• group of kayakers paddling

Sea Kayak Rentals

Specializing in sea kayak rentals in Desolation Sound, north of Vancouver on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada

Located in Okeover Inlet – just 120 kilometres north of Vancouver – access world class kayak destinations such as Desolation Sound, Copeland Islands, Toba Inlet and the Discovery Islands

Why is Desolation Sound the best place for kayak rentals in British Columbia?

Located on the Northern Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Desolation Sound is protected by Vancouver Island from ocean swell and the fiercest of the winds sometimes found on the outside coast, making it a perfect place for sea kayak rentals near Vancouver.

Desolation Sound’s surprisingly warm ocean temperatures call for a swim on a warm summer’s day, and snorkelling amongst the prolific marine life is a quintessential Desolation experience. Framed by towering Coast Mountains, the majestic scenery is world class, and the sunsets over the Discovery Islands and Vancouver Island to the west are truly epic! Capping it off are several freshwater lakes, easily accessed by well-worn trails – or you can combine your sea kayak adventure with a full day hike on a portion of the Sunshine Coast Trail, running parallel to Okeover and Malaspina Inlets.

Planning for your Premium Desolation Sound Sea Kayak Rental: Please read before calling or emailing! You will likely find all your questions answered below. Just scan through the Topics List and click the topic for detailed information.

Note: Book online and receive a $10 automatic discount! Read all the tabs below for reservation instructions.

Please note that as of the 2021 season Powell River Sea Kayak no longer operates a satellite location out of the village of Lund.

For overnight kayak rentals, 1 out of every 3 people in a group must have taken a formal lesson focusing on wet-exits, self- and assisted-rescues. See information in tab below.

At PRSK we are always looking to go above and beyond – from our tours to our service to our equipment. Our Premium Rental Package follows this same path and is not just your regular gear and boat rental. But what makes a rental experience premium?

First and foremost is our location! It doesn’t get any easier! Our waterfront site on Okeover Inlet is adjacent to Desolation Sound Marine Park, providing unparalleled access. In addition, this private site at Penrose Bay is stunningly beautiful, peaceful, and a great way to start (or end) your trip. Oh, and it has a cool history too! 

Parking! Yes parking! How does parking fit a premium rental package? Well, if you drive anywhere these days, you know parking is never easy! At our private site, parking is included in your rental – and it’s safe, on our private property, right adjacent to the launch-site. 

Safe and professional. We’ve been doing this for 25+ years! In addition, we do more than just rent kayaks, we also guide and instruct. We understand what goes into a safe and enjoyable trip, and we will aim to assist you with tonnes of helpful information. Bear in mind, we don’t rent to just anyone – that’s part of being professional and safe. We also know the risks people are taking in the outdoors these days, including kayaking. Be safe everyone – and keep reading to find so many useful tips, tricks, suggestions, learning opportunities and more! 

Booking Efficiency. We don’t like paperwork anymore than you. We therefore have spent time and money on a cool on-line booking system. Not only can you set-up all your booking details and provide us with some key info from home, but this system also lets you do the paperwork online before you arrive. Of course, it will also take your payment through our safe and secure booking portal. 

Trip Planning Resources. Planning a safe and enjoyable trip takes time – and knowledge. After 25+ years of learning and developing the intel, we have a suite of helpful blogs, links, tabs, blurbs and anything else you can think about! You need the local tides, done! How about campsite locations? Easy! Want to know a great 5 day route? Just a click away! Weather, checklists, distances, permits, you name it – it is on our website. Take the time to go through it and we are sure you will find something (and likely many things) to help you plan a great trip.

Comfort is Key. Amongst the many things we’ve learned over the years, kayaking and comfort are not always synonymous. We recognize that just as not all kayaks are the same, neither are people. We will always do our best to match renters into suitable kayaks – usually based on height, weight, experience and trip duration. When you’re at our site and getting ready to launch, we will ask you first to have a seat in your kayak and give you a hand with adjustments, making sure everything fits and has some decent comfort (it is a kayak after all). If you need a little extra padding here or there, all you have to do is ask. Our amazing staff (see below) will gladly help with extra padding to make your experience as comfortable as possible! 

Quality gear is included! Your rental will include: PFD, paddle, spare paddle (1 or 2 per group, depending on group size), neoprene sprayskirt, bilge pump, paddle float (if you want to rent, better know what that is!) and a Coast Guard required 55’ heaving line (aka: throw rope – not to be used for towing or camp purposes). 

Optional Add-ons! You’ve taken time off work, travelled up the Sunshine Coast – crossing two inlets via ferry in the process. You are relieved and excited for a break from work. Make it truly great with some cool add-ons! We carry a variety of items to make your trip easier or more enjoyable. Check out our complete list of add-ons here  – either email us or choose the items you wish during the booking process and we’ll add it onto your reservation so it is ready to go when you arrive!

