Frequently Asked Questions
If you don't find the answer you're looking for here, feel free to contact us anytime!
Can I bring my dog?
Yes! You can bring your well-behaved dog on your kayak rental (but sadly, not on our tours). Dogs are not permitted on any of our paddleboards. We have a few doggie PFDs, but if your pup has their own, bring it along to ensure a good fit.
*You are responsible for the behavior of your dog, and any damage they may cause to our gear.
*We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, human or canine.
Can I bring my kids?
Yes! We have several arrangements ideal for children. We have a variety of kid-sized PFDs, but if your child has his or her own, bring it along to ensure a good fit. Kids 9 and older can have their own paddler seat and are more than welcome to join us on our tours! Kids of the ages 12 and up can paddle their own kayak or paddleboard in our rental program on an appropriate day. We ask that there is only one person per single kayak or paddleboard. Children 4 and older are able to paddle with you in a tandem kayak in our rental program! Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied on the water with an adult at all times. Some tours are family-focused, while others may be difficult for children. Please check individual tour details for this information. If you have any questions about the best options for your family, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Do I have to know how to swim?
Not necessarily. We require all of our tour and rental guests to wear a fitted PFD for the duration of your visit and these will keep you afloat if you happen to go for an accidental swim. We do ask that you are able to stay calm and follow directions when you are in the water.
Do you have a maximum weight limit?
The recommended weight limit for each paddler is 260. If you're over this limit and looking to rent a kayak our double sit-on-top kayaks can be fitted for a single paddler. If you have any questions about this, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Do you have a place to store my belongings while I'm on the water?
We have limited storage for small items like keys and wallets in our office. We are not responsible for the security of these items, and recommend you leave most of your valuables in your vehicle or at home, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What does non-cotton mean?
Non-cotton clothes are, simply enough, clothes that don't contain cotton. They are clothes made of fleece, polyester, wool, capilene, polypropilene and other materials. Jeans and sweatshirts are made of cotton. If you are unsure, check the tag. Cotton will not keep you warm once it gets wet, and takes a long time to dry.
What if it's raining?
Bring a rain jacket! If you let a little falling water slow you down in Seattle, you might come to a stop. Our rentals and tours run, rain or shine. However, with the rain can come fierce winds and an even occasional thunderclap. We will let you know as soon as possible if these conditions cause cancellations. We will do everything we can to reschedule or refund the trip (see our cancellation policy for more information). Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to stay up to date with possible cancellations.
What is your cancellation policy?
Tour and rental fees are fully refundable up until 48 hours prior to the start of the tour or rental. Cancellations within 48 hours and no-shows are not refundable. Same day rental rescheduling requests are subject to a rescheduling fee of $5 per paddle craft.
Corporate Events: For groups of 6 and more, an initial deposit of 50% is required upon signing the contract. The balance is due prior to the start of the event. All deposits are fully refundable up until 15 days prior to the event. Cancellations within 15 days will be refundable at the discretion of Ballard Kayak. Our goal will be to re-book the date and if possible refund your deposit. Cancellations within 5 days of the event are nonrefundable.
If your rental, tour or group outing is cancelled by Ballard Kayak due to weather, technical issues or any other reason, our goal will be to re-schedule. If that is not an option, we will provide a refund or voucher of equal value.
What should I bring for my kayak or paddleboard (SUP) tour or rental?
Be sure to bring warm clothes (it is always cooler on the water), a water bottle, water-appropriate shoes, a water-proof/wind-proof layer, sunglasses, sunhat and sunscreen. If you want to bring electronic devices, carry them in a watertight container. We have dry bags available for an additional fee for our rentals (included with any of our tours). If you want to guarantee it stays dry, leave it on shore!
Where are you located?
We are located at Shilshole Bay Marina (7901 Seaview Ave NW), just North of the Corinthian Yacht Club. We are South of Golden Gardens and around the corner from the restaurant Little Coney. For a video of how to get to our kiosk from the Shilshole Bay Marina parking lot, just visit our YouTube channel: Ballard Kayak & Paddleboard.
Where should I park?
There is free street parking all along Shilshole Avenue. The row of parking spots in the marina closest to the street is also free public parking and is labeled with a white strip indicating "Marina Visitor." Please DO NOT park in any spot marked "permit parking." The parking lot of Golden Gardens beach is currently closed due to COVID-19 as well as the main road down. We cannot stress enough for you to give yourself extra time to get to the marina, find parking, and find our kiosk this summer if you choose to drive, as Golden Gardens is an extremely popular beach on hot days.