A new Ocean Kayak Demo Centre has been opened which has every model from the Ocean Kayak range available to try out on the water. The centre is run by Second Wind Watersports at Portland Marina, home of the 2012 Sailing Olympics. For Â£20 you can trial up to 3 models of your choice and the Â£20 is refunded upon the purchase of a kayak – but thereâ€™s no obligation to buy. If you do choose to purchase a sit-on-top thereâ€™s a price match guarantee from the retailers to match any UK Internet price.
A â€˜try before you buy sessionâ€™ gives a one hour session with an experienced kayaking instructor and no previous experience is necessary. All waterproofs and safety equipment are provided and the session takes place on the calm, clear waters of the new marina. This provides a completely controlled and safe environment in which to get familiar with your chosen test models.
Over 30 different models of Ocean kayak sit-on-top are on display at the demo centre including singles, tandems and angling editions. â€œSo far it has been really successful,â€ said Terry Sallows of Second Wind Watersports. â€œWeâ€™ve even found that weâ€™ve sold more kayaks than weâ€™ve done demos because itâ€™s Â£20 a session and often mum, dad and a child come along and will end up buying two boats such as a single and a double for example.â€
Thereâ€™s also a special anglerâ€™s club discount scheme and the chance to try a kayak out on the water has proved a real attraction for fisherman as Terry pointed out. â€œKayak fishing has really taken off as a sport but a problem for many fishermen is that they are not kayakers so are nervous about getting started,â€ he explained. â€œSome might think its awkward using a kayak for the first time. But our instructors can advise them on a one to one basis on how easy it is to do. And itâ€™s all done on the smooth, clean waters of the marina with 5 star facilities including hot showers and toilets on hand.â€
At present, because this is a new venture, the retail outlet for purchasing a kayak and the unit with all the demo models on display are a few miles apart. However the plan is to be able to sell the sit-on-tops from the demo centre as well. Meanwhile customers can arrange to go to the shop first for advice first or an instructor will meet them at the gates of the marina. However the sessions are very popular so itâ€™s essential to book first by calling 01305 834951.