FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
I really want to start kayaking. What class should I take?
If you have never kayaked before the best place for most people to start is either a full day Intro to Kayak or 90 minute Express Clinic Kayak Basics class. From that point, the question for you to answer is do you want to be on flat water or moving water when you kayak?
For those with a kayaking foundation wanting to paddle on flat water we offer classes in Capsize Recovery and Rescue, Bracing and Edge Control, and Advanced Strokes, Sea Kayaking Skill Building Weekend.
For those with a kayaking foundation wanting to paddle on moving water we offer River Kayaking Fundamentals, Intro to Whitewater, Combat Roll sessions, and Whitewater Skill Building Weekend as well as others.
Additionally, we can set up private instruction to focus on any specific elements of kayaking that you would like to work on.
Are paddles and lifejackets included in the price?
The cost for ALL Frog Hollow trips includes the paddles and lifejackets (you may hear us call them PFD or Personal Flotation Device). If your trip is self guided the cost will also include a trip safety briefing, basic paddle instruction, location information (natural history, maps, etc), and delivery. If your trip is guided we, of course, provide all equipment and delivery in addition to the guide service.
When will I find out more information about my trip or class? Where do we meet?
We usually send out an informational email about upcoming trips and classes to all participants the Tuesday prior to the date of the trip. If you have any questions in advance of that date please feel free to call or email us. We love to talk about our programs!
Will I fit in the boat? I’m worried I won’t be able to get in and out of the boat.
We know that paddlers come in all shapes, sizes, and physical abilities. We offer a variety of boats with different seat designs to accommodate most people. If you have concerns or a special need please let us know. We will be happy to meet with you either at our office or before your class or trip to ease your concerns. We are always happy to make adaptations to equipment to ensure everyone has a great experience on the water. Please be aware that we do not bring all boat types to all trips/classes so letting us know of your needs before the trip date is best.
Where is the best location to see wildlife? Are there going to be alligators/snakes/sea monsters?
Wildlife viewing is one of the most common desires of those heading out on the water. By the very nature of leaving the urban area behind and heading into the woods it is possible you are going to see wildlife. Deer, beaver, turtle, blue heron, and various waterfowl are all common sightings at most of our local paddling locations. Bald eagle sightings are becoming increasingly common on both Falls and Jordan Lakes.
Snake sightings, though not very common, do happen. Snakes usually are more interested in staying away from us than letting us see them. As with all wildlife, the best advice is to observe from a distance and not harass. We do suggest that if you get out on shore to look before placing your hands or feet anywhere. This is a good safety rule anytime you are outside since biting bugs, snakes, and all sorts of critters live in our backyards.
On trips in the Piedmont of NC there are no alligators. If your trip is taking place in eastern NC it is possible you will see an alligator during your trip. Again, keeping your distance and showing respect is the best advice.
There are no known sea monsters living in the waters of NC. Though we get this question often and sometimes have sightings (turns out cormorants look a lot like a sea monster to some folks). We understand that for many people reconnecting with the outdoors is a brave step. We commend you for moving outside your comfort zone and living life to the fullest!
Do I need to know how to paddle?
Required paddling experience varies from trip to trip. SUP Express Clinics, Kayak Basics and Intro to Kayak are geared toward people who may have never held a paddle before, though people who have some experience can also benefit from these classes. Classes for people who have established a foundation in paddling include River Kayaking Fundamentals, Intro to Whitewater, Capsize Recovery and Rescue, and Bracing and Edge Control to name a few.
Most of our guided trips are suitable for novices. Though for your enjoyment having some basic canoe or kayak knowledge is helpful. Our staff members will provide pointers and some basic instruction to anyone, so feel free to ask. Some guided trips do require more paddling skills and are noted in the trip description.
We have self guided options available for all skill levels.
What does “self guided” mean?
On our self guided trips you will be in a boat and on the water without a guide. For most self guided trips our staff will be on site the duration of your trip but they will remain on shore while you paddle. Staff are always available for you to ask questions and get advice before you launch.
Do I need to know how to swim? What happens if I fall in?
Lifejackets (Personal Flotation Devices or PFD’s) are required to be worn on all Frog Hollow trips and classes. Swimming ability is not required though for classes and trips in moving water the ability to propel yourself towards shore is helpful.
If you fall in, again, you will be wearing a PFD. If you are with Frog Hollow staff they will instruct you and assist you in getting back in your boat. We make it as fun as possible and you’ll have a great story of the time you swam with sea monsters.
Do I need a reservation?
Reservations are required for all Frog Hollow trips and classes except our West Point on the Eno Outpost which provides walk up service on weekends (during Outpost season). Reservations are taken during normal business hours Tuesday-Friday. Private trips and deliveries often need 5 days advance notice to be organized.
Is it OK to tip?
Tips are never expected but always appreciated. Our guides and instructors are expected to provide a great experience for you and you are welcome to show appreciation for great service by way of a tip if you wish. Tips customarily run 10-20% of trip cost.
Can my child come on the trip/class?
You know your child better than anyone, so you will likely know the answer to this question, but here are some things to consider. All children under 12 years old will need to be in a canoe with their parents during any guided Calendar of Events trip. For children under 5-6 years old attention span and comfort are key factors. We suggest trying out a 1 hour trip through our West Point on the Eno Outpost before venturing into anything longer. This will let you gauge your child’s interest in being in a canoe.
For Night Paddles and Paddle Under the Stars programs, we will be on the water for 2-3 hours and will often be in near complete darkness. We ask that flashlights not be used except in cases of emergency for the enjoyment of other participants. This can sometimes be an overwhelming and scary experience for children (and some adults). For our Night, Sunset, and Paddle Under the Stars trips children under 14 must be in a canoe with an adult.
In classes, our staff have a set curriculum that they need to cover in a set time allotment. Your child will need to be able to keep up with the class pace in order to get the most out of the experience.
We love kids at Frog Hollow, and we know firsthand the value of kids getting outside. We ask that you take the time to make sure if your child is coming along on a trip that it is the right trip for your child. If you are still not sure, feel free to call. We will be happy to discuss the specific of the trip or class you are considering.
What happens if it rains?
Weather can always be a factor in our trips. Rain, storms, wind, and water levels can impact how a trip runs. We make every attempt to get you on the water when you are scheduled however, the weather is out of our control. If weather or water levels are a concern you will hear from our staff with a plan change (we will occasionally start a trip an hour late to avoid canceling due to weather) or cancellation. You should always arrive on time for your trip unless you hear otherwise from your trip leader.