Kayak Rental Criteria & Policies
So you want to rent a kayak...
Terracentric is committed to supporting you to enjoy the fantastic biodiversity and scenery of the area in a safe and conscientious manner. Known for warm and protected waters, the Desolation Sound region of the northern Sunshine Coast has emerged as a world-class paddling destination, and for good reason.
Unfortunately, many people perceive that sea kayaking, as an activity, is a fairly low risk activity, failing to consider properly all the risks when they set out. Drowning is after all the third leading cause of unintentional death among Canadians according to the National LifeSaving Society of Canada. Most kayaking misadventures happen on day trips when people are unprepared or under skilled for the ever changing conditions on the ocean.
At Terracentric, we are first and foremost outdoor educators. In our classes we teach students the concept of ‘expecting the unexpected’.
In order to rent from Terracentric we will ask you some pretty detailed questions regarding the level of your experience. This is to protect both you, your group as well as ourselves. We want you to have fun AND be safe while doing so.
Experience is recommended wherever you go sea kayaking without a guide or experienced leader. Anyone renting a sea kayak, whether for a few hours or several days, should have experience.
PLEASE NOTE that by LAW, the person with the “most” experience in any group is fully liable in the event of injury or death of any group member during your trip. We strongly encourage all renters to be honest with themselves about their abilities and limitations whenever planning a sea kayaking trip.
WHAT WE CONSIDER FORMAL LESSONS:
-Delivered by a recognized, certified kayak instructor working under a reputable and accredited operator.
-Must include sea kayak “hard” skills such as:
- familiarity and ability to name & function of the parts of the kayak and related safety gear
- basic paddling strokes – forward, reverse, sweep, stop, low bracing
- self AND assisted rescues; how to use a paddle float
- how to enter and exit a kayak from shore (not a dock)
- how to properly carry a kayak
-Must include sea kayak “soft” skills such as:
- how to access AND interpret marine weather information to make decisions about paddling,
- how to describe conditions in terms of wind and sea state,
- how to load a sea kayak for a multiday trip,
- skill development around decision making & trip planning (When to go, when to stay, what to do in the event of an emergency, understanding marine weather, tides, and currents)
-Renters must be able to describe their own experience, in the terms outlined above, of what was covered in the lesson
Renters claiming to have taken formal lessons will be required to answer skill-testing questions. If our launch site staff determine that the experience of the renter does not meet the above requirements, we reserve the right to deny service to the entire group and cancel the rental with NO REFUND.
WHAT IS NOT CONSIDERED A FORMAL LESSON:
-Instruction from an experienced sea kayaker
-Instruction from a previously certified instructor who no longer held certification at the time of instruction
-Any combination of experience or research that was not delivered by a certified instructor
- For each group of 5 or less people, at least ONE ADULT over the age of 19 must have the following experience:
-Formal lessons taken in the last 5 years
-Formal lessons taken more than 5 years ago, combined with at least 5 years combined experience of equivalent trips (type(s) of kayak(s), length of trip, group size, expected conditions, and group experience).
- Every member of the group age 16+ in a single kayak:
-must have recent combined experience of multi-day sea kayaking trips that is equivalent in terms of type of kayak used, length of trip, group size, expected conditions, and group experience.
-must be aware of what conditions they are capable of safely paddling AND must be able to describe accurately and specifically, in terms of sea state, those conditions.
Those who are do not meet this requirement cannot be considered experienced and must be in a double kayak with an experienced sea kayaker.
- Every member of the group under 16 years of age who has not taken formal lessons must be in a double kayak with an experienced adult age 19+ in the stern.
- Group members under 16 years of age may only be in a single kayak if they have completed a formal lesson within the last 2 years.
- Children under 13 years of age must be in a double kayak with an experienced adult age 19+
- Children under 5 years of age must be accompanied by at least TWO experienced adults age 19+.
Terracentric will not rent to solo paddlers who do not hold a minimum of Paddle Canada Level 2 certification or equivalent AND have at least 5 years combined experience of solo equivalent trips (type of kayak, length of trip, expected conditions).
Still want to rent a kayak?
If your group meets the requirements above, please fill out the online inquiry form on our rentals page to get the process started.
If your group does not meet the requirements above, please book the necessary formal lessons, either with Terracentric, or another reputable operator, before inquiring about a rental.
Terracentric has developed these policies in relation to our rentals, from decades of experience in the industry – from mishaps with gear, from questions from guests, and from within our staff team. We hope that they are clear and guide you, the renter of our equipment in how you treat our kayaks and related equipment. We strive to provide you with top of the line equipment in great condition and we ask you to take that extra step of taking care of our gear so that many others can enjoy it as well.
Damage to Kayaks & Equipment Loss
The renter is responsible for any and all damage that occurs to the kayak during their rental agreement. We require that renter’s credit card information is kept on file until after the renter returns and all equipment is inspected and accounted for.
Common gel coat repairs, where the gel coat has been scraped off to expose the fibreglass hull, will be charged a flat rate of $25 / kayak.
These scrapes can be avoided by:
- Ensuring your kayak is 100% floating when you get in / out of it.
