Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful tips to make your kayaking experience more rewarding

Normal business hours 9-5.  Our last day to offer rentals will be Sunday, Sept. 29

Note: After 15 amazing years my wife, Deborah, and I will be retiring at the end of September.  We will be closing the business on that day.


For local kayak rentals we can recommend:

Sub Sea Tours  (805) 772-9463

Rock Kayak  (805) 772-2906

The Kayak Shack.


Located at 551 Embarcadero, just south of the old Aquarium, in Morro Bay.

Are reservations necessary?
No reservations taken.  All rentals walk in first come first serve.  We have a very large rental fleet so it`s very seldom we run short. Groups over 15 people please see group section of this site.

Morro Bay welcoming committee      Photo:  Tom Dawson

What do I wear?
Typical beachwear is the best course. Layers of light to mid weight clothing that can be easily removed or added are recommended. Fabrics such as synthetic or fleece provide great insulation even when wet. Try to steer clear of cotton or jeans as they take too long to dry. Shorts and T-shirts are okay on warm days but Morro Bay can cool off suprisingly fast. Old sneakers, waters shoes, and sandals work best for footwear. Hats and sunglasses are also advisable.

What do I need to bring?
Kayaks have plenty of room for storage so don’t hesitate to bring along a few extra items. A snack and a bottle of water can be welcome relief after a good paddle so bring plenty of both. The sand spit is a great place to picnic so you can bring along a small ice chest. Morro Bay is very scenic so definitely don’t forget the camera and/or binoculars. If you`re nervous about getting them wet, we can supply you with a dry bag to protect them. Sunscreen is also a key item as the glare off the water intensifies the sun even on foggy days. After kayaking, it is always nice to have a dry towel or change of clothes in your car.

Photo: Liliya Kamalova

Can first timers paddle easily?
Most definitely!! Kayaking in Morro Bay is tailor made for beginners. Our dockside harbor access eliminates the complicated surf zone launch found elsewhere. We specialize in getting you out on the water easily and safely. We have picked our boats out to be completely user friendly and comfortable (see rental page). All paddlers get a lesson and orientation of the Bay on the dock then launched into a calm, flat water/harbor environment.

What roles do tides and weather play?
Weather and tide can be a major contributor to your paddling experience. Tidal currents can be tough or helpful at times and tide levels can also determine access to certain areas of the Bay. We highly recommend calling ahead for tidal conditions so we can pinpoint the perfect time for your trip. We use an advanced tidal calculating software program to aid us in this respect. If timed correctly, it is possible to ride the tide both in, and out of the Bay saving tired arms. Weather conditions, mainly wind, are also a major player. Windy conditions tend to arise in the afternoon (particularly in the spring) so it is wise to try to start as early as possible to take advantage of glassy morning water. Foggy conditions are normally calm and serene despite reduced visibility. We monitor weather constantly from several marine sources to ensure that we are one step ahead. Again, calling ahead to check conditions is a good idea.

Can children go kayaking?
Kids have become some of our best paddlers. Children are always welcome here and we can outfit them with their own personal size life jackets and paddles. Kids, 13 and older, with kayak experience in fair conditions are often put in their own single kid-sized kayaks and have a blast. We simply require that kids are accompanied by an adult over 18 years old.  Minimum age for children is 3 years old.  For children between 3 and 7 we can put a pillow down behind the front seat of a double kayak so both parents and child can go out together.

Can I bring a pet?

Yes, people often bring their dogs.  A leash is mandatory during the Snowy Plover nesting season (March-October).

Can I launch my own kayak off your dock?

No.  There is an easy to launch from location a couple of blocks from us at Tidelands Park.  You can launch off the dock there or at the boat launch ramp next door.  Lots of free parking and an easy paddle to our location.  Usually people drop their friends off with us and head down to unload their kayaks.  After we give them  instruction  and orientation it`s an easy paddle to join up together.



           Cormorants taking Flight                    Photo: Robert F. Davis

Photos: Robert F. Davis

Photo: Carol Walker