Kayak 41 North

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FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need prior experience in order to participate in 41° North tours?

While we have tours and classes for all experience and adventure levels, most of our day trips and sunset tours are fine for beginning paddlers. In fact, the majority of participants have never been in a kayak before their lives. Our tours include some quick and basic instruction and our guides are there to ensure your safety on the water.
Each class will indicate what the prerequisite skills are in its description.

Do you rent equipment?

We have a fleet of high quality sea kayaks and equipment that we include for use in our classes and tours at no extra charge. For those who prefer to paddle at their own pace, we also rent a variety of recreational and light touring kayaks at our rental center located in the Rocky River Reservation, Lakewood, Ohio. During the summer months, the rental center is open weekends from 9am-6pm (weather and Lake conditions permitting) and weekdays from 10am-4pm. Click on our Rentals page for more info. Rental rates are $15/hr and up.

Do you sell equipment?

Yes and no. We're not a traditional shop, but as a P&H Sea Kayaks instructional center, we do sell both demoed and used sea kayaks from P&H Sea Kayaks, paddles, and some equipment. Check out the "sales" page for more info. Because we use the gear we sell, you take everything from a sea kayak to a tow rig for a test run before you buy...and we take a few bucks of the price, as well. Kayaks and gear can also be found at one of our local outfitters. We recommend you visit The Backpacker's Shop or Appalachian Outfitters, which carry a large number of recreational and rec touring boats and some sea kayaks. For used boats, visit the Bradstreet Sea Kayakers classifieds page.

How are your classes different from other kayak instructional programs?

Kayaking is one of the fastest growing sports in the US, and opportunities for instruction are growing with it. Not all instruction is the same, however. Since many parks use volunteer instructors or assistants, the quality of instruction can vary greatly.

All of 41° North's instructors are trained and certified by the American Canoe Association, and we maintain a strict ratio of 5 students per instructor. We also are continually working with our instructional staff to enhance our teaching techniques and sea kayaking curriculum. Lastly, 41° North is the only outfitter in the area to offer instruction beyond the basic level. Even if you're only interested in beginning sea kayaking, its good to know your teachers have the experience to teach advanced skills in a variety of conditions. In fact, 41° North has most highly qualified instructional staff of instructors in the region, including an Open Water Instructor Trainer, an Advanced Open Water Instructor, four Open Water Instructors, and two Basic Sea Kayak instructors.

I took _________ class with another school/outdoor program. What is the next class should I take with 41 North?

Not all course titles are the same, so a Level 1 class through another program may not adequately prepare you for a Level 2 class with us. Here are some key questions to guide you to select the correct course: A) Did you take a class in sea kayaks or wider recreational boats? Our Level 1 Sea Kayak essentials class is taught in sea kayaks, so that's the next step in your progression. B) Did you learn and practice the following rescue skills: paddlefloat reentry; assisted T reentry; contact towing; scramble reentry? These are taught in our Level 1 Sea Kayak Essentials class and are skills we assume paddlers have before coming into Level 2. C) Have you learned all your skills on flatwater, but not had experience on the open coast? If not, Level 2 Sea Kayak Safety is a good place to start.

What happens if bad weather forces cancellation of my trip / tour / class?

Classes and tours are held rain or shine, as long as conditions are safe for paddling. If dangerous weather (lightning, high winds, waves, etc.) require cancellation of a program by 41 North, a rain date will be scheduled or full credit given towards a future trip, tour, class, or rental. Our guides may postpone, delay, alter a trip or class itinerary, or cancel a program, in which case a rain date, or partial credit may be offered for the portion of the class or trip not completed.

How do I know if my class / trip / tour is canceled?

Unless our website indicates on the home page that the event is canceled, it's still on. We try to make weather determinations at least 2 hours prior to the start of the program, so you can call back, or check the website then. When an event is cancelled, all participants will get an email notification.

What is your refund policy?

Full refunds are given with 5 days advance notice for classes and tours; 15 days notice for multi-day trips. Refunds are given with less than 5 / 15 days notice only if we are able to fill the vacant spot OR if you are able to find a replacement.

What is a typical class size?