Amazing Staff. All of the above without amazing staff would be wasted – so we find amazing people and train them with super helpful info, and presto! Really though, we have great people who are there to help. Remember to treat them extra special – as with so many front line workers, they truly deserve it.

Dear PRSK Rental Guests,

Powell River Sea Kayak is committed to providing a premium experience for all our rental guests. Part of this includes creating a seamless booking and launch-site experience to get you on the water as quickly and efficiently as possible, with the right equipment and knowledge you need to have a safe and enjoyable experience in Desolation Sound.

To ensure this we have created this checklist for you to follow in the lead up to your rental, which will allow us to be completely ready for your arrival, and provide the best service we can for your self-guided kayak vacation.

1. Hours of Operation

We open at 8:30am and we close at 4:30pm

  • Renters arriving before 8:30am will need to remain outside the access gate until staff arrive. Please do not arrive before 8:30am as this is private property and the owners live on-site.
  • The latest rental return is 4:30pm. Staff leave at 5pm – and this is when all renters must also depart the site, so leave plenty of time to pack your vehicles after returning to be ready to leave by 5pm at the latest.

2. Complete Your Waivers and Float Plans Online

Save time on arrival! Ensure that every member of your party has filled in our waiver online well before the date of your rental. All adults also need to fill in their individual float plan online before arrival as well.

To receive the $10 online booking discount, all members of a booking must have completed these forms in advance of your rental.

3. Pay For Non-Renters Parking and Launch Fees

PRSK does not allow the launching of personal kayaks unless they are with renters.

In this case, parking and site fees for personal kayaks are applicable and must be booked in advance with the rental reservation. Personal kayaks that arrive without pre-booking will be denied access. Make sure to book ahead!

If you have already made your booking for rental kayaks and have not added personal kayak launch fees or parking to your booking, please reply to this email with the number of personal kayaks launching with your group and additional vehicles wishing to park on our property so we can add it to your invoice for payment.

4. Mandatory: Take Formal Lessons and Watch Our Safety Videos

At a minimum, one person in each group must have had a formal lesson (1 out of every 3 members of the group), while all those that have not had lessons must watch the safety and launch & land videos on our website. We highly recommend that everyone in the rental group prepares with a formal lesson.

People renting kayaks without lessons will be directed to watch the above videos on arrival. To save time, they can watch them in advance by clicking the link above.

As a professional sea kayak company, we understand that safety is paramount. Failure to have formal lessons or to have watched the videos will result in a cancellation of the rental. Staff will ask clear questions upon arrival to test individual knowledge of the key safety topics to determine rental eligibility. Be prepared – be safe – avoid disappointment.

5. Bring Your Own Water

PRSK does not supply potable water at its Desolation launch site. Renters are required to arrive with their own potable water. If renters have no choice and need potable water, PRSK will rent pre-filled 10 litre hydromedary bags. As supplies are limited it is recommended to book this in advance as an add-on to your booking, or email us and we will add the rental to your invoice for payment.

6. Pre-Pack Your Belongings and Gear

To expedite your launch process and keep our staging areas clear of clutter for use by other people, we urge that you arrive at our site with your belongings and gear already packed into dry bags so it can be easily and quickly packed into your waiting kayaks. You will be required to do any packing of dry bags in the parking area versus at the staging area.

7. Purchase Any Add-Ons to Your Rental Ahead of Time

At the booking screen you have the opportunity to select a number of ‘add-ons’ to your rental that may enhance your kayaking and camping experience.

You can easily add these to your rental if you wish at the time of booking, or simply reply to this email with an add-on you would like to include and we will add it to your invoice for payment.

Example of add-ons include:

  • Laminated maps.
  • 10 litre pre-filled water dromedaries.
  • Dry bags.
  • Some camping equipment

Click here to explore items available to be added.

8. Purchase Your Backcountry Camping Permit Online

Ensure you have purchased your camping permit online at the BC Parks website before arrival.

9. Know How to Check Weather Updates

Marine Weather updates can be checked regularly (updated 4 times a day) using Channel 8 on a Marine VHF Radio, or by bookmarking this link and accessing the information using your smartphone while you are in Desolation Sound.

The area of coast of which Desolation Sound is a part is ‘Strait of Georgia – North of Nanaimo’.

10. We Cannot Take Garbage & Recycling

Please plan to take your garbage and recycling with you in your vehicle to dispose of elsewhere after your trip. Click here to view recycling centres in the Powell River area you can visit on your trip home.

11. Read our Blog for Hot Tips Before Your Trip

We continue to add various helpful articles on our blog for rental guests – from recommended routes to great campsites to the location of hidden lakes and hikes in the Desolation Sound area!

