Paddling Rental FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions


RESERVATIONS

Do we need a reservation?

Yes, you can reserve your kayak or paddleboard for your preferred date and time! We highly encourage you to book ahead of time to make sure you get the equipment you want at the time you want. Choose your rental location to get started.

Prefer not to reserve your rental equipment in advance? You’re welcome to drop by to rent, but please note that your selection may be limited – or not available at all – depending on demand.

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Is all equipment included? How much does it cost?

– Kayaks are available in both one- or two-person configurations and feature a stable, “sit-on-top” style for comfort.

– Stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) are oversized, beginner-friendly boards used with long, canoe-like paddles.

Ideal for any age or skill level, both kayaks and stand-up paddleboards allow paddlers to explore any body of water at their own pace. All equipment, including paddles and lifejackets, is provided by Third Coast Paddling staff members at the rental sites.

Pricing
Single (1 Person) Kayak: $25 per hour
– Double (2 Person) Kayak: $30 per hour
– Stand-Up Paddleboard: $25 per hour

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes, we only accept credit cards! It is easiest for you to make a reservation in advance and pay with a credit card ahead of time. If you do not make a reservation and pay ahead of time, we accept these major credit cards on site: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express. No cash or personal checks are accepted.

Do you pick us up at the end of the paddle?

No, you simply paddle back to where you started when you’re done. It is easy (very little current on the Paw Paw River, Galien River, and Wade's Bayou) and convenient – no shuttling or messing around – just paddle upstream or downstream and return back to the rental site when finished.


WEATHER  |  RESCHEDULING  |  CANCELLATIONS

What happens if the weather is bad?

We constantly monitor the weather at our rental sites to make sure conditions are safe for our customers. If you have made a rental reservation, you will be notified  as soon as possible regarding any change in plans due to weather, and you'll receive a full credit to reschedule at your convenience.

Please note that if the rental site is open as usual but you don’t plan to paddle at your scheduled reservation time due to possible weather conditions, you will need to use the reschedule link in your confirmation email to select a new day and time before your original reservation time.

If you are considering dropping by without a reservation, you can see current hours for each location at the top of that location's page under the 'Rental Sites' tab, or by following us and our stories on the Third Coast Paddling Instagram and Facebook accounts.

What if I book and I am unable to make my reservation?

If you need to reschedule your reservation, please use the link in your booking confirmation email to choose a new day and time. It's easy!

Please note that rescheduling must be completed BEFORE your original reservation time. We're happy to reschedule rentals, but there are no refunds on these services.

For guests who would  prefer the option of a refund rather than rescheduling for another date, our reservation software vendor, Peek Pro, provides the     option to protect your experience through Peek Coverage by Spot. This coverage is ONLY available if booking your reservation online and cannot be added after your booking has already been confirmed.


PREPARING TO PADDLE

What should I bring with me when I come to paddle?

Electronic liability waiver - complete ahead of time for yourself, and anyone else in your group. (Find the link to the waiver in your confirmation email.)
Your driver’s license - you'll need to leave it with our staff as a security deposit while you paddle.
Dress for the weather - come prepared to get a little wet and be out in the sun. Sunglasses, sunblock, and a hat are a good idea. Your phone/camera have a possibility of getting wet, so bring a waterproof bag.
No alcohol allowed on the water.


OUR LOCATIONS

Do you offer kayak and paddleboard rentals on the Galien River in New Buffalo?

Yes! You can paddle the Galien River with us at our rental site at the New Buffalo boat launch, across the street from the beach. Please note that this is a different site than where we were located in the past (from 2007 – 2019, you may have visited us at New Buffalo Beach or at our site on Red Arrow Highway).

We love this new location, as it offers the perfect launch for exploring the Galien River’s wetlands and wildlife. Our new site also is within walking distance of downtown New Buffalo.

How hard is paddling upstream on the Paw Paw River, the Galien River, or the Kalamazoo River (Wade's Bayou)? Can I do it?

It’s really easy. Because we are located at the confluence (meeting) of three bodies of water – the Paw Paw River, St. Joseph River, and Lake Michigan – the current on our section of the Paw Paw River is very slow and weak, so paddling against it is not difficult at all, even during high water levels on other bodies of water. The Galien River and Kalamazoo River (Wade's Bayou) are also very mellow near our rental locations. That’s what makes the paddle fun – it’s easy to go both ways!


OUR EQUIPMENT

What are the weight limits for the kayaks?

Our single (one-person) kayaks have a weight capacity of 350 lbs. Our double (two-person) kayaks have a weight capacity of 500 lbs. Stand-Up Paddleboards have a weight capacity of approximately 240 lbs.

Do you have used kayaks or stand-up paddleboards for sale?

We evaluate our rental equipment at the end of each season, and will periodically sell any “retired” kayaks or stand-up paddleboards in the fall or spring. However, we can’t guarantee if anything will be available, or hold items. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates.


WHO CAN PADDLE: KIDS, PETS & GROUPS

We have kids in our group. How old does a single paddler have to be? Can kids paddle alone?

– Kids under the age of 18 - cannot paddle alone without someone over 18 in the group.
Kids age 14 and older - can paddle their own kayak or paddleboard if accompanied by a parent or guardian in another kayak or on another paddleboard.
Kids under the age of 14 - can ride in a double kayak only if accompanied by an adult; there is no age limit, and it is up to the parent’s/guardian’s discretion.

We have a limited amount of kids’ life jackets that fit most kids starting as young as age 3. (You’re also welcome to bring your own life jacket for your little ones!) All paddlers sign a liability waiver, including the parent/guardian for each child.

Can I bring my dog?

You’re welcome to bring your furry friends to paddle at the Paw Paw River or Galien River, Wade's Bayou, or Warren Dunes State Park (the northern end of the beach, where we're located, is a dog beach). Please note that dogs are not permitted at Silver Beach County Park.

We encourage you to bring a life jacket for your pet, as we don’t have any dog life jackets available at our rental sites. Our single (one-person) kayaks have a weight capacity of 350 lbs. Our double (two-person) kayaks have a weight capacity of 500 lbs.

You know your dog’s temperament best, so please consider your dog’s comfort level with being on the water and staying seated – some pets are more likely to “rock the boat” than others!

Can I bring my own kayak or stand-up paddleboard?

Yes, our rental sites are all located at public launches, so everyone is welcome to bring their own equipment.

We are thinking about doing a group outing. Can you set something up for our organization?

Yes, we handle larger groups (up to 70 people) all the time! Some of these include service organizations, corporate team-building retreats, summer kids’ programs, university faculty, boy and girl scouts, and more. Choose your location below to get started.

Choose Your Location to Get Started

We highly encourage you to book ahead of time to make sure you get the equipment you want at the time you want.

Paw Paw River

Paw Paw River - St. Joseph/Benton Harbor

Galien River

Galien River - New Buffalo

Silver Beach

Silver Beach - St. Joseph

Wade’s Bayou

Wade's Bayou – Saugatuck/Douglas

Warren Dunes State Park

Warren Dunes State Park - Sawyer