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Frequently Asked Questions

"Aren't all kayaks that go in the ocean called Ocean Kayaks?"

In 1971, in Malibu, California, we sold our first kayak. We called our company Ocean Kayak to distinguish our boats from down river kayaks. Sea going kayaks were rare in those days, but by the 1980's the English and Northwest style of kayaking became popular and is referred to as sea kayaking or kayak touring. Our company, Ocean Kayak, remains one of the forerunners of this continually developing sport, having switched from fiberglass to polyethylene construction. Back to top

 "Are Ocean Kayak models different from other sea kayaks?"
Yes. Ocean Kayaks are much more stable, much easier to get into and out of, and are safer because the cockpit does not fill up with water. They are also less expensive than most other sea kayaks. Back to top  

 "Is an Ocean Kayak easy for first time users?"
Yes. Beginners can paddle off with confidence. The stable hull design allows you to relax while developing your paddling technique. Also, knowing how simple re-entry is from the water makes a capsize less traumatic. Back to top  

Is there training required?
Your Ocean Kayak is very easy to use and very forgiving. By beginning in calm water, you can quickly get the feel of the boat and paddle techniques, and practice getting in and out of the boat yourself. Like any water sport, however, healthy respect should be given to weather conditions and your level of experience. Ocean Kayak encourages ongoing instructional training for all levels of paddling skills. Many kayaking clubs have useful information for those considering extended ventures and offer enjoyable camaraderie. You can also inquire at your local paddlesports retailer for training and trip information. Back to top

 "Will I get tired of my kayak after awhile?"
Most likely not. Many people have used these boats for years and years. Simplicity makes the Ocean Kayak able to perform a large variety of functions well. As your interests change from day tripping to surfing, lake exploring, fishing, camping, diving, etc., your Ocean Kayak is ready to accommodate. Back to top

 "How is an Ocean Kayak safer?"
The cockpit doesn't fill up with water. Drain holes (scuppers), allow any water that enters the cockpit to flow back out immediately. This unique feature is greatly appreciated in the event of a capsize. In traditional kayaks, it is difficult for a trained team to bail a cockpit and get the paddler back inside the cockpit. It can be extremely difficult for one person to do it alone. Exposure time in cold water and rough conditions make this operation extremely treacherous. By eliminating the need to bail the cockpit and by combining a cockpit that is simple to re-enter from the water and a stable hull that resists re-capsizing when climbing back aboard, Ocean Kayak hopes to minimize the dangers associated with capsizing. An Ocean Kayak takes three to five seconds to get back aboard, even for adolescents and beginners. Back to top

 "Do you always have to wear a wetsuit when paddling an Ocean Kayak?"
Not always. Wetsuits are mainly to keep you warm while in the water or inclement weather conditions for long periods of time. Some people wear wetsuits or drysuits when paddling traditional cockpit kayaks in cold water to buy themselves more time in the water if they capsize. Since a paddler can re-enter an Ocean Kayak so quickly, the threat of hypothermia is greatly reduced. Once back aboard, fabrics which keep you warm while wet, such as wool or pile, are appropriate. When paddling in cold choppy seas or rain, a waterproof jacket should keep you warm and dry. Should you want to paddle in chop or surf in cold water, then a wetsuit is definitely a good idea. In warm weather, calm water, and warm air temperature, light clothing may be adequate for short trips close to land. Back to top

 "Are long, narrow boats faster?"
Don't be misled by claims of speed. They are usually based on flat water boats in very calm water doing short sprints. If your only objective is to go as fast as possible on flat water,  a long narrow boat is for you. However, we also feel it is important to make boats which are safe and perform well in a variety of conditions. By sacrificing a very slight amount of speed on flat water, we are able to offer boats which are not inhibited by rough seas. Back to top

 "How does an Ocean Kayak handle in rough water?"
Very well. The additional width in the hull makes it more stable, so the paddler can spend more energy on paddling and less on balancing. Balancing on a narrow, tippy boat can be very fatiguing. The bow design keeps spray down and creates extra lift so it remains buoyant, even in rough conditions. Back to top

 "What if I want to surf?"
Glad you asked! The capabilities of these boats in the surf are tremendous. The hull is slightly curved on the bottom so that it catches swells and waves easily and will lift and plane at high speeds, unlike most kayaks. Surfing offshore swells is also exciting (no beach to run into!). Take a look at our Mysto model. Back to top

 "What if I want to go through the surf to reach my destination?"
Launching and returning through a surf break to reach your destination is a swift maneuver. The Ocean Kayak cockpit is a breeze to hop in and out of. Quick progress can be made between wave sets, often without splash taken over the deck. Back to top

 "Does an Ocean Kayak have storage space?"
Yes. Depending on the model you choose, your boat may have as much as 12 cubic feet of storage space. Larger hatch openings, such as those available on the Trident Series and Prowler T Series, allow you optimal access for long or bulky items. A center hatch is especially convenient for stowing small items you may want to reach while paddling. Back to top

