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Kayak 101

Kayak Transportation & Storage

Kayak Transportation

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Storing Your Kayak

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How to Kayak
Kayak Finder & Perception Pedal Drive

Kayak Finder Tool

Find the Perfect Boat

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Pedal Drives

They Are Not All Equal

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Sit Inside or Sit On Top?

Sit-inside or Sit-on-Top?

Sit-Inside – These kayaks have an open cockpit so you’re actually sitting inside the hull with your legs covered. This is nice for cold-weather kayakers as the hull will keep you dryer than a sit-on-top; the cockpit will also shelter your lower body from the wind and keep the sun off your legs.
Sit-On-Top – You’ll sit on top of these open kayaks for fun in the sun. This design is great for mobility and for the ease of boarding or exiting your kayak.

Safer Paddling Video Series

Watch Our Safer Paddling Series

Do you know the traffic rules for kayaking? Wondering what you should pack and wear? Learn more about these topics and other practical tips in our Safer Paddling Series.

Watch Here Launch Locations

Oh the Places You'll Paddle

Maybe you have a nearby lake in mind, but discovering new places to explore in your kayak is fun too.  Our go-to tool is the interactive Paddle Locations Map from  Zoom in on your home area or a spot you plan to visit and you'll find a treasure trove of boat launches and bodies of water to enjoy.  Click on a location and get driving directions, plus reviews from others who have kayaked at this location before.



Kayaks for Beginners


If you are new to kayaking, you may be looking for a kayak that is good for beginners.  The good news is that almost 100% of Perception Kayaks are great for beginners.  Qualities that make a kayak good for beginners include stability, a safe on-water feel and features that make a paddler comfortable while enhancing their safety on the water.

At Perception, we have over 40 year’s experience designing kayaks and boat design is our entire focus.  Our boat designs are exceptionally stable and very easy to enter and exit.  They are made of a leak-proof once piece construction and have very impact and abrasion resistant hulls that can stand up to lots of use and transportation.  Many of our models feature metal skid plates on the hull to prevent wear from dragging the kayak.  Additionally, you can find flotation foam and bulkheads in many of our sit-inside kayaks which are a safety feature that is often omitted in cheap kayaks sold at big box retailers.

Perception kayak owners will tell beginners that our kayaks also have excellent outfitting and are known for their comfortable seats that will keep you on the water longer.

Deciding which Perception boat is the best kayak for you depends more on your intended use for the boat, the type of water you’ll be paddling on, your body frame size and your budget.  The articles in this Advice section offer guidance for new kayakers and you can also check out our popular Kayak Selector Tool.  It will help you select a beginner kayak that is perfect for you! 

Note:  The one Perception model that some may consider more “advanced” is the Expression sit-inside kayak.  This sit-inside touring model is optimized for speed and longer distance paddles.  It is not out of reach for a new paddler, but not one that is typically chosen for occasional or recreational use.