User Manual - Plastic Kayak ( General)

Kayaking is a fun and exciting way to experience the outdoors, or to enjoy an active means to hang out with friends and family. We hope you make the most out of the opportunities available both close to home and afar.

With proper care, your kayak will provide years of satisfaction



Kayak Anatomy

Outfitting & Features



Care & Maintenance












To remove the covers, find the tab and peel off. To replace the cover, hook it under the hatch rim and press it on firmly the entire way around.



Some kayaks have deluxe zone seating ( Mainly Dagger and Perception brands) The padded seatback adjusts forward and back with the

strap behind the seatback. Tighten the backrest by pulling forward on the nylon strap behind the seat or loosen it by pushing on the thumb tab. For good rotation while paddling it shouldn’t be too tight.

The backrest may also be raised by pulling the toggle strap at the front of the seat forward and the backrest can be lowered by pushing the chrome button down. The leg lifters located at the front part of the seat are adjusted with the two straps to the sides of the seat. Up to raise or push on the thumb tab to lower.

More basic versions include the COMFORT SEATING SYSTEM (CSS) The lightweight EVA foam seatback adjusts by loosening the nylon straps and bringing the seatback into the upright position. Place the two hooks of the bungee cord threaded through the seat back into the two deck fitting locations behind the seating well.

SIT ON TOP SEATING (SOT) - Basic Version

Adjust the rear nylon straps first until the seatback is in the upright position. The straps should be tight. Next adjust the front nylon straps until seatback is in a firm vertical position.


There are also elite alloy seats, mainly used on and in fishing kayaks. these are adjustable in a similar way to a camp chair with webbing straps to adjust the angle of the backrest. The height of the seat or backrest is not usually adjustable

Seating systems vary by model. If you need additional assistance on using the adjustment mechanisms.


Whitewater Backrests are most generally adjusted through the thigh braces in newer boats. Some have racket systems and others have clam cleats. What ever the system, it is easiest to lean forward slightly and pull on the webbing or rope straps to attain the desired posttion and then fasten the backrest straps in place. In older style boats you will need to adjust using the ladder lock on the rear of the backrests, before getting in the boat.



The adjustable thigh pads found on some touring and sea kayak models are adjusted by removing the front screw and loosening the back screw. Slide the thigh pad forward or back and in and out to find a comfortable position. Replace the screws and tighten. A good position for the thigh pad is a couple of inches in front of your kneecap or where it’s most comfortable.




The adjustment lever is located on the backside of the footpedal. To adjust, squeeze the lever and slide the footpeg to the desired location. Release the lever to lock it in place.

Some whitewater kayaks have bulkhead footrests, which are adjusted by postitioning the metal rods in the right postiion. Undo the wing nuts and adjust the length, then refit and tighten the wing nuts to hold in place.




After market rudder systems are available.

Please contact your local dealer for any questions regarding setup or installation, Once your rudder is installed, use the lift line

(located on the right side of the boat, toward the rear of the cockpit) to drop the rudder into the water by pulling it forward.

To operate the rudder, use the footbrace pedals. To maintain a straight position, both pedals should be even with each other. To steer the kayak right, push the right pedal away from you. To steer the kayak left, push the left pedal away from you. Allow the pedal that is not in use to automatically move towards you when the other pedal is pushed.



A crossbar roof rack ("sports rack"), or "J cradle" for

your vehicle is the best method of transporting a kayak. It should be lashed down at each crossbar, as well as at the bow and stern to each end of the vehicle. Kayak cradles are recommended for boats being transported "flat" to lessen chances of deformation from being lashed too tightly to the bars.

Rotomolded kayaks can be transported on their edge or upside down (hull up) safely using kayak stackers. For Airalite kayaks we recommend that they be transported on their bottom using cradles to prevent deformation.


Foam block racks can be used for transporting

kayaks if extreme caution is practiced in rigging the

load. They should be wide enough for adequate

support. The boats must be securely attached to

the top of the vehicle through the doors or windows and attached securely to both the front and back of

the vehicle. If these tie down points at the front and

back aren’t available on your vehicle, foam block

racks should NOT be used.


If traveling when inclement weather is threatening,

position the kayak upside down if possible. A kayak heavy with water can become dangerous. Use a

portage cover to seal the cockpit if an upside down position is not possible. Periodically check your

straps to ensure they have not stretched while wet.



Always check your tie down rigging often as ropes and straps may loosen in transport.



Be sure to empty the kayak of all water. The kayak may be stored on its side or in a vertical position temporarily. Storage in these positions for an extended period of time could cause flattening or deformation in the side of the hull.


