When are kayak tours available?
We offer tours March - October. During the summer, which we consider Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day weekend, we offer multiple tours each day. Launch times vary for each activity on each day due to tides, so please check the calendar for the tour that interests you. We do completely close in November and December because quite frankly, it's usually just too gross out there in the wind and rain.
When are kayak & stand-up paddleboard (SUP) rentals available?
Full day and multi-day rentals of kayaks and SUPs are available to experienced paddlers who can perform at least assisted rescues every day, January-October. Hourly rentals are available to less experienced paddlers when temps are at least 55 degrees.
Are reservations required for tours?
Reservations are HIGHLY recommended for tours but if you are looking to jump on a tour today, simply give us a call at 360-221-0229 to see if we have any spots left. Reservations can be made securely online via our booking system, which charges a 6% online convenience fee. If you wish to avoid that 6% charge, you can phone us with your credit card number and we will make your reservation for you. We do ask for a 50% deposit to reserve your spot and your deposit is fully refundable up to 48 hours before your tour. The rest of the payment is due upon completion of the tour.
Are reservations required for rentals?
Hourly rentals for kayaks and SUPs are on a first come, first available basis. Reservations are HIGHLY recommended for full day and multi-day rentals but if you are looking to get a boat or SUP right away, simply give us a call at 360-221-0229 to see if we have any available.
When should I show up for my tour?
Arrive at your tour launch location 15 minutes ahead of your start time. Everyone needs to sign a liability statement and we want to make sure to get a good fit for your lifejacket.
Are we going to see whales?
Gosh, we hope so, but we make absolutely no promises. March thru May is when the gray whales hang out in our area eating sand shrimp before they continue their journey north to arctic waters where they spend the summer. We usually see orcas around here in the late summer and early fall. But although we have seen whales on our tours, it is rare. If you really, really want to see whales and that's the only reason you are getting in a kayak, we recommend that you either take a whale watching cruise in a larger boat that can follow the whales and/or head up the San Juans or British Columbia where it's more likely that you'll see orcas.
Does Whidbey Island kayaking accommodate large groups?
Yes, we are very happy to host group tours and rentals. We have hosted Boy Scouts, corporate groups, wedding parties, Bachelorettes, just name a few. The largest party we will take out at one time is 20 people. For larger groups, we can often schedule groups back-to-back. Depending on the group and the services requested (tour/rental) we may assign additional tour guides to the group as required. For groups of 8 or more, we will add a 15% gratuity for our guides. If the number of tour spots required has changed since the time of booking, please call or email to confirm the final numbers at least 2 days prior to your departure date. Failure to do so will result in charges for the number of spots reserved, regardless of how many participants arrive.
I have kids, can they come?
Yes, kids love kayaking! But keep a couple things in mind: First, your child needs to be at least 50 lbs to fit in our smallest lifejacket. Our insurance provider requires that only our equipment is used on our tours. Also, we've found that most kids younger than five years old have a difficult time sitting in a kayak for 2 hours, which is our shortest tour. Some older children may also need to move around more. As parents, you know your children's capabilities, and if you are in doubt, then consider renting a kayak for an hour and paddling just within our marina. This will enable you to determine whether a longer trip is possible. Also remember that kids can tire and get bored quickly so parents often find that they are left to paddle alone. Alone in a tandem means that there will be more work involved and you may need to consider your physical strength.
My dog is a good swimmer, can it come?
The Whidbey Island Kayaking Co. loves dogs, but no.
Payments, Cancellations & Refunds
What forms of payment does Whidbey Island Kayaking Co. accept?
Deposits for tours and rentals must be paid with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit and debit cards. Balances can be paid with the same or cash. We can add tips to credit cards, but our guides much prefer to be tipped in cash.
What about Tips and Gratuities?
Tipping is not required, however it is greatly appreciated. Please keep in mind that your guide’s primary responsibility is your safety. When guides do their job correctly you probably won’t even notice all the details that have gone into make your trip safe like weather checks, kayak and gear preparation, ensuring your comfort, being current with First Aid and CPR training, and knowledge of changing marina hazards. What you should notice is the friendly kayak instruction, knowledge of local history and marine wildlife, good conversation...or peace and quiet, if that’s what you prefer. We think our kayak guides are awesome and we know you will too. An appropriate tip for their knowledge and skill is 10-15% or roughly $10 per person (per day if you are on an overnight trip). As another in our industry puts it: “Tip your Guide – not your kayak.”
Are there any discounts?
We salute our military and to show our appreciation for their service, we offer a 10% military discount on our tours and rentals for Active Duty and Veteran members of the United States Armed Forces, including National Guard and Reserves.
We offer 10% discount for groups of 8 or more. School and youth groups receive a 15% discount.
What if I need to cancel my reservation?
We know that plans change and people get sick so deposits made on any reservations cancelled at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure will be refunded. However, deposits will not be refunded for cancellations made with less than 48 hours notice. The same goes for "No shows." Charges will be applied to the credit card provided.
What happens if Whidbey Island Kayaking cancels a reservation?
Our activities are highly dependent on weather conditions. We, therefore, reserve the right to alter tours and rentals as required. Whidbey Island Kayaking Co. reserves the right to cancel tours or rentals due to inclement weather, foreseeable hazards, or events beyond our control.
If we must cancel an activity, we will contact you and we will try to provide as much notice as possible. Alternative dates and times will be offered first but if we are unable to reschedule, then we will provide a full refund.
Locations & Directions
Where do we meet you?
