**This blog post was updated on September 13, 2017.**
There are relaxing and restorative properties to rhythmic paddling. As your kayak glides through the waters of Ocean Isle Beach, you get an up-close and personal encounter with the landscape. For a short time, you become one with the coastal tide. There is life below you…an underwater world teaming with fish, dolphins, and crustaceans. And there is life surrounding you…a lush marsh habitat with various species of birds and other wildlife. Experience kayaking for yourself, and use this “How To” guide to help you get started. It’s the perfect past-time for your Ocean Isle Beach vacation. Before you know it, you will be a kayaking expert!
Where is the Best Place to Launch and Rent Kayaks
So you’ve decided that you want to go kayaking this fall! What a great choice! Fall is the perfect time to get your feet (and probably your bum also) wet at kayaking the gorgeous waterways of Ocean Isle Beach. If you are lucky enough to own kayaks, and brought them with you, you will need a place to launch your boat. You should be able to carry your kayak onto any of the public beach access areas….if ocean kayaking if your style. Remember to check weather conditions before launching any type of boat, as the weather in eastern North Carolina can change suddenly. If you are looking to paddle some calmer waters, you can launch your kayak at the Ocean Isle Beach, NC Wildlife Ramp. It is free to use, and located at 67 Causeway Drive, Ocean Isle Beach, NC. During the week, motor boat traffic will be at a minimum, so consider going when it is the least busy.
Want to try kayaking but you don’t have your own boat? No problem! There are several choices for kayak rental in Ocean Isle Beach. If you would like a kayak delivered straight to your door, for a week long rental, then Lighthouse Watersports is the place for you. For $140-$160 (depending on if you want a single or double kayak), you get the boat, life jackets, paddles, free delivery & pick-up, and a short instruction. If you need to rent a rack for your vehicles, that is only $10 more.
If you prefer to rent by the hour, and launch on site…then Blue Planet Watersports is the your best bet. There is also Summertime Adventure Tours, who offer kayak fishing, adventure, and twilight tours. They can even customize a tour especially for you and your crew! If paddle boards are more your style, can also check out Surf Unlimited and Salty’s Surf Shop.
Image Source: Mark’s Images
What do you Need to Take Along on Your Kayak Trip?
You are going to need to do some light packing before your great kayak adventure begins. All the essential equipment will be supplied by the rental company (boat, paddle, lifejacket), but you will be responsible for providing a few other things that will ensure you have an enjoyable kayaking experience. Here is a list, detailing additional recommendations for a great day on the water.
- Water! Bring plenty of bottled water to stay hydrated!
- Snacks. You’re going to need to replenish those calories you’ve burned.
- A Towel….it’s a great cushion for your backside, and you will probably get wet.
- Wear comfortable clothing & appropriate footwear (no flip-flops).
- Pack a light weight, water resistant jacket.
- Wear a brimmed hat to protect you from the sun.
- Sunglasses (polarized if possible)
- Attach a whistle to your vest for an emergency signal.
- Camera/phone. Remember you will be surrounded by water! Use caution!
- A waterproof bag or container to hold keys, phone, camera, etc.
How to Make the Most of Your Paddling Adventure
- Wear your lifejacket while in the boat. It may make for some weird tan lines, but your safety is more important. Children must have their life jackets on at all times.
- Sit in your kayak on dry land, and make adjustment to the seat and feet rests. Make sure they are in a comfortable position before you put the boat in the water.
- To launch, gently place your kayak perpendicular to the waters edge. You will want the rear of the boat still resting on boat ramp/beach. Slowly enter the boat to sit, using your balance to keep from tipping. You should now be able to scoot to a full float (or have someone give you a little push).
- Hold your paddle with a slightly greater than shoulder width grip. The cupped side of the paddle should be facing you, with the longest side of the paddle on top. Some paddles can be adjusted to give you different paddling angles. Paddle in a right, left, right fashion…keeping your shoulders back and elbow close to your body. Long even strokes will glide you effortlessly through the water.