Covid-19 measures

Our shop is currently closed in accordance with government directives for non-essential retail. We hope to open on or around 26th April, though this may be by appointment.

If you live in Oban or the surrounding areas, we are now allowed to take you out on the water. We expect to be fully operational for everyone else as soon as travel restrictions are lifted, hopefully on or around the 26th April.We are taking bookings for trips and courses, and we guarantee that if your booking is affected by coronavirus you can postpone with no charge or receive a full refund. This includes last-minute or multiple changes.

The measures we adopt in 2021 will depend on the guidance issued by the government and the Scottish Canoe Association once restrictions are eased. The details below show the measures we had in place in 2020 to reduce transmission of Covid19, and protect our staff, our customers and ourselves. These measures will change as guidance evolves, so please check this page before coming to see us.

The shop

What we are doing

  • the shop is only open by appointment. Please call 01631 565 310 or email info@seakayakoban.com to make an appointment. Appointments can be made 9am-5pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, though other days can be arranged if absolutely necessary. If you arrive without an appointment during those hours, feel free to call as we may be able to fit you in. Even if you have an appointment the main roller door may be closed when you arrive to manage numbers, if so please call.
  • we are only allowing one household per day to demo. Demos MUST be booked in advance.
  • any items tried on will be quarantined for at least 72 hours before being put back on the shelf. Online shop items returned to us are also quarantined.
  • enhanced cleaning of surfaces such as door handles and the till area.
  • demo boats will be cleaned after every use.
  • the changing room in the shop, and the changing facilities for demos, are closed, and we are not offering storage of personal items while you are on the water during a demo.

What we need you to do

  • if you have any symptoms of Covid19 or should be self-isolating, do not enter our premises.
  • read and abide by all the (rather many) signs we have put up.
  • use the provided hand sanitiser before entering the shop.
  • unless you are exempt, you will be required to wear a face covering while you are in the shop. If you are exempt and making an appointment, we would be grateful if you could let us know when you book to save any awkward conversations when you arrive.
  • if you are exempt from wearing a facemask and are accompanying someone looking to make a purchase rather than looking to make a purchase yourself, we may ask you to wait in the more open entrance area of our building rather than coming into the inner shop. This is in order to protect our staff.
  • if you’re making an appointment to try something on (especially a drysuit as we often only have one of each size), let us know when you book so we can check it’s not going to be in quarantine when you get here.
  • while we would love to see you for a chat, if you know exactly what you want and don’t need to try things on, please make an order through our online shop. We can either post the item out to you, or you can arrange a time to come and pick it up.
  • please don’t touch things in the shop unless you’re genuinely interested in buying them. We’re working on making things like price labels as visible as possible, and you can always ask our staff – part of the appointment system is to allow us to give you our undivided attention.
  • if you are coming for a demo, you will need to bring all your own clothing / paddle / BA if you have them. You will need to either take valuables on the water with you or leave them in your vehicle.

Trips, courses and expeditions

What we are doing

  • we have radically reduced the number of bookings we’re taking per day, in order to ensure there is no contact between households attending different activities. This also reduces the number of staff entering the building.
  • we have introduced stringent cleaning and quarantining processes for all the equipment and clothing used on activities. As a general rule, hard items such as boats and paddles will be cleaned in accordance with Scottish Canoe Association guidance after every use. Clothing will be quarantined where possible, and cleaned if not (the concentration of chemicals required for cleaning can seriously affect the longevity of clothing).
  • changing rooms are closed, other than for children, in accordance with Scottish Canoe Association guidance.
  • we have stopped running half day trips, as we felt these would no longer offer value for money given the extra time taken issuing equipment with physical distancing. Instead we are offering Sea Kayak Experience days, which last from 10.30-15.00/15.30.
  • we may start trips and courses with a brief (dry land) overview of rescue protocols, in order to minimise the need for physical proximity in case of a capsize. We are also making more use of our double sea kayaks, as these are more stable.
  • we will be aiming not to transport anyone in our vehicle. If you will not have your own transport please let us know as soon as possible, as we will only be able to transport a maximum of one household. If you are considering whether or not to bring your vehicle, please get in touch a couple of days before your course or trip to find out if you’re likely to need it. This may limit the options for launching spots with some groups if we have more than one household without transport, but if you’re with us for several days we will still do our best to provide varied paddling locations.
  • we will not be offering storage for personal items while you are on the water.
  • in case of emergency, the immediate situation may override the much smaller risk of Covid19 transmission. We have updated our first aid kits and procedures in order to minimise risks.

What we need you to do

  • if you have any symptoms of Covid19 or should be self-isolating, do not attend your activity. Contact us, you will be able to postpone at no cost or obtain a full refund, even if you’re cancelling on the day.
  • read through all the information you have been sent very carefully, and make sure you act on it. If anything doesn’t make sense please contact us on 01631 565 310 for clarification. As the guidance is changing regularly, some of the information you have may be contradictory. If in doubt, assume we will be working to the most restricting version.
  • make sure you complete a digital waiver form for each person before arriving. The sooner you do this the better – it includes height and weight information that allows us to manage quarantining of clothing.
  • abide by instructions given by staff, as well as any signage displayed in our building.
  • ask us if anything isn’t clear, and tell us if you’re not comfortable with anything our staff or others in your group are doing.
  • if your booking comprises multiple households, please let us know – this affects how we manage the activities.
  • be patient. Getting ready will take longer than usual, and will involve more faff.
  • bring everything that is on the list in your booking confirmation.
  • if you are meeting in our building we will be asking you to wear a face covering where possible while you are in the building, unless you are exempt.
  • please arrive wearing what you intend to wear under your wetsuit. Changing rooms must remain closed at this time, other than for children.
  • use the toilet in your accomodation or public toilets before arriving. Our toilets are available if you’re meeting in our building and really need them, but please don’t plan to use them unless you have to.
  • be prepared to do everything out of doors – this includes getting changed and going to the toilet. Bring a towel big enough to cover you if you’re getting out of wet clothes. Leaves and moss are a perfectly acceptable substitute for toilet paper, but if you’re not comfortable with that and intend to use a tissue or wet wipe, make sure you also have a bag to take it away with you – we do not leave used toilet paper in bushes, under rocks or by the side of the road.
  • think about what you need to bring with you, and leave valuables in your vehicle or accommodation. We have drybags for items such as car keys that you can’t leave behind.
  • have fun in spite of everything!