FAQ

How do I sign up for lessons, tour or rentals?

You can reserve your spot in most lessons, tours or rentals online, over the phone at 604.689.7575, or in person at our Granville Island Store.  Phone and in person bookings are available whenever our Granville Island location is open.  Online reservations are available 24 hours a day.  Certain custom and overnight tours and long term rentals are not available to book online but can be booked over the phone or in person.  Individual pages will specify:

Online Tour bookings Here

Online Kayak and SUP Lesson bookings

Online Kayak and SUP reservations

Do I have to book a tour or lesson in advance?

Yes, please book in advance as space is limited. If it is at the last minute, you can always try your luck by calling us or booking online.  Our online booking system will cut off bookings from 2 days to 2 hours in advance of a program.  Please call us at 604-689-7575 for bookings after that time frame.

Do I have to book a rental in advance?

Short term rentals of up to 1 day in length do not require advance reservation.  However, on sunny days in the summer we regularly sell out of kayaks and SUP boards and so we recommend you make a reservation online.  Online reservation also speeds up your check-in process so that you can get on the water even faster!

Please call us at 604-689-7575 if you are interested in renting a particular brand or make of kayak or SUP and we’ll do our best to accommodate that request.

All long term rentals (more that 1 day) must be booked in advance by phone at 604-689-7575.

 

What if I haven’t paddled in many years?

Our half day tours and beginner lessons require no previous paddling experience.  To rent a kayak or SUP, no experience is required unless you want to kayak on your own, but we do recommend and have a variety of beginner lessons available.

Most tours will move at very relaxed pace. Expect to paddle for a maximum of 15 – 20 minutes at a time between breaks. We make every effort to cater to the slowest paddler in the group, but keep in mind that we have to try to keep our schedule and return on time. We stop regularly for information, breaks and photo ops. Your tour leader will go over general group paddling etiquette so that everyone stays safe.

Please Note: For custom or group tours, if your group would like to paddle further or faster, just let your tour leader know and we can pick up the pace!

Can I go paddling by myself?

You can rent a kayak by yourself if you have experience doing a solo capsize re-entry.  We teach this skill in our Beginner Weekend, Beginner Series and Complete Series courses. If you do not know how to get yourself back in a kayak by yourself after a capsize, you will have to paddle with a friend or take a tour.

You are allowed to rent a stand up paddleboard by yourself.

What do I bring?

  • See our What to Bring list for Rentals
  • See our What to Bring list for Tours
  • See our What to Bring list for Courses

What time should I arrive for a tour, lesson or rental? What if I’m late?

We ask guests to arrive 15 minutes in advance of their tour, lesson or rental start time so that you have time to fill out waiver forms and get ready for your ocean adventure.Tours and lessons start promptly at the time stated. We cannot wait for late guests as this affects the experience of other paddlers.

If you are late, please try calling as we may be able to help you catch up to the group.  If you are going to be late for a rental, please call us at 604-689-7575 and we will do our best to reschedule your rental at a later time, if the boats or boards are still available.  If not, your time on the water may have to be shortened to accommodate those who have booked the kayaks or boards afterwards.

Should I tip my guide?

While not mandatory, tipping is appropriate and our guides certainly appreciate it for a job well done! As in other service-based industries, tipping encourages the outstanding service that our guides continue to provide.

Can I bring my own kayak or SUP?

Most of our lessons and tours include the use of a kayak or SUP board for the duration of the program.  Lots of participants love to use their own paddle, PFD (life jacket) or wetsuit.

We welcome you to bring your own kayak as long as it is a full ocean touring kayak, with secure buoyancy in both the front and back of the kayak.  If you’re unsure if your kayak or SUP meets the requirement for a program please contact us in advance to discuss.   Keep in mind that we cannot guarantee or repair any equipment that is not our own. If you bring your own gear, please make sure it is in good working order. On some programs, you will be prompted in the booking process to indicate no rental is required and receive a discounted rate on that program.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes, you can bring a dog on a rental but at your own risk and only if your dog is comfortable around water and won’t jeopardize your safety. Ecomarine is not responsible for anything that happens to your dog.  We love dogs at our retails store, and you can happily bring them inside as long as they are trained. If visiting Granville Island, perhaps you’ll even meet Pickles, our store pup.

Dogs are not appropriate paddling partners on lessons and most tours.  Please contact us to discuss if you absolutely have to have your pet with you on tour.

Is there a minimum number of people required for booking?

We want to make sure everyone who wants to join an Ecomarine lesson or tour has the opportunity, but our public tours require a minimum of two guests and most lessons require a minimum of 3 participants. You may book in as an individual, but we may get in touch in the rare case that we have no other bookings to see if you want to change tours or dates.

Renters can paddle alone as long as they previous kayaking experience (more info here).

Is there a maximum number of people that can paddle together?

Yes, due to limited space and safety concerns we limit our group size to a maximum of 8 people renting together at one time.  At our jericho location, group size is a maximum of 12 renters.  For groups larger than this you are welcome to set up a custom kayak or SUP tour by calling 604-689-7575 extension 4.