Ultimate Guide to Kayak Hiring

A lot of people ask us about kayak hiring, especially those who have never done it before! Kayaking is simple however we do think you should know a few things before you go and consider. Firstly, do you have someone to teach us the basics? Things to know before you go are…

What are the conditions (is it flat water, sea-kayaking, influenced by the tide and wind or waves). The easiest conditions are in flat water with no moving water and not windy. We can recommend the best time and place to go around Coffs Harbour area.

What is included in Hiring a Kayak?

When you hire a kayak, you should ask :

  • Is safety equipment included (PFD – Personal Floatation Device)
  • A drybag is a great inclusion to keep your personal things like phone, keys, snacks dry)
  • Will I be taught how to kayak? Can you come with us or teach us how to paddle?
  • Where I can paddle, there may be places that are not recommended due to safety or ecological factors such as nesting birds or reducing damage to the shoreline. Can you show me a map?

At C-Change Adventures, we can provide you with all this information when you call on 0468406222

Different Types of Kayak Models

There are many different types of Kayak models from white water kayaks that are enclosed with a spray-deck allowing you to “eskimo” roll, to sea-kayaks which are suited to open ocean to wave-skis , great for catching waves.

At C-Change Adventures, we use “sit-on-top-kayaks with back rests that enable you to be comfortable and can be used in all environments.

Kayak Paddles

Kayak paddles have “blades” or scoops on either side of the shaft , they enable you to paddle on both sides of the kayak whilst a canoe paddle can only be paddled on one side. It is easier and more efficient to use a kayak paddle than a canoe paddle and easier to paddle in a straight line and turn once you have been taught a few simple manoeuvres.

Kayak Life Jackets & Vests

A life jacket is a type of Personal Floatation Device (PFD). It is compulsory to wear a PFD while on a kayak. NSW Maritime can fine you $250 for not wearing a PFD, it’s a bit like a seat-belt in a car, they save lives in the event of mis-adventure. A PFD will keep you afloat in the rare event of a capsize (your kayak turns upside down). Every reputable kayak hirer will provide you with a PFD free of charge.

Kayak Accessories

Kayaking accessories include bags called “dry bags” specifically designed to keep things dry like phones , keys and snacks. They do not keep things dry if they are open and you should check with your guide how to close it properly but are simple to use once shown.

C-Change Adventures supplies drybags to those who wish or we can keep your important equipment dry on-land should you wish. Water bottles are also handy to bring as dehydration can be a factor with any activity in the sun.

What to wear when Kayaking?

When you kayak on a sit-on-top kayak, you will get a wet bottom. We always recommend that people wear swimwear or clothing that they are happy to get wet!
You do tend to get warm when paddling a kayak particularly as you will be wearing a Lifejacket. A T-Shirt underneath is fine generally. You can always ask when you book if you are not sure of the weather conditions.

How to sit in a Kayak?

A Sit-on-top kayak requires you to sit on the kayak with your legs out in front of you. The ideal way to paddle is to be leaning forward approximately 10-15 degrees however most of us like to sit upright! You can always ask for a seat/backrest for extra comfort.

What’s the Difference between a Kayak and a Canoe?

A canoe is traditionally paddles on one side only – ie/ the paddle only has a blade on one side unlike a kayak which is paddled on both sides. Some people also think of canoes as the enclosed type where you sit on a bench within the craft, They are generally a bit slower and harder for the novice to paddle and if capsized are difficult to get the water out of unless you go to the edge of the river, We use sit-on-top kayaks.

Can you Kayaking Anywhere?

Kayaking in Coffs Harbour, we have so many great areas and rivers, See our separate blog on “Kayaking around Coffs Harbour” for more ideas. For the novice kayaker we prefer you either come on a tour or paddle where we can observe you especially when you first start out so we can help you.

Sea Kayaking vs River Kayaking vs White Water kayaking

Sea-kayaking is generally partaken in the ocean and involves negotiating waves. We only allow sea-kayaking for those on a tour so we can ensure your safety. Sea-kayaking is exciting, there is nothing like crashing over the waves or catching your first wave into shore!

River kayaking around Coffs Harbour is usually on one of the great tidal estuaries or rivers we have around here. It is the safest and easiest way to kayak and we are set up by appointment at Boambee Creek, a lovely safe river perfect for first-timers and families and those wanting a relaxed trip. We can even drop you up the river and you paddle back with the tide!

White-water kayaking involves rapids and C-Change Adventures offers trips down the Orara River for those looking for a bit of adrenalin. We provide all safety equipment. It is suitable for those who have paddled a kayak and are comfortable turning. It is Grade 1-2 rapids and we do it on sit-on-top kayaks so you do not need to know how to eskimo roll!

Want to Experience Kayaking for yourself? Click here to book in a session today!

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