Q: What makes Ridgefield Kayak Rentals so unique?
A: Our boathouse sits right on Lake River, a tributary of the Columbia River which tidally pools into and out of Vancouver Lake. The marina we call home sits just across from the 5,150 acre Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, filled with marshes, grasslands and woodlands that great blue heron and red-tailed hawks, among other flying fowl, call home. And, we're just a half hour drive from Portland.
Our staff will make your paddle both safe and memorable: we'll select the kayak which best fits you, make all adjustments before you go, offer basic instruction, and review safety issues. You'll be carefully launched from a uniquely designed step-down platform for a dry, easy entry (and exit). We'll help you plan your paddle options based on tides, weather and your experience, and send you forth with a laminated map and visions of blue heron, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, river otter and who knows? perhaps you'll hear a coyote howl.
Q: Can anyone paddle?
A: Yes. Okay, maybe not a 3-month-old. But we welcome children and adults of all ages and all skill levels -- beginners and seasoned paddlers alike. Kayaking is a great, low impact form of activity. Flatwater kayaking on protected water trails doesn't require much technical skill, and supports all levels of fitness. If you have concerns about your paddling abilities, don't hesitate to call. We've made kayaking accessible to people who never dreamed they'd be able to do it!
Q: What should I wear?
A: It's best if you avoid wearing heavy cotton clothing such as jeans and sweatshirts; if you do get wet, they don't dry easily, and they'll make you cold. General outdoor clothing for any outdoor activity works.
Layering is the way to go. Bring a set of dry clothes to change into after your paddle, in case you do get wet. To see our recommended "What to Bring" list, click here (pdf). To see a list of what we provide, click here (pdf). If you have further questions, please call us.
Q: What is drawing so many people to kayaking?
A: Kayaking is a rapidly growing recreational activity. Here's why: It's a low impact sport, provides great exercise, immersion in the natural environment, and…it connects us to the outdoors.
For some people it's all about bird watching; for others it's a time of quiet self reflection. It can be a fun social time with friends and family, or just a time to get away and remember who we are.
Q: Are the kayaks stable?
A: Yes. We offer recreational kayaks that are nearly impossible to flip, such as the Old Town Loon 136 and the Old Town Tandem 160, as well as a hybrid of the recreational, touring kayak - the Prijon Calabria. This baby is a tri-hull design 14.5ft. in length with a generous cockpit for getting in and out. Some kayaks are fitted with rudders to help you track - stay on course - and they're available in tandems (for two people) as well.
Q: Can my children come? (see policy page)
A: Yes, they must be at least 4 years of age. Kayaking is a great family activity. Children under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult, and children under 12 need to be in a double kayak with a parent or responsible adult if they have not had previous experience. We will fit everyone with a properly fitting life jacket for safety.
Q: I would like to bring a bottle of wine or some beer along to enjoy on the beach, is this cool?
A: NO, alcohol is not appropriate while renting a kayak or while paddling on one of our guided trips. Our primary concern is YOUR safety. Alcohol can cloud judgement and slow reactions. Keep the alcohol at home.
Q: Will I get lost if I paddle without a guide?
A: No. If you can walk around the block and not get lost, you can kayak from our boathouse. Our experienced staff will provide you with detailed maps, trip routes, and destination information based on your experience and how long you want to be on the water. Again, your safety is our first priority.
Q: Could we take a group?
A: For sure! We cater to large families, church/synagogue/temple groups, college and high school classes, organizational retreats, corporate team building outings - you name it! We can create a quality kayaking trip for any group of people!
Q: Do you provide organized, guided trips?
A: Yes. Check out our calendar, complete with trip descriptions, by clicking here. Custom guided trips are also available by request.
Q: How much water should I bring?
A: A good rule of thumb is to bring a liter of water for every hour you plan on paddling!
Q: What if I have to use the bathroom?
A: No worries. It is easy to find a safe, private spot on the shoreline and there will always be someone there to help if needed. Just remember to practice "Leave No Trace".
Q: I'm interested…what do I do next?
A: Call us, come by, or reserve a time or trip on our website…the river is waiting!