Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not listed below or you want more information contact us at play@portlandkayakpolo.com

What is kayak polo?

Do I need any paddling experience?

What kind of safety equipment is used?

Do I need my own gear?

Is it expensive?

Where is it played?

Do I need to know how to roll a kayak?

Can I use my own boat?

Do I need to have a team?

Will my inexperience be a problem?

Is it dangerous?

Will this make me a better kayaker?

How do I sign up?

 

What is kayak polo?

 Kayak polo, or canoe polo as it’s called in other parts of the world, is a fast paced game of 5 vs 5 in kayaks with the objective of getting a water polo ball into nets suspended 2 meters in the air.  You can use your hands or your paddle to pass, dribble or shoot the ball.  Boat to boat contact is part of the game as is pushing over an opponent in possession of the ball.  (If you don’t have a roll don’t worry, we won’t push you over.)  The general game play is a combination of soccer, basketball, hockey and water polo. 

 

Do I need any paddling experience?

Nope, many of us who play kayak polo had our first introduction to kayaking through kayak polo.  It’s a nice consequence-free way to learn how to move your boat from point A to point B in the fastest way possible.

 

What kind of safety equipment is used?

 There are a lot of safety rules to discourage contact of equipment with bodies and limbs but in addition to that there is specialty kayak equipment designed for polo to make it even safer.  We supply everyone with helmets with face masks to protect the face and head from any inadvertent contact.  We use specialty kayaks that are under 10 feet long with rounded padded bumpers on the bow and stern.  There are also special personal flotation devices that are extra thick and padded on the sides to protect the torso even more than regular PFDs.  Polo paddles are extra thick with rounded edges and we also provide edging for non polo paddles to make them safer.

 

Do I need my own gear?

 We can accommodate most heights and weights with club owned gear and we also have a partnership with Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe.  If you have it, feel free to use your own gear.  We recommend a whitewater kayak or recreational kayak that is 10 feet or less, any paddle because we can add safety edging, any hockey style helmet with a face guard would work well, and any PFD that provides proper floatation is acceptable.

 

Is it expensive?

 The cost depends on if we are playing outdoors or in a pool.  But generally it is less than 10 dollars per time.

 

Where is it played?

In the summer we have been playing at Vancouver Lake and CedarOak Boat Ramp and in the cooler months we have been playing at Matt Dishman Pool and Marshall Pool.  Check our calendar for date and location details.

 

Do I need to know how to roll a kayak?

 Nope, you may find as a new kayaker you will reach a little too far to grab a ball on water but we will teach you how to safely wet exit before your first game.  We will also teach other options such as T rescues to keep you from having to get out of your boat in the event you capsize.  With time you will find rolling is handy and Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe provides great instructors who can help you get a solid roll.  Kayak polo is a great opportunity to get used to rolling and being in a kayak so you may find rolling to be much easier to learn once you have played kayak polo for a bit.

 

Can I use my own boat?

Absolutely, we recommend whitewater or recreational kayaks that are 10 feet long or less.  We also have club kayak polo boats that are faster and are more maneuverable you are free to try.

 

Do I need to have a team?

Nope, you can come as an individual.  Depending on how many players we have at each session we try to create well-balanced teams so everyone has a chance to play, have fun and learn from those around them.

 

Will my inexperience be a problem?

Nope, we all started out as new players at some point.  We love to have new people give the sport a try and are happy to help new players get a feel for the game.

 

Is it dangerous?

Any water activity or sport has inherent risks.  We follow rules that are geared for safe play and we wear safety equipment.  Fortunately injuries are not common and most are minor such as a bruise or scraped knuckle.

 

Will this make me a better kayaker?

Absolutely!  When you play kayak polo you are motivated to paddle efficiently and effectively while staying upright.  This translates to all other types of kayaking and you will find the skills you pick up will help in other disciplines such as whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking etc.

 

How do I sign up?

Email play@portlandkayakpolo.com and we’ll get you started!
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