Are the Sea Kayak Australia (SKA) staff qualified and experienced?
All SKA guides have at least 5 years sea kayaking experience, a current Sea Kayaking Instructor or Sea Guide award from Australian Canoeing and a current first aid certificate. They also have a background in outdoor education and a passion for the wilderness of Australia.
What size are the tour groups?
Group sizes vary from 4 to a maximum of 16 people. A ratio of 8 clients (in 4 double sea kayaks) to 1 Sea Guide.
What is your client to guide ratio for courses?
1:5 for Introduction to Sea Kayaking, 1:3 for Intermediate Skills.
Do I have to book for sea kayak tours/courses?
- Payment must be paid in full prior to commencement of the tour/course date.
- Payment to be made via the online “Booking system”.
- For customized tours that require consultation either via email or telephone, then payment is to be made via direct debit to the Westpac Bank, BSB: 033-048, Account No: 186589. Participant using the direct debit method of payment is to insert their surname in “Description” section of bank transfer statement.
You will also need to download, complete and return the following forms
- Personal Indemnity form
- Adults Medical Form
Do I need to be an experienced sea “kayaker” in order to go on a day or multi day tour?
Your paddling level will be assessed and then matched with a suitable day or overnight tour. All half and full day tours, offered by SKA, are all suitable for beginners. However if you have a low level of fitness then a half-day tour may be the most suitable for your needs. Undertaking an Introduction to Sea Kayaking Day Course may also be appropriate, especially if the kayaker wants to undertake a multi day tour.
Do you provide transport and where do we meet for the tours?
You are responsible for getting there. Naturally you could car pool with other participants. Tour meeting locations are listed on the web site under each tour and will also be emailed to you once a booking is made.
What forms will I need to complete before the tour or course?
Before the trip all clients must complete an Assumption of Risk form and a Adults Medical Form.
How fit do I need to be?
You will get more out of the experience if you are reasonably fit however the tour can be tailored to suit the groups general fitness level. Sea kayaking is about technique not muscle baulk. The sea kayak guide will factor in when rest stops and snack breaks should be taken to ensure energy levels are maintained. SKA staff has the right to exclude any clients who may cause danger to themselves or others before commencement of the tour.
How much and how far do we paddle in a day?
For half day tours, no longer than 6 km or 2 hours. For day tours 8 to 12 km or 4.5 hours. For Multi day tours 8 to 15 km a day or 3 to 5 hours, however that really depends on the weather, tides, activities along the way, group fitness and skill.
Do you accept single bookings for a sea kayak tour?
Yes don't worry, sea kayaking is very social and there will be a lot of people who don't know each other. You will be matched up with another "single" in the group to paddle in a double sea kayak. If there are only couples in the group then your kayak guide will make up a pair.
Can I book a large group on a tour?
Yes you can. Group bookings are great fun for participant and guide. You will receive a cheaper rate per person if you have 8 or more people. Let us know if you have a group larger than 12 to ensure we can cater for your needs.
What type of sea kayaks does SKA have for hire?
SKA has single and double sea kayaks. The double sea kayaks are plastic "Esperantos" (6.0 m long) and "Pittaraks" (6.6 m long) both of which are fast ocean going sea kayaks. These sea kayaks are also very stable with ample storage space and are equipped with a rudder for easy turning. The single sea kayaks are plastic Q Kayak "Penguins", "Skua" and Wilderness Systems "Tsunamai 16". We also hire out kayak trailers, dry bags, spray jackets, tents, sleeping mats and stoves. Why not hire and paddle down the Maribyrong River - just 300m from our base or take the kayaks away for the weekend?
Do I need to be able to swim?
Yes you must be able to swim at least 50 metres non-stop.
What equipment do you supply for day and multi day tours?
Sea kayak, paddle, spray deck, buoyancy vests, pump, spray jacket, dry bags, paddle, spray jackets. Equipment the sea kayak guides carry includes: first aid kit, spare paddle, tow rope, EPIRB, VHF radio, mobile phone and satellite phones where applicable. Multi day tours also includes the supply of tents, sleeping mats, stoves and plates etc.
What do I get for my money?
- Fantastic scenery, sea eagles, dolphins, seals etc.
- Good fun, relaxation, fitness, fresh air.
- A safe trip.
- Qualified and experienced guides.
- Safety gear and emergency procedures organised by the guide.
- Use of double and single sea kayaks, paddle, life jacket, spray skirt, water proof jacket, pump, dry bags (for water proofing clothes and sleeping bag).
- Lunch, fruit, biscuits, soft drink and good coffee (for day tours ONLY).
What do I need to bring?
Hat, sun glasses, sun block, shorts/bathers, water bottle, old runners/wet suit booties/thongs, spray jacket and thermal top (SKA can supply). Don’t forget change of clothes. No wet suits. Dry clothes and camping gear for multi day tours. An Equipment Checklist and How to Pack Your Kayak documents may be downloaded from the web site. For day tours lunch is provided.
Under what circumstances would a tour or course be cancelled?
- Insufficient numbers. The tour will then be rescheduled.
- Poor weather. SKA staff will determine, 2 days before the start of the trip, if a trip is to be cancelled due to poor weather e.g. wind forecast over 20 knots, lightning predictions etc. A trip may also be cancelled after the trip has commenced due to inclement weather. An alternative date will then be arranged.
- If poor weather is predicted, within 48 hours before commencement of tour/course date then the tour/course may be relocated to a more protected area e.g. half-day St Kilda tour can be relocated to the Docklands—any plans to relocate will always be discussed with participant.
How old do I need to be?
- Each participant must be over 16 years of age. Families with children (not less than 12 years of age) may book, however there would be a minimum charge as the tour/course date would be exclusive (please contact SKA directly to discuss).
- Please advise if over 70 years of age to ensure tour/course suits fitness level.
I am a large person, will I be able to fit into your sea kayak?
- In order to provide the most appropriate sea kayak—participants must advise if they are over 195 cm in height; are over 110 kg in weight and/or are over 120 cm in the hip measurement (please complete Notes section in the Booking Form)
What type of kayak can I use for your tours?
- All participants will be accommodated in a double sea kayak; this ensures safety, stability and speed.
- Single sea kayaks will only be available to experienced participants (please complete Notes section in the Booking Form)—final assessment to be made by tour guide on the tour date.
What type of lunch do you provide on your day tours?
- Gourmet sliced meat and salad rolls, soft drink, fruit, biscuits, good coffee or tea.
- In order to provide each participant with the appropriate lunch, each participant must advise of any special dietary requirements such as allergies to food(s), vegetarian, vegan and/or other (please complete Notes section in the Booking Form).