If you’re staying on the water for your beach vacation, the best way to take full advantage of it is by renting a kayak or paddle board to keep at your house. Go for a peaceful sunrise paddle to witness the bay waking up; or end the day by watching the sun set over the bow of your kayak; send the kids out to work off some energy; or slip away for some me-time whenever the mood strikes.
But not all water-access rental properties are the same. Before you make a reservation for your kayak or paddle board, you’ll want to double check a few details with your realtor or host. Here are some things to consider:
Will you be launching from a dock, a ramp, a shoreline, or a bulkhead?
Is it floating or fixed? If it is fixed, how big is the tidal change?
If you’ll be launching from a fixed dock or a bulkhead, you’ll need to be comfortable getting into your kayak or paddle board from differing heights. Here is a video on how to get into a recreational kayak from a dock:
(Many people, once they see the way they’ll have to get in and out of the kayak/paddle board, become nervous about using it. If you know what to expect, you’ll be prepared and your rental equipment won’t sit unused for your vacation!)
How far is the ramp from your rental property? Will you have to transport your equipment back and forth or is there a place near the ramp, available to short term renters, where you can leave it? If so, will you need to rent a cable/lock for it?
Try to get your host or realtor to be very specific about this. You’ll want to know the walking or driving distance, not just as the crow flies. The property photos might show a beautiful kayak rack at the edge of the ramp, but then it turns out it is only for owners, or that the available spaces require a crane to reach them. Again, know what to expect so you get full use of your rental equipment. We rent kayak carts if the launch is too far to carry.
Again, how far from the rental property? Also, is it mud, rip-rap, sand?
Rip-rap is nearly impossible to launch from. It can easily tear up equipment and your feet and ankles. Mud will eat flip-flops and hide sharp objects so you’ll want to be prepared with substantial shoes.
Are kayaks/paddle boards already available at the property?
Are the renters allowed to use them? If kayaks are available for renters use, do they have weight restrictions and seat backs? Are PFDs and paddles supplied?
Just because the property has kayaks, doesn’t mean you’ll want to use them. If you plan on doing some serious paddling, you’ll want to make sure the supplied kayaks are appropriate for that.
(Many times the property has kayaks/paddle boards but they are locked or aren’t accessible renters. Usually this is because the owners do not want to take on the liability of renters using the equipment.)
Excellent! Rent from Coastal Kayak!
What are the paddling conditions at the property? Is the area protected from winds? Are there specific conditions to be aware of?
This makes a difference as far as the type of kayak to rent. If it is an open area susceptible to winds, you’ll definitely want a sit-on-top so that if it gets choppy, your kayak won’t take on water. Also, if wind is an issue at the property, a paddle board might not be a great option.
Is it safe to leave the equipment unlocked at the property?
Most properties in this area are Mayberry-ish safe. However, your host or realtor should know if there have been any issues. We rent combination cables or, if you know in advance, you can bring one from home.
Getting this information ahead of time will prevent unwanted surprises and unnecessary expenses. Knowing what to expect erases wrinkles in vacation planning. You’ll arrive at your property, sign for your rental equipment, and be out on the water enjoying the first sunset of your well-deserved vacation.