1. Do we need a reservation?
For smaller groups, up to 20 people, you do not need a reservation. Just show up during open hours and we’ll get you going. Please note: the last one-hour rentals go out at 5pm est. For groups of 20 or more, please request a quick quote to set up a reservation. We can handle very large groups – up to 70 people! Get more info on large group outings here.
2. Do you pick us up at the end of the paddle?
No, you simply paddle back to where you started when you’re done. It is easy (very little current – see question 6 below) and convenient – no shuttling or messing around – just paddle upstream or downstream and return back to the rental site when finished.
3. Is all equipment included? What do you rent?
Kayaks are available in both one- or two-person configurations and feature a stable, “sit-on-top” style for comfort. Stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) are oversized, beginner-friendly boards used with long, canoe-like paddles. Ideal for any age or skill level, both kayaks and stand-up paddleboards allow paddlers to explore any body of water at their own pace. All equipment, including paddles and lifejackets, is provided by Third Coast Paddling staff members at the rental sites.
4. Do you accept credit cards?
Yes, we accept cash and these major credit cards on site: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express. No personal checks are accepted.
5. We have kids in our group. How old does a single paddler have to be? Can kids paddle alone?
Kids age 14 and older can paddle a kayak or paddleboard alone if accompanied by a parent or guardian in another kayak or on another paddleboard. Kids under the age of 18 cannot paddle alone without someone over 18 in the group. Kids age 13 and under can ride in a double kayak only if accompanied by an adult; there is no age limit, and it is up to the parent’s/guardian’s discretion. We have a limited amount of kids’ life jackets that fit most kids starting as young as age 3. All paddlers sign a liability waiver, including the parent/guardian for each child.
6. How hard is paddling upstream on the Paw Paw River? Can I do it?
It’s really easy. Because we are located at the confluence (meeting) of three bodies of water – the Paw Paw River, St. Joseph River, and Lake Michigan – the current on our section of the Paw Paw River is very slow and weak, so paddling against it is not difficult at all, even during high water levels on other bodies of water. That’s what makes the paddle fun – you can go either way!
7. We are thinking about doing a group outing. Can you set something up for our organization?
Yes, we handle larger groups all the time! Some of these include service organizations, corporate team-building retreats, summer kids’ programs, university faculty, boy and girl scouts, and more. For groups of 20 or more, please request a quick quote to set up a reservation. Get more info on large group outings here.
8. Do you offer kayak and paddleboard rentals on the Galien River in New Buffalo?
Unfortunately, we are not currently offering rentals on the Galien River. The State of Michigan DNR cancelled our contract after the 2017 season due to parking concerns. Simply put, our rental operation was continuing to grow and the parking infrastructure on site could not accommodate our growth. The good news is that we have a fantastic alternative just 30 minutes north at our Paw Paw River rental site location in St. Joseph/Benton Harbor. We are also offering rentals at the City of New Buffalo Beach or Jean Klock Beach in Benton Harbor.