 "Can I use an Ocean Kayak for scuba diving?"
Absolutely. Paddling out to a dive site is quicker and less tiring than swimming out (and back), giving the diver more time at the dive site. An Ocean Kayak provides a stable platform on which to prepare for your dive or stow your treasures afterwards. Secure your tank, BC, gear and catch safely above deck with gear straps in specially molded tank wells, or in below-deck easy access hatches - all within arms reach. The boats in our line that can be used for diving are the Trident Series, Prowler T Series, Prowler Big Game, Prowler 13, Frenzy and Scrambler 11. Scuba tank size (length/diameter) and equipment can vary so we suggest you visit a local kayak shop and take your scuba equipment with to see which model best fits your needs. Back to top

 "How much dive gear will my Ocean Kayak hold?"
Depending on which model you select, you can store a full set of dive gear - tank, BC, weight belt, mask and snorkel, fins, photo equipment, and catch - and maybe even an extra tank for that second dive. Back to top

 "Are the storage hatches waterproof?"
Not absolutely. Most paddlers never realize this as the hatches resist leakage under average conditions. In heavy surf, repeated capsizes, or river use, the hatches may leak a little water. We do recommend the use of dry bags for storing your cargo below decks. Also dry boxes work great in boats with larger hatches for protecting items like cell phones, cameras and iPods. Back to top

 "What is the difference between polyethylene and fiberglass?"
Fiberglass is stiffer, which means it can maintain rigidity over large flat areas. Fiberglass is also more brittle on impact. Polyethylene gets its rigidity from compound curves, which lends itself perfectly to the design characteristics of the Ocean Kayak. The impact resistance of polyethylene is remarkable. Additional structural integrity is obtained by joining the top and bottom decks. All of this makes for a boat which is lightweight and durable. Back to top

 "What type of polyethylene is an Ocean Kayak made of?"
It is a High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) that is an excellent stiff, very tough material. Unlike the cross link polyethylene used by many other manufacturers, the high density polyethylene is weldable for modifications or the unlikely event of repairs. Back to top

 "How do I repair my boat?"
Ocean Kayaks are very durable, however on occasion they may need some minor repairs. The linear polyethylene used in our kayaks is repairable. You may wish to contact an Ocean Kayak dealer close to you to have repairs performed by their staff. See our repair section if you choose to perform repairs yourself. We offer free weld rod and we can ship hatch cut outs (small portions of the kayak) for use in welds and welding practice. A heat gun with reduction nozzle is needed. Contact our customer service representatives for more information. Back to top

 "What type of maintenance is required?"
Rinse them off after use and empty any water from the interior by releasing the bow drain plug and turning boat upside down to drain. Storage is the key to keeping the kayak in tip top shape. A boat should be supported by a rack or webbing on edge (strongest part of the kayak is the cockpit area). When hanging a boat, run straps around the boat, near the cockpit (using the scupper holes may cause distortion). Storing your boat bottom side down or hanging from the toggle handles may also cause distortion. See our Care and Maintenance section for more tips. Back to top

 "Will my Ocean Kayak fade if I leave it in the sun?"
Ocean Kayak goes to extra trouble and expense to have ultra-violet inhibitors and color compounds blended right into the polyethylene. This makes the boat very resistant to the sun's rays. For added protection, storage under cover or out of the sun will ensure a bright color and durability for a lifetime. 303 protectant is a great product for all outdoor gear and does help protect plastic from UV damage and restores some color on poly boats. Back to top

 "How can I purchase an Ocean Kayak?"
In an effort to serve you better, we have established an international network of dealers. Your dealer can help you with boat selection, accessories and provide customer service should you need further help and information. We refer customers to our dealers. Back to top

 "How watertight is my boat?"
It is normal for any type of kayak to experience a small amount of seepage due to the installation of rivets, hatches, etc. Kayaks may take on a few cups while out paddling in surf or flipping repeatedly. If a kayak is taking on more than a small amount of water, check to make sure the drain plug is in, then check the rest of the boat for leaks. Back to top

 "How should I store my kayak?"
It is best to store your kayak on edge, upside down, standing on end or hanging on edge. See the kayak storage instructions for more information. Back to top

 "What accessories are available for my boat?"
Ocean Kayak has a full accessory line designed specifically for Ocean Kayak boats and your various water sports interests including diving, fishing, touring, river riding or surfing. Back to top  

 "Where is the serial number on my Ocean Kayak?"
You can find the serial number for your kayak on the back cover of the Owner’s Manual included with your boat. The serial number is also located on each kayak approximately 6" from the stern on the starboard side of the boat (the right-hand side of a boat when you are facing the front front). For boats purchased before 2010 the serial number is approximately 6” from the bow just under the parting line on the starboard side of the boat (the right-hand side of a kayak when you are facing the front). If a serial number that is etched into the boat is difficult to read, take a rubbing of the number by placing a piece of paper over the number and rubbing a crayon or pencil until the serial number can be seen on the paper. Back to top  

 "Where can I find Frequently Asked Questions about the Torque kayak?"
We have a web page dedicated to Torque Frequently Asked Questions. You can also download the Torque Owner's Manual supplement pdf file. Back to top 

Is it ok to use a scupper kayak cart with an Ocean Kayak boat?
These carts have poles that go up through the scupper holes of the kayak. Use of a scupper cart is at your own risk.  The scupper holes can be a weak point on a kayak. If you are not careful putting the poles in they can puncture the insides of the scupper hole. Or during use, these poles can put enough wear and pressure in one spot of the inside of the scupper hole to crack or puncture your kayak. You should always use something to protect the scupper holes if using a scupper kayak cart. Back to top 

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