Most of our Intro and Level 1 classes have 10-12 students, with 2 instructors and an assistant. Level 2 and 3 classes are often smaller. We always maintain a 1:6 instructor to student ratio.

Is lunch provided with your classes?

Lunches are not provided with our classes; participants pack a picnic lunch and extra water.

What do I need to bring to a class?

A full list of what to wear and bring to a class can be found on the Classes page of our website: www.kayak41north.com. Paddlers should dress for the weather. THis typically means wearing quick drying clothes (no cotton), water shoes or amphibious sandals (no shoes with laces or flip flops), a hat, sunglasses with straps, and extra clothes for off water sessions and the drive home. Sunscreen, a packed lunch, and extra water are also needed.

May I bring my own boat to your classes?

Yes. While we supply kayaks at no additional charge, we recommend that you learn in the kayak you'll be paddling. Certain guidelines apply. For Intro to Paddling and Level 1 classes and tours, your boat must be equipped with at least one rear bulkhead. For Level 2 Safety classes, your boat must have two bulkheads and proper decklines. For Level 3 classes, your boat must be at least 15' long with two bulkheads, and full perimeter deck lines. For multi-day trips, your kayak must be large enough to accomodate your personal gear + group gear. If you have questions about the appropriateness of your kayak, contact Mark Pecot @ mark@kayak41north.com.

What is taught in each of your classes?

Full class descriptions and outlines are available on our website on the "Classes Tab."

What's provided with classes?

All equipment is provided at no charge. For Intro to Paddling: recreational touring kayak, paddle, PFD, whistle. For Level 1 & Level 2 classes: sea kayak, sprayskirt, PFD, paddle, paddlefloat, whistle,

What certifications do your instructors have?

Our instructors are all certified by the American Canoe Association as Level 3 or higher sea kayak instructors. Many are also certified by the British Canoe Union. Instructors are also First Aid and CPR certified.

Do you offer private lessons?

Private lessons are available at a rate of $40/hr per person with a 3 hour minimum. Most private lessons are scheduled for weekday days, afternoons, or evenings, but some weekend lessons may be available. Semi-private lessons for small groups can also be arranged. Price for semi-private lessons varies depending on group size, location, and duration. To schedule a private lesson, contact Mark Pecot @ mark@kayak41north.com

What does your name mean?

41 North is our latitude here in Cleveland, Ohio.

Where do I meet for my class, trip, or tour?

Directions can be found on our website. Just go to the classes or tours tab and click "directions" for a complete list.

Do you offer gift certificates?

Yes!! Gift certificates can be ordered in any amount. There are two options for ordering: 1. Customers place an order with you and can pick up a completed gift certificate at our rental location during our regular hours or have you mail it...advise that we're closed during bad weather, so if that's a concern for pick-up they should have it mailed. OR Customers can order and pay online (just email info@kayak41north.com with a) who you'd like it made to; b) from whom; c) how much you want it to be for; and d) where you'd like it mailed. We'll print the gift certificate and email an electronic invoice. Once payment is recevied (by check or online with credit card), we'll mail the gift certificate.

How long are gift certificates valid for?

2 years from issue, although customers may call to get an extension.

How do I pay for a class, trip or tour with gift certificate?

For trips, tours, and classes, simply register online and select "Pay with Gift Certificate" as your payment option. Then, mail us the gift certificate and any balance due, or call or email us with the gift certificate number and we'll confirm your registration.

How do I pay for kayak rental with a gift certificate?

For kayak rental, simply bring the gift certificate with you and use it like cash.

If the value of my gift certificate exceeds the value of the trip/tour/class/rental, do I get money back?

No. Any balance will be noted on your gift certificate so you can apply it to a future 41 North outing?

Do you do private group outings?

Yes. Private outings can be scheduled. Weekday evenings, especially Mondays and Tuesdays are easiest to schedule. We can accommodate groups on weekends, but need more advance notice to do so. Price varies depending on the location, duration, and group size. Please contact Mark Pecot at 216-392-3988 or mark@kayak41north.com to discuss details.

How big of a group can you take out for an outing?

Typically group sizes are between 10-12 paddlers. We can conduct outings for up to 26 paddlers with more advanced notice.