In addition to emptying all water out, you should clean the kayak by rinsing with freshwater especially if the kayak has been used in salt water or becomes muddy. Store out of direct sunlight and indoors, if possible. UV exposure can shorten the lifespan of any kayak and can degrade its finish. Kayaks can be stored slung on their sides via web straps, positioned 1/3 of the way along the hull (as shown). Be sure to not leave straps or ropes tightly wound around the hull for extended periods of time as it may cause deformation.

Your kayak can also be stored hull up (as shown) on parallel bars with weight supported evenly throughout its length. For large cockpit (recreational) boats, position the bars so that the cockpit coaming rests on the bars. For smaller cockpit kayaks, position bars so that they contact the deck between the cockpit and any hatches.



Do not suspend your kayak by using the grab loops at either end of the boat. This can cause the hull to distort over time.



"roto" kayaks are made of varying densities of linear polyethylene, which is virtually maintenance free. A minimal amount of care in storage and transporting will help the kayak maintain a like-new condition for many years.

Low and medium Denisty PE is more likely to deteriorate, while the high density is impact resistant and will last for many years.

Polyethylene will become more flexible when in warm conditions such as a hot, sunny day. It is possible for a kayak strapped tightly to a roof rack to temporarily deform at the weight bearing points. Use a padded rigid bar sport rack in addition to a kayak J cradle or saddles to disperse the weight.



Usually, a quick rinse of fresh water is all that is necessary to keep your hull clean and functioning in good order. This is very important after paddling in salt water, especially if your boat is outfitted with a rudder system. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the rudder, rudder cables, and footbraces with fresh water to remove salt residue. Superficial scratches may occur, but can be removed or reduced by use of a marine boat polish designed for polyethylene hulls. Sanding or use of an abrasive rubbing compound is not recommended.

To keep your kayak shining and minimize the long-term degradation caused by UV exposure, use an ultraviolet protectant such as 303 Protectant. 303 can also be used lightly on the top of the hatches and on the seat outfitting and plastic buckles and straps, in addition to the kayak itself. 303 is available at your local Perception dealer or online at




Avoid dragging kayak across the ground to prolong its life and maintain its look and performance. Two people, utilizing the carrying handles, is the best way to transport the boat. Alternately, you can transport using a kayak cart, available at your dealer or at


Any person using a kayak is personally responsible for determining that their abilities are equal or superior to the conditions encountered and exercising proper judgment in choice of where and when to paddle. That person assumes all risks and takes complete responsibility for any and all damages, or injuries, including death, which may result from use of or participation in kayaking. Consult your physician prior to beginning your paddlesport training.


• Wear a and Australian Standards approved/ EU or Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD).

• Wear a helmet when paddling whitewater or in the ocean.

• Get paddlesports instruction from a licensed or certified instructor.

• Dress appropriately for weather conditions; cold water and/or weather can result in hypothermia.

• Check your equipment prior to each use for signs of wear or failure.

• Scout unfamiliar waters. If necessary, paddle to shore and carry your boat past uncertain areas.

• Stay aware of appropriate river water levels, tidal changes, dangerous currents, and weather changes.

• Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for use and outfitting of your kayak.

• Leave your paddling location and agenda with someone at home before departing.

• Obtain certified first aid and rescue training and carry first aid and rescue equipment.




• Never exceed your ability and assess how far and how long you can paddle or swim.

• Never paddle alone.

• Never consume alcohol, drugs, or any other substance that may affect your coordination, judgment, or ability when paddling.

• Never paddle in flood conditions.

• Never allow minors to use the boat without adult supervision.

• Avoid bracing yourself in the kayak in such a way that you have to release any outfitting to escape.

• Do not impair entry or exit access to the kayak when installing additional outfitting.




Kayaking can be hazardous with potential risk of serious injury and even death.





Consult the website related to your make and model of kayak. For more information you can also contact your dealer.


This limited warranty does not apply to:

• Normal wear and tear and aging of product.

• Kayaks damaged by extreme weather or environmental conditions.

• Kayaks damaged while in possession of a freight carrier, a dealer, Consumer, or any party other than Perception.

• Kayaks damaged by accident, neglect, improper use or handling.

• Kayaks that have been towed by power or sail boats.

• Kayaks designated as Prototypes.

• Kayaks sold as "demos" or in "as is" condition.

• Kayaks determined to have been used for any activity other than an activity which is customary for the product.

• Kayaks that have been structurally or dimensionally

altered or modified.

• Kayaks used for commercial or rental purposes.