Frequently Asked Questions
- Where is Door County?
Door County is the peninsula that juts out into Lake Michigan from Wisconsin. It is the thin strip of land that separates Green Bay from the rest of Lake Michigan. We are located about 30 miles north of Sturgeon Bay on Highway 42. We sell apparel, footwear, kayaks, and kayak equipment online and can ship anywhere in the U.S.
- Do I have to have experience to rent a kayak or go on a tour?
No, you do not. All of our tours are designed for a range of skills, especially beginners and novices. Our goal is to get people in a comfortable kayak and more importantly, to be comfortable and at ease so that you can enjoy your family and the scenery. As for rentals, we will rent you a kayak based on your ability and comfort zone. If you are interested in learning more about kayaking, we have private lessons, as well as the Kayaking 101 Tour.
- What is the difference between a recreational kayak and a light touring kayak?
A recreational kayak is usually from 9-13.5 feet. The cockpits are large and open and traditionally, no spray skirt is needed. Recreational boats are ideal for families and for beginners as they are classically the most stable type of kayak. These boats are not designed for long trips in open water; they are meant for short trips near shore, or in small lakes and slow rivers. A light touring kayak is from 14-16 feet. This boat is an entry level sea kayak. Here at Bay Shore, we use the Perception Carolina family as our Light Touring boat. It is appropriate to wear a sprayskirt in these boats. These boats are designed for longer day trips and have storage space in the hatches.
- What should I wear/bring on my kayak tour?
In the Spring and Fall (May-June, September-October)- Always start with a synthetic layer of clothing next to your skin (i.e. Capilene, Vaporwick, polypropylene) as it will wick sweat away from your body and keep you warm and dry. Try to Avoid Cotton, as once it gets wet, either from sweat or from water, it will be slow to dry causing you to be cold and clammy. A long sleeved synthetic layer topped off with a windbreaker or waterproof jacket is ideal for your top layer. Water shoes or sandals is always appropriate; again, try to avoid wearing gym shoes or anything that you would be unwilling to get wet. Bring sunglasses, water, a hat, and camera and get ready to have fun! In the Summer (July-August)- Start with a poly layer against your skin. This may be a bathing suit for some people, but beware of only bathing suits as it may end up chafing under a lifejacket. Water shoes or sandals are appropriate for climbing in and out of the kayak. It's always nice to have an extra layer for wind protection along with you. The kayaks have water-tight compartments to store things like your extra layer, camera, or snack. Always wear sunscreen and a hat and don't forget your water!!
- What are the age limits for a kayak tour?
Family Fun Tour - 6 yrs. and up
Niagra Escarpment - 14 yrs. and up
All other Tours - 13 yrs. and up
- What is your kayak tour cancellation policy?
Cancellations made within 24 hours of tour time wll be charged half of the tour rate, at our discretion. Kayak tour no-shows will also be charged half of the tour rate. Kayak tours cancelled due to weather will not be subject to charge.
- How long is the kayak tour? Will I be paddling the whole time?
The Coastal Adventure and Kayaking 101 are both 3-4 hours long. About 30-45 minutes of that time is spent en route to our location and about another twenty minutes for on-land orientation. Adventurers can expect to be paddling for about two to two and a half hours. Breaks along the way can be taken depending on the particular group's skill and pace. The Sunset Tour is about 2-3 hours long with about 1½ - 2 hours of paddling.
- How stable are the kayaks? Am I going to flip over?
The kayaks we chose for our programs are very stable and comfortable and chosen for entry level sea kayakers. For those specifically concerned, tandem kayaks are more stable than singles. Tandem kayaks are used for our Coastal Adventure and single kayaks are used for our Kayaking 101 tour. If you do flip over, in the very rare case, our guides are trained to get you quickly out of the water and back into your boat safely.
- What kinds of things will I learn in Kayaking 101?
Paddlers taking the Kayaking 101 tour can expect to learn the following: getting in and out of a single kayak, basic kayak and equipment anatomy, basic and intermediate paddle strokes, wet exit, and basic orienteering and route decisions. For those with prior skills and/or more time on the tour, they can expect to learn any of the following skills: Low and/or high brace, advanced paddling strokes, paddle float re-entry, tandem or T-rescue, Eskimo bow rescue, and Eskimo roll.
- If I would like to tip my guide or instructor, what is the industry standard?
If you would like to express your appreciation to your guide through gratuity, please know that it would be quite welcome and very much appreciated. The industry standard is about 10-15% of your tour cost, but is ultimately, of course, up to you decide. Again, tips are certainly not required, but as we like to say “Like your ride? Tip your guide!”