as customer-focused as possible. We have committed to running all courses even if only one person has booked.
Yes, this does mean we are operating at a loss in these instances, but we think you’ll be so impressed with the service we offer that you will be returning and bringing friends with you in the future!
And it’s a day out at sea doing something that we are passionate about, so we all win!
Kayak Course Information:
What kit do you provide?
Here at Sea Kayak Academy, we believe in providing the absolute best experience possible.
We feel that your experience is a far more enjoyable one if you are using the best equipment and staying warm and dry, which is why we are proud to provide quality kit including dry suits.
- Equipment you will be provided with for all water-based courses includes:
- Buoyancy aid
- Spraydeck (for sit-in kayak courses)
- Drysuit / Wetsuit*
- Drybag (for your sandwiches, spare warm layers, etc)
In winter and on cold days you can wear one of our dry suits, on cooler days one of our long john wetsuits and paddle jackets and on those particularly hot days, just your own shorts and t-shirt will do.
What do I need to bring with me?
- Comfortable warm layers to be worn underneath a drysuit.
- Water bottle
- Extra snacks
Also bring on…
- Sun hat
- Swimwear if you opt to wear a wetsuit, or for that lunchtime swim
- Extra sweatshirt
- Warm hat
- Lunch (Alternatively the nearest garage is located a 10-minute drive away in Letterston)
- A notepad and pen
We will provide tea, coffee and water.
What is a drysuit and what should I wear underneath?
Drysuits are an amazing bit of kit, they are waterproof immersion suits that are designed to be loose-fitting everywhere except the neck and wrists.
Whilst drysuits are intended to keep you fully dry and we make every effort to ensure our drysuits stay in top-notch condition, it is inevitable that they will let in small amounts of water over time, especially if you are in and out of the water (practising rescue skills for instance). Drysuits keep you (mostly) dry, however, they are not inherently warm, therefore it is recommended that you wear clothing that will insulate even when wet. So layers such as polypropylene, fleece, wool etc are ideal, but not cotton.. avoid any heavy/bulky clothing such as jeans and hoodies.
We recommend that you bring multiple layers with you so that you can easily adapt your clothing to suit the temperature of the day.
Can I bring my own kit:
You are most welcome to bring any or all of your own kit.
You do not need to notify us ahead of time what kit you require, we will be able to organise all required equipment when we meet you.
Before heading out from the base for the day your coach will check to ensure that your kit is suitable for the environment and is in good condition. If anything is deemed unsuitable for the course we will ask you to use our equipment.
We can also help you with any questions you may have about your equipment.
Sea Kayak Academy has a range of equipment for sale. Please visit our online shop or get in contact for details.
Your photo memories are free and included in the cost of your course. It’s important to us that you have amazing photos to download and share. Your photos will be sent to you immediately after your course to the email address that you specified on booking your course.
Location and Facilities:
We are a 5-minute drive East of Letterston, Pembrokeshire (the exact address will be emailed to you upon booking). This is where you will meet your coach on the first day of your course and where you will select your kit and kayak for the upcoming day. From there we have easy access to a large portion of the Pembrokeshire coastline. The location we paddle from will depend on the weather conditions on the day and will be discussed with you upon arrival. From our base, we will drive to the chosen location. Please note, depending on group size and location of paddle you will likely be driving your own vehicle to the trip location.
Can I find you by public transport?
We are a 5-minute drive from the main crossroads in Letterston. There are buses which operate to Letterston Village, from there we are able to collect you from the bus stop.
PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU NOTIFY US AHEAD OF TIME THAT YOU WILL REQUIRE PICKING UP.
If you think that you will have any issues getting to our location then phone/call or email us and we will be more than happy to help you.
What facilities are available?
Toilet facilities and a classroom-based in our polytunnel are available on site.
We are currently undergoing some very exciting developments, including a bespoke classroom, toilet, shower and changing facilities. Watch this space!
On the water:
Can I wear Glasses?
You are welcome to wear your glasses on a kayaking tour with us. If you would like to wear glasses it is at your own risk, but we do have some glasses leashes available for you to borrow.
What can I take on the water with me?
We always advise that all valuables stay locked in your cars. Anything that can sink or be damaged by seawater is best left on the land.
Waterproof cameras are welcome on the kayaks and we can help you attach them to your person in case they are dropped. Phones are best left on the land as they are difficult to attach to you and are rarely salt-waterproof. If you do decide to take your phone with you please put it on aeroplane mode, so that you are not distracted from the safety instructions and for the enjoyment of others on the course. Don’t forget: Your photo memories are free and will be sent to you via the email or mobile phone number you booked with.
You will be provided with a dry bag to bring your lunch, spare warm clothing and any essential medication with you. (See also “What do I need to bring with me”)
What if I can't swim?
Not being able to swim is okay with us as long as you are water confident. Our sit on top kayaks are very stable meaning that, unless you want to, it’s extremely unlikely you will be in the water and if for some reason you do get wet you will be wearing a buoyancy aid that keeps you afloat.
Our enclosed kayaks are slightly less stable than our sit on top kayaks so if you are a little more nervous then it may suit you to opt for a Sit-on-Top course instead of an enclosed kayak course.
Our qualified coaches will assist in any way needed.
If you are a really nervous non-swimmer please talk to us before booking!
We can give you specialist “one on one” help and encouragement but a certain level of confidence is required to keep you safe in the sea.
Will I need insurance?
We hold Public Liability insurance up to £5 million and are happy to provide a copy of our certificate should you need one.
Bookings with Sea Kayak Academy do not include personal travel or accident insurance. Please ask your insurer for details of the necessary cover for taking part in kayaking.
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