Check out some of our best articles for renters:

Thank you all for doing your part to help us maintain a safe, comfortable and efficient launch site. We look forward to seeing you!

Fibreglass Kayak RentalsSingleDouble (w/ 3 hatches)
0-8 Hours$85$125
2 Days$135$205
3 Days$185$290
4 Days$230$360
Extra Days$45$70

Plastic Kayak RentalsSingleDouble
0-8 Hours$70$115
2 Days$115$180
3 Days$160$255
4 Days$200$315
Extra Days$40$60



  • Daily Rental rates are based on a calendar day.
  • The shortest rental time available is a 0-8 hour rental. We do not rent kayaks in hourly or half-day increments.
  • It is the renters responsibility to read our Cancellation Policy prior to reserving kayaks.
  • Taxes are not included in the above rates.

How to reserve

  1. Review our ‘We will Not Rent to …’ tab to view our rental policies concerning rental limitations.
  2. Check Availability and Book Now

To help make your kayak rental easier and more comfortable, we have a number of handy Add-Ons that can easily be added to your rental at the time of booking – from camping equipment to more luxury items you may have overlooked while planning your trip!

These items can easily be added to your booking at the time of reservation, or requests can be emailed to us separately and we will add them to the invoice for payment.

Camping and Kayaking Equipment Add-Ons:

  • 20L Dry Bags
  • 10L Dry Bags
  • Z-Rest Sleeping Pads
  • Farmer John Wetsuits
  • Cooking Pot & Lid
  • Paddling Jackets
  • Pre-filled 10L Water Dromedaries
  • Laminated Maps (basic option only)
  • Kayak Cart Wheels
  • Sponges

Luxury Add-Ons:

  • Books relating to Desolation Sound
  • Mask and Snorkels
  • Fins for Snorkelling

All our optional Add-Ons and their prices can be viewed by selecting them individually in the ‘Add-Ons’ tab of the booking widget at the bottom of this page.

There are certain situations where PRSK will not rent kayaks to individuals or groups to ensure the safety of all our guests. These policies include:

  • PRSK will not rent kayaks to groups unless 1/3 people in the group have had a formal lesson, including a focus on capsize/re-entry, in the last 5 years.
    • All other members of the group must have some prior knowledge of rescues, and watched the videos of capsize/re-entry/launch and land on our website.
    • Anyone who arrives at our launch-site without this requirement will be denied rental without refund.
    • If you have had lessons outside this 5 year period, please call our office to speak with our staff.
    • Rentals are not confirmed unless proof of lesson is provided (emailed receipt). 
  • PRSK will not rent to groups of more than 10 people, regardless of whether they are in singles, doubles, or a mixture of both.
    • All groups of 3 or more people are required to have had at least 1/3 members in the group to have had multi-day kayaking experience prior to the trip.
  • PRSK will not rent kayaks to families unless at least one parent has had a formal lesson as above:
    • For multi-day rentals with kids less than 13, at least one parent has a lesson including wet-exits and self- and assisted-rescues, and has experience of at least 2 multi-day trips without kids.
    • For day rentals with kids less than 13, at least one parent has had a formal lesson with a focus on capsize/re-entry.
    • All kids less than 16 must be in a double kayak.
    • Kids 16 or older can be in a single kayak as long as they have had a formal lesson with a focus on capsize/re-entry.
  • PRSK will not rent kayaks to individuals or groups with pets due to safety concerns, potential disruption to wildlife and fragile ecosystems in Desolation Sound, and potential damage to PRSK kayaks and equipment.
  • PRSK will not rent kayaks to solo paddlers unless:
    • The renter has taken a formal lesson with focus on capsize/re-entry.
    • They have 2 years of sea kayak experience equal to the length of the trip proposed.
    • They have the ability to carry a single kayak solo.
    • They carry a cell phone that they must use to call in to the office by noon each day.
    • They complete a detailed daily route and float plan, and update the office if this changes while they are paddling.
  • If you require a lesson before making a reservation:
    • PRSK runs simple 3 hour Pre-Rental Lessons at our Okeover launch site throughout the season, depending on instructor availability.
    • Most cities and larger towns have companies that offer sea kayak lessons. We require that these lessons at a minimum cover wet-exits, self- and assisted-rescues. Here is a great example of a lesson that fits these requirements in Vancouver.
    • If you have not yet had the lesson but still wish to make the reservation, PRSK simply requires proof that a lesson has been booked (emailed invoice) before the trip.

CLICK HERE to be taken to our online reservation system, where you can book rental kayaks and check availability for any dates you are interested in renting.

Please review optional Add-Ons before booking kayaks.

Note: All bookings made online will automatically receive a $10 discount off the price of the reservation! Must also complete the on-line Rental Agreement and Float Plan (sent to your email upon reservation). 


