Sea Kayak rental

We are the only company in Scotland offering hire of high-quality expedition sea kayaks. Hiring your own kayaks gives your group the freedom to explore our beautiful coastline at your own pace and following your own route.

Requirement for hire

The waters around our part of the West Coast can be highly challenging, with strong tides and changeable weather conditions. In order to let you hire a kayak, we will need to be satisfied that you, or a member of your group, is experienced and competent enough to plan and manage your trip. We generally do not hire to people intending to paddle solo.
 
Ideally, at least one person in your group will hold the British Canoeing Sea Kayak Leader Award or equivalent.
 
If no-one does, you or someone in your group will need to be able to answer “yes” to all the following questions:
– do you have previous experience of planning unguided sea kayak trips?
– are you confident with tidal planning, and do you have the ability to recognise when the tides are not doing what you expect them to and adapt your paddling accordingly?
– do you have experience of paddling in areas with changeable weather conditions?
– can you deal with incidents, including but not limited to, capsize (your own or someone else’s), paddler unable to make progress, injured paddler?
 

Hire and transport of kayaks

We have single and tandem kayaks available for hire, in plastic and composite materials. Our hire fleet is also our demo fleet, so a look at our online shop will give you an idea of what options we have available (we mostly only have one of each model for hire). Hire prices include a buoyancy aid, paddle and spraydeck for each paddler.
 
Transport of kayaks is generally the responsibility of the hirer. We don’t sell roof bars, but we do sell cradles, padding and upright bars – contact us in advance of your arrival if you need to buy. Please be aware that vehicle hire companies do not generally allow the use of roof bars (even soft ones) on their vehicles. We reserve the right to refuse a hire if you intend to transport our kayaks using unsuitable means. For longer hires, we may be able to offer transport of hired kayaks, subject to staff and vehicle availability. Charges will reflect the distance and travel time. We cannot guarantee being able to accommodate multi-day hires where you intend to bring the kayak back to us overnight, so please mention at the time of hiring if this is your intention.
 
Oban is a hub for ferries to the Inner and Outer Hebridean islands, which are operated by Caledonian MacBrayne, generally referred to as Calmac. Thanks to an arrangement made by the Scottish Canoe Association, kayaks are free to transport on Calmac ferries. This means that, just by wheeling your hired kayak a few hundred meters to the ferry terminal, you can easily reach Mull, Barra, South Uist, Coll, Tiree, Colonsay and Islay. Although you do not need to book your kayak onto the ferry, in summer we advise you contact Calmac prior to travelling, as kayaks share space with cyclists and large parties of cycle tourers, or cycling events, may mean there is no space on your first choice ferry.
 

Planning a kayak trip in Scotland

The West Coast of Scotland is one of the world’s top sea kayaking destinations. The coastline is intricate, wild, varied and superbly beautiful. Liberal access laws mean that, as long as you act responsibly and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, you can paddle, land, walk and camp wherever you like. But many stretches of this coast are exposed to the full force of the Atlantic Ocean and its weather systems. Narrow gaps between islands create powerful tidal streams, which can be great fun for those with the skills and knowledge, but lethal for the unprepared or inexperienced.
 
If you are hiring from us, we can help with local knowledge such as good spots to camp and where to pick up food supplies. We’re also happy to give an overview of potential itineraries. We cannot however take responsibility for planning your trip for you, as you need to be able to anticipate and deal with factors such as changes in weather conditions, or delays that could impact tidal conditions at crux points. For most trips, and particularly anything lasting more than a couple of days, you will need to use the relevant pilot book, Ordnance Survey map, and possibly maritime chart. All of these can be found for sale on our online shop; if you’re not sure which ones you need for your trip just ask.