Give it to me two times!
Perception Kayaks Europe Gemini is the brand’s go to tandem model for those looking at paddling fun with friends and/or family. Those who kayak together stay together – it’s double bubble fun and always twice as nice.
Perception’s attention to detailing is second to none with styling, fixtures and fittings all well thought out and top drawer. Just as with the brand’s other sit on top offerings you can trick out your sled with various accessories and feel confident embedded rivets won’t fail while out for a float.
Perception Scooter Gemini
The brand’s special secret recipe ensures the moulding process is an intricate and refined one – coating the most susceptible areas with more material to enhance durability. The Perception Gemini is a well manufactured high end bit of kit, that all the family will enjoy, and a real head turner in brand new Glacier White livery.
Carriage and storage
If you’re in the market for a tandem kayak you’ll need to ask yourself two simple questions:
‘Do I have ample storage?’
‘Can I transport it easily?’
Be under no illusion, the Gemini is on the larger side and hoiking it on and off roof bars can be tricky – especially if you’re not a 6ft testosterone infused Alpha male. That said there are methods that won’t put your back out. Where you ‘hang it up’ at the end of each session should also be given thought.
On the shingle
Sitons main paddling location is a shingle fringed south coast (UK) beach. Heavily tidal, it’s the ideal playground for checking out the Gemini, and in fact any sit on top kayak, with ever changing conditions. During high water there can be an intimidating shore dump – after the sea ebbs sand is revealed, along with a less dicey launch.
If your put in is similar it might be easier to slide the boat along the shingle. For other scenarios a trolley may be better – lugging it on your shoulder can be tiring. But let’s not forget this is a kayak designed for more than one person and as such you’re likely to have extra hands to help cart it to the water.
Start ’em young
Off we go
The Gemini is a familiar paddling experience, after using the brand’s Scooter extensively. Essentially a scaled up version of the single hander it’s easy to keep in a straight line and tracks well – which is great for beginners. If there are two experienced kayakers in the mix then it can really shift – blasting off into the distance at will. Our test family proved this by red lining at a fair old pace.
The Gemini is a great way to introduce your offspring to the sport, without running the risk of them floating over the horizon when going it alone. You can be right there as they learn those important fundamental skills and help give pointers along the way. And in fact it can also be used as a diving platform – after all, when introducing wee ones to kayaking it’s best to do so in a fun and non serious manner.
Room to breathe
The extra space in the Gemini is significant. It’s a design that’s perfect for touring and camping trips with plenty of room to stash essentials. Paddlers at the rear will need to think carefully about how everything is packed down, to accommodate legs.
An aft tank well, although on the smaller side, gives even more options for travelling with gear. If you don’t require this space for ‘stuff’ then get the dog involved or even a smaller third person.
Locked and loaded
The easy paddling nature of the Gemini makes it applicable for single paddler missions. There’s a slight lifting of the nose with only one aft pilot, which during breezy conditions can cause a bit of resistance. In this situation it’s best to shuffle forwards to keep the bow down and paddle from the middle. (You can attach thigh straps and take the Gemini into some small swell, which is super fun – just don’t cause issues for other water users).
Up front and in control
For such a large boat the Gemini remains fairly manoeuvrable. Obviously it’s never going to be as nippy as its smaller sibling, the Scooter, but the Sitons team was impressed by its handling none the less.
Whether paddling with the wife, the kids or the whole family, the Gemini is really a lot of fun and the perfect toy to have when visiting any watery stretch.
For those tight on budget then it’s fine to have this boat as a ‘one does all’. If you can stretch to a second sit on top kayak then it might be worth partnering with a more manoeuvrable sled.
For more info on Perception Kayaks Europe head over to www.perception.co.uk