How should I dress when paddling?

When paddling, you should dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. Use common sense about your possible exposure. Will you be paddling close to shore? How cold is the water? When paddling in open, cold waters, wear suitable clothing for immersion such as a dry suit, or at a minimum, dry pants or farmer john wet suit bottoms. When enjoying a flatwater paddle in benign conditions, take along a small towel to mop-up paddle drips and keep the cockpit dry. Always wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD/lifejacket)!

How do the boats handle in the wind?

Many of the Innova boats are low-profile in design and present minimal area to the wind. For example, the Helios has been raced in 30-knot winds and 4-foot seas, and it actually performs better than some rigid kayaks in these windy, rough conditions when loaded and trimmed properly. If you are paddling a Helios solo in a crosswind, the bow will tend to weathercock away from the wind. You can reduce this weathercocking by using a rudder and/or putting 20-25 pounds of gear in the forward cockpit.

Scale of River Difficulty

The difficulty of a river is classified on a international scale of I to VI, with Class VI indicating an unrunnable stretch of river.

The difficulty of a river may vary significantly with fluctuations in water level. For example, a river that is normally Class II, may increase in difficulty to Class III+ in times of high water. The ratings usually listed refer to the rivers’ difficulties at normal, summer levels.

Take care: Don’t judge a river by it’s put-in pool and take-out, know what’s downstream. Know the rating class for the river you’re traveling on.

Class I: EASY
Waves are small; passages clear. No serious obstacles.

Class II: MEDIUM
Rapids of moderate difficulty with passages clear.

Class III: DIFFICULT
Waves are numerous, high, irregular; rocks; eddies; rapids with passages clear though narrow, requiring expertise in maneuvering.

Class IV: VERY DIFFICULT
Long rapids; waves powerful and irregular; dangerous rocks, boiling eddies; powerful and precise maneuvering required.

Class V: EXTREMELY DIFFICULT
Long and violent rapids following each other almost without interruption; riverbed extremely obstructed; big drops; violent current; very steep gradient

What water conditions can the boats handle?

Sunny: rated for up to Class I river conditions

Helios: rated for Class II river conditions

Safari: rated for up to Class III river conditions

Vagabond: rated for up to Class III river conditions

Traveller: rated for up to Class IV river conditions

Orinoco: rated for up to Class IV river conditions

K1/K2: rated for up to Class IV river conditions

For a complete description of water condition ratings, please see International Scale of river difficulty.