- Stopping your kayak completely before it hits the shore when disembarking.
- Lifting and carrying, not dragging, it across our rocky beaches.
- Moving it out of the water and onto higher ground, when there are lots of waves caused by boat traffic or weather.
Damage to fibreglass itself will be charged based on time / materials cost to repair.
Damage to parts of the kayak (rudder, seats, neoprene gaskets, hatches) will be charged at replacement cost.
In the case of loss of equipment, or damage to render the equipment useless, the renter is responsible for the full replacement cost of whatever item has been lost/ damaged.
The renter will be informed of the cost / charges prior to the charges being processed on the credit card provided.
We ask that if you notice that you have lost a piece of gear, or damaged the kayak, that you are upfront about it. We want to, and need to know, in order to get repairs done immediately.
Car topping / Boat Topping
We do not allow our kayaks to be taken on a renters’ vehicle to be transported to another launch location, or to be transported by any other boat, be it a water taxi or pleasure craft, between paddling destinations.
Should you require transportation for your kayaks, either on land or by boat, we can assist you with those needs through our transportation services. Even in a medical emergency, we will ask that you store our equipment on shore in a safe location, and get your group members out, and let us come and retrieve our equipment.
Please see our Kayak Transportation page.
Should you bring your kayak back earlier than indicated on your float plan, you will not receive a refund.
For early returns due to weather: See Weather Cancellations.
Return Time of Kayaks
Our multiday kayak rentals must be back to our launch site by 5:00 pm on the day of return. Additional time will be charged at a rate of $15 / 30 minute increments.
If you are not back by 7 pm we will initiate a call to the Coast Guard.
It is in your best interest to communicate with us, via the emergency number provided on your rental map.
Weather Related Cancellations or Early Returns
Weather is outside of all of our control.
As sea kayakers it is not the rain that we need to concern ourselves with, it is the wind!
We will use both a marine forecast as well as current conditions to help guide us with renters who may wish to cancel due to high winds.
Rain is not a reason for cancelling and there will be no refunds for rain.
Cancellations for winds will follow these criteria:
- We will use the latest Environment Canada marine weather forecast for our area.
- We will use our observation of current conditions.
- High winds will be defined as winds greater than 22 knots.
- Wind forecast being used must be no more than 12 hours in advance of your paddling time.
If the forecast is for winds greater than 22 knots on the day of your departure AND current conditions are true to that forecast, you may delay your start (no refund) or cancel that days’ rental and receive a refund for that day only.
If you are returning early based on weather forecast, the same criteria as above will apply and you will receive a refund less $35 admin fee only for the specific day affected by a wind forecast.
Example: you are due to return on a Wednesday, but the forecast is for 30 knot winds on Wednesday so you return on Tuesday, you will get a refund of ONE day.
If you don’t have a sense of what paddling in 20 knot+ winds might be like, or if you think that 20 knots of wind is a lot of wind, then perhaps you ought to re-think your trip plans for something with short travel distances, with minimal exposure to winds and closer to your launch / return location.
Note that when paddling from Lund, the distances are quite short to the Copeland Islands Marine Park campsites (~ 4 nautical miles) and shelter can be found in amongst the islands from both SE and NW winds. The most exposure is immediately in front of the Lund harbour area itself to both wind directions.
Our Cancellation Policy:
When reserving kayaks, please note that Terracentric adheres to a strict policy for cancellations. Most renters do not anticipate their plans to change - but sometimes they do!
Please read the following cancellation policy carefully.
Operating a seasonal business in a remote area means we have to maximize our limited season. When you reserve kayaks with us, we are committed to having boats in our small fleet available to you. We often have to turn potential renters away because we are completely booked up. Please honour your booking and our cancellation policy.
We require a full advanced payment of the services to complete a booking.
If you should need to cancel, you may choose either a monetary refund (see cancellation schedule below) or you could choose to have all your monies paid held as a credit towards future services.
- Cancellations made 22 + days in advance = full refund less $10 fee per kayak booked
- Cancellations made 8 - 21 days in advance = 50% refund of dollars paid
- Cancellations made 1 – 7 days in advance = No Refund
- Cancellations made on the day of scheduled tour or rental = No Refund
- ** Any cancellations made due to any and all reasons related to CoVID will be subject to the same policies as above.
Any guests who wish to change their booking dates will have the opportunity to make one free change to their dates. Should additional changes be required, each additional change will be subject to a $25 admin fee.
Sorry, no rentals to unaccompanied minors. Terracentric can offer classes and tours to youth groups and lessons.
Garbage & Recycling
We do not have the facilities to take your garbage or recycling or refundables at our launch site.
A $20 per grocery sized bag fee will be charged if you leave your garbage, recycling or refundables with us.
We need you to take those things home with you. Garbage can be dropped off to the garbage truck in downtown Lund (fees apply) if they are open. There is a rural recycling depot in Lund, however they only take clean items, during their open hours. Do not leave garbage or recycling at / near either of these two stations if no one is there or they aren’t open. Your actions could impact the welcome received by future guests in our community.