All rentals are handled from our main location at the Langley marina, unless you have reserved and paid for delivery. Please see our Getting Here page for transportation info and a map.Tour departures vary depending on the tour. The launch location is included in the email confirmation that you received. Please see our Getting Here page for transportation info and maps for all of our launch locations. If you’re not sure where to meet us, just give us a call at 360-221-0229 and we’ll help you get to where you need to be.
Where can I park?
Parking at the Langley marina is very limited year-round and is almost impossible during the summer due to all the boaters and crabbers. The Port of South Whidbey will not allow our customers to park in the main lot for the marina. We recommend that you park in one of the free lots in town and walk down to the marina. Also, there is a free shuttle on weekends that circulates thru town and the marina; just look for the red & white shuttle signs. If you must drive to our Langley launch at the marina, please park in the triangle lot that is right at the base of Wharf Street. If you ride your bike, you are welcome to stash it in our back room. All of our launch spots other than the Langley marina have plenty of parking available.
Clothing, Gear, and Weather
What if it rains?
We find a couple of quotes helpful: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” And, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes.” The weather in the PacNW is very changeable for one moment to the next and from one area to another. The weather on Whidbey will be different than in Seattle and it could be raining in Langley, but clear in Coupeville. So to answer your question, a little rain isn’t going to cancel our tours. In fact, a little rain and clouds really shows off the green of our trees. So bring a rain jacket or rent one of our paddle jackets. But if it is truly stormy and unsafe, then we will reschedule your tour. Please see our cancellation policy for more info.
What do I wear?
If possible, we suggest layered athletic clothing appropriate for the weather. Ideal kayak clothing is made of wool (Merino) or synthetic (fleece) material because it is fast drying and moisture wicking. A long sleeve shirt is always a good choice for sun protection. We also suggest you wear sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses and a hat—but we’re not your mother, so it’s your choice. Footwear can be anything that you don’t mind getting sandy and wet, like water-compatible shoes (or old sneakers). You may also wish to bring an extra layer, a windbreaker, and a change of clothes to leave in your car in case you get anything wet.
- Shorts or pants (non-cotton if possible. Jeans are not recommended.)
- T-shirt (long or short sleeved, non-cotton if possible)
- Extra layer: fleece/wool sweater/synthetic insulating layer
- Light rain-jacket or windbreaker
- Shoes you don’t mind getting wet (flip flops are okay at the Langley marina, but we recommend sturdier shoes for our other tours due to the abundance of sharp shells and rocks on Whidbey's shores)
- Sunglasses (important)
- Binoculars (optional)
- Baseball cap or sun hat with chin strap, (wool or fleece hat if it is chilly)
- Light snack for on the water (energy bar, trail mix, etc.)
- Water bottle
- Any appropriate medications that you might need
What types of kayaks are used on tours? Are they tippy?
We use tandem kayaks built right here in the Pacific Northwest by EasyRider Canoe & Kayak Co. and Seaward Kayaks. The EasyRider 'Beluga' is inherently stable and is easily controlled by even novice kayakers. The Seaward Gemini is made specifically for outfitters like us and is comfortable for both beginner and intermediate paddlers. While no kayak is un-tippable, these boats would require a highly unusual event to cause it to capsize.
Can I paddle in a single kayak?
We exclusively use tandem kayaks in our tours. By using tandems, we can better balance paddlers of different ability and keep boats in a closer radius for safety. If you absolutely must paddle a single, then give us a call at 360-221-0229 and let us create a custom tour for you. We also offer a private twosome tour for two where you can choose to paddle in two singles.
What if my group is an uneven number of people?
If your group is an uneven number of people, we will ask one of your group to share a kayak with either another customer or one of our staff. We find that our guests are friendly and adventurous types and our staff is awesome, so be prepared to make a new friend!
Do I need to sign a waiver?
Yes, every individual must have a completed liability waiver before participating in any Whidbey Island Kayaking Co. activities. Anyone under 18 years of age must have a parent or legal guardian sign the liability waiver too. Please feel free to read over our waiver in advance at the following link…
Can I bring some beers along?
Absolutely no drugs or alcohol are permitted prior to or during the tour or rental.
Pot is legal in Washington State so can I light up on the tour?
Absolutely no drugs or alcohol are permitted prior to or during the tour or rental.
I don’t smoke but I vape.
Use of tobacco products is not allowed on the premises of Whidbey Island Kayaking Co. nor during the use of its equipment.
I’m renting a kayak(s) and/or a paddleboard—How do I transport?
You will need a rack on your car. If you do not have a rack that is meant for kayak or SUPs, then you can use foam on crossbars. Please bring your own foam and tie-down straps if you are renting and taking our equipment off-site. We do not supply racks, foam, or straps. Renters are completely liable and responsible for all damage, injury or death resulting from transportation of equipment even if advised or assisted by a Whidbey Island Kayaking employee. We are happy to deliver and pick up kayaks and stand-up paddleboards anywhere on the island south of Greenbank, by advance reservation, for $40.
Does Whidbey Island Kayaking Co. offer delivery?
Yes, we are happy to deliver and pick up kayaks and stand-up paddleboards anywhere on the island south of Greenbank, by advance reservation. Cost is $40 and includes delivery and pick-up.
What if I am not satisfied with my tour?
Tell us, please. We will make it right or refund your money. We love our tours and hope you do as well. If you see room for improvement let us know as well (hint: there is always room for improvement and our goal is to constantly improve our experience).
What if I am very happy with my tour?
Tell everyone you know about Whidbey Island Kayaking. Like us on Facebook, share our posts, post a review on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, Facebook and/or the social media of your choice. And please tag any photos added to Instagram with #whidbeyislandkayaking.
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