Kayak Rentals for Self-Guided Tours
We rent single and double kayaks and stand up paddleboards from our dock on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. The kayak office is the first one on the left across from Lifeguard Headquarters. You can drive out onto the wharf and park near the kayaks. To get info about kayak rentals call the kayak office at 831 425 8445. If we are closed or too busy to answer your call then call the hotline at 831 427 2267 for more info. This our most frequently checked line, although we are often out paddling between 9am and 1pm.
We are open most days in-season from April through October for walk-in rentals with no reservations required. We may be closed during periods of bad weather or rough seas especially during the off-season from November through March. Call ahead to check. Reservations are accepted at least one day in advance and are required during the off-season.
It is almost always calmest and easiest to paddle in the morning, the earlier the better. If you come in the morning, you wont be stuck in traffic and you will be able to find parking on the wharf near the kayak office. We open at 9 most days in season. The last boat goes out at 4pm (offseason) and 5pm (in season). Please make a reservation for late-in-the-day rentals.
We mostly rent sit-on-top kayaks. You will get wet, mostly you butt and your legs. Wear quick-drying clothing like nylon pants or shorts, and shoes that can get wet. A long sleeved shirt or light sweater is recommended. We have water proof pants and jackets for over your clothing or wet suits if you choose, included in the price of the rental. We will provide you with a dry bag for your boat. You should leave valuables in the car or in our office or put them in the dry bag and take them with you.
The rental manager will give you instructions and tell you where to go to see the wildlife. The manager will give you the kayak boundaries for that day. Usually you can paddle from our dock up to about a mile in each direction. The rental time period is for up to 3 hours.
If you are a large person, you may want a big kayak. You may request one of our most stable kayaks. Also, two large people are better off in 2 solo kayaks rather than 1 double kayak.
Guided Kayak Tours
Guided Tours are by reservation only. The best way to enquire about kayak tours is to email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you add me as a contact, them my reply will get through your spam filter. If you do not receive my reply within 24 hours, then check your spam box. Tour reservations can also be made by calling the kayak hotline at 831 427 2267. This our most frequently checked line, although we are often out paddling between 9am and 1pm. If you leave a message, be sure to include the date and location of the trip, number in your party and your email address. All fees for guided tours are paid at the time of the trip with cash or credit card. Mornings are best for kayaking, like at 9am or 10am. However we have most times available in the day or evening for your group of 3 or more.
Trips that embark from The Santa Cruz Wharf meet at the Venture Quest Kayak Rental office. You can park on the wharf and pay for parking as you leave, 1$ per hour in winter and 3$ per hour in the summer. These trips embark from the kayak landing on the wharf, below the kayak office.
Trips that embark from Moss Landing meet at the old public boat launch in The North Harbor of Moss Landing. There is parking and a bathroom behind The Monterey Bay Kayak Shop at 2390 Hwy One in Moss Landing. Do not go into Monterey Bay Kayaks. Instead, go to the picnic tables down by the water and the sailboats. We will launch from the dock next to the northern-most boat ramp. Look for the Venture Mobile, it is a white Explorer SUV.
Most of our guided tours use traditional sit-inside single and double kayaks. We sometimes use sit-on-top kayaks in Santa Cruz with big groups or in Santa Cruz winter (guides prerogative) when sit-on-tops are easier and safer to launch. The closed-deck kayaks have a cover that seals you up in there and keeps you mostly dry inside. Let us know if you have anyone in your party that you think is too big to fit inside comfortably so we can talk about using sit-on-tops. Wear quick-drying clothing like nylon pants or shorts, and shoes that can get wet. A long sleeved shirt or light sweater is recommended. We have water proof jackets for you to wear if it is cold out. We will provide you with a dry bag for your boat. You should leave valuables in the car. Bring sun protection, a water bottle and a snack.
Sometimes people get seasick on the ocean kayak tours. If you think you might be vulnerable to this, take a seasickness pill. Take a half a pill the night before and then the regular dose at least an hour before on the morning of the trip.