How do I register for a class / trip / or tour?

All registration is through our website: www.kayak41north.com. Just select the event from our schedule (click "Upcoming Events" for a full listing), then click register…this will take all your information and allow you to select payment options (online or via check), as well as give you instant confirmation.

I tried to register more than one person for a class / trip / or tour, but only received a bill for one person…are we all on the program?

Unfortunately, this means you made an error in registration. When you add more participants, the last step of registration asks you to put a check next to everyone attending the event, then confirm the details. If you don't manually check them, then they are not included and the website will not save their details. You'll need to go back online and fill out a new registration that includes those individuals.

The registration windows don't open up when I attempt to register online.

If you are behind a firewall (work, school, etc.) you may have difficulty. We recommend registering from home where you can add our site as a trusted site.

Is your online payment server secure?

Yes. We use PayPal, E-Bay's credit card processing server, which is a reputable card-processing service.

What credit cards do you take?

We take Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. We also accept PayPal for online payments.

The class/trip I'd like to take is full. Is there a waiting list?

We're happy to place you on a wait list. Cancellations do occur. Simply leave your name, number, the program you'd like to attend and the number of spaces you'd like and we'll call you if something opens up.

What age requirements are there for kayak rentals?

No one under the age of 18 may renta a kayak unless they are accompanied by a participating adult. Paddlers must be at least 14 years old to paddle a single kayak. Children of all ages may paddle in a tandem kayak with an adult as long as they have a properly fitted PFD. We have youth PFDs that can accomodate children 30lbs and higher, but you are free to bring your own.

What age requirements are there to participate in guided tours, classes or trips?

Paddlers must be at least 14 years old and accompanied by an guardian in order to participate in a guided trip or tour.

Can I rent a sea kayak?

Sea kayaks can be rented by those who have completed our full day Level 1 Sea Kayak Essentials class or a private lesson. Sea kayaks must be reserved in advance and are for full day rental only ($55.00). Availability is limited because these boats are used in classes, trips, and tours, so you must reserve in advance.

Do you sell boats?

Yes. Boats from P&H Sea Kayaks, Venture Kayaks, and FeelFree Sit-on-Tops are available for sale used, slightly demoed, or can be orded new. For information on boat sales, contact Mark Pecot at mark@kayak41north.com or 216-392-3988 to discuss pricing and options.

Do you sell gear?

We carry everyday items such as bilge pumps, sponges, dry bags, paddlefloats, tow rigs, and water proof white lights for nighttime paddling. See the "Sales" page for information.

We carry everyday items such as bilge pumps, sponges, dry bags, paddlefloats, tow rigs, and water proof white lights for nighttime paddling. See the 'Sales' page for information.

We have a number of different boats that can accommodate a wide range of paddlers. For sea kayaks (used in Level 1 and above classes and our Downtown tours), the upper weight limit is approximately 245lbs and our minimum weight is 100 lbs. For recreational touring boats (used at our rental and our Lakewood tours), our weight limits are 85lbs to 265 lbs.

What age requirements are there to participate in guided tours, classes or trips?

Paddlers must be at least 14 years old and accompanied by an guardian in order to participate in a guided trip or tour.

What kind of experience is required for trips?

All our trips are rated on our website. Level 1 tours require no prior experience; Level 2 tours are for paddlers with some experience, and our full day Level 1 Sea Kayak class is recommended as a prerequisite. Level 3 and beyond classes are for experienced paddlers with solid self-rescue skills, comfortable paddling in 2-3 foot seas and wind to 15 knots, and paddling up to 15 miles per day.

What is provided on trips and tours?

All tours include equipment at no additional charge: sea kayak, sprayskirt, PFD, whistle, white light (for sunset tours), and paddle. Full day trips also include a healthy and hearty picnic lunch (typically salad, fresh fruit, sandwiches, and snacks). Multi-day trips include gear, group gear, and all meals. Tents may be rented at an additional charge but sleeping bags and pads are not provided.

What should I wear to my trip / tour?

On our website, you can download a "What to Wear and Bring Packet" on the Trips & Tours page of our website (see attached for Sunset Tour)