  • Address: 10676 Crowther Rd. Okeover Inlet. Link to Google Maps.
  • Our location on the Upper Sunshine Coast of British Columbia is just 120km north of Vancouver and perfectly situated to get out of the city for anything from a quick getaway to a week or more or exploration.
  • Our private launchsite is in Okeover Inlet, well protected and great for quick access to Desolation Sound, the Copeland Islands, Toba Inlet & more.
  • Please note that as of the 2021 season Powell River Sea Kayak no longer operates a satellite location out of the village of Lund.

Getting Here

  • Our convenient waterfront location is in Okeover Inlet, approximately 30 minutes drive north of Powell River. Click here to see us on Google Maps!
  • Vancouver to Powell River
    • From the Horseshoe Bay BC Ferries ferry terminal in West Vancouver catch the ferry to Langdale (Gibsons) on the Lower Sunshine Coast. Continue north through Sechelt past the scenic hamlets of Pender Harbour and Madeira Park for about 90 minutes until you reach the BC Ferries terminal in Earl’s Cove, where you board a second ferry to Saltery Bay on the Upper Sunshine Coast. From here it is a 30 minute drive to Powell River.
    • When travelling on BC Ferries during busy travel periods (i.e. mid summer and long weekends) we highly recommend making a reservation to ensure you arrive in Powell River on time for your rental.
  • Vancouver Island to Powell River
    • From the Little River BC Ferries terminal in Comox catch the ferry to Westview terminal in Powell River.
  • Powell River to our location in Okeover Inlet.
    • Follow the highway north from Powell River through the village of Sliammon for about 25 minutes. Turn off the highway at Malaspina Road and then turn left on Crowther Road (a gravel road) just past the Laughing Oyster Restaurant and follow the road for 3 kilometres. Our site is on the right. 
  • We do not have a shuttle service from Powell River to our location in Okeover Inlet.
  • For those without vehicles, you have a few options for getting to us:
    • Powell River Taxi service can pick you up from your accommodation (though prices can be high, as they charge both for the trip out with you and the trip back to town alone). Phone number: 604 483 3666
    • Bus services exist but are very irregular (currently only 2 services a week to Lund from Powell River, and nothing out to Okeover Inlet itself).

Our hours of operation are 8.30am-4.30pm every day from early May to mid-September.

  • All rentals must return by 4.30pm on the day stated on the float plan. Returns after this time will incur a charge of $10/kayak per 30 minutes they are late.
  • The latest launch time for 0-8 hour rentals is 1pm.
  • People arriving early will need to remain outside the gate until it is opened by staff at 8.30am.
  • Bilge pump
  • Paddle float
  • Paddle 
  • Spare paddle (or a few spares per group)
  • Neoprene Sprayskirt
  • PFD (Personal Floatation Device)
  • 55’ Throw Rope (for emergency purposes only)
  • Parking at our private waterfront location 
  • Not Included: flares, VHF radio, parking and launch fees for personal kayaks, water, sponges, provincial park camping fees.

Check out our Optional Add-Ons tab for a list of cool things that can be added to a rental at the time of booking.

  • PRSK’s cancellation policy for kayak rentals:
    • Upon confirmation of your booking, you will be prompted to pay the amount owing in full on the emailed invoice.
    • Should you cancel or change your reservation or part thereof within 48 hours of the start of your reservation, there is no refund.
      • This applies to both kayaks and rental equipment.
    • Should you cancel or change your reservation or part thereof within seven (7) days of the start date of your reservation and outside this 48 hour period, PRSK will refund your credit card to an amount totalling 50% of the full price of the cancelled item.
      • This applies to both kayaks and rental equipment.
    • Should you cancel your reservation or part thereof prior to seven (7) days before the start date of your reservation, PRSK will refund your credit card for the cancelled booking, less a $25 administration fee per kayak or piece of rental equipment.
    • PRSK does not give credit for future rentals or tours due to cancellation.
  • What if we want to cancel due to weather?
    • Weather on the west coast of British Columbia can be unpredictable year round. While we do generally enjoy long, sunny summer days, even in July and August the rain can come quickly and settle in for a few days or a week at a time. This is part and parcel of living in a temperate rainforest! As such, rain by itself is not a valid reason to cancel your rental and circumvent our cancellation policy. We will not refund renters who wish to cancel due to rain.
    • Strong winds are the predominate danger to safety when kayaking in Desolation Sound. While we are somewhat protected here by Vancouver Island and other landscape features, strong winds still do occur year round. Our policy for strong winds and cancellation is thus:
      • If the marine weather forecast is calling for winds of 25 knots or above for the day of the rental, guests may elect to cancel their days rental without charge.
      • This is based on the most up-to-date marine forecast issued by Environment Canada for the marine region ‘Strait of Georgia – North of Nanaimo’. In practice this means the forecast issued no earlier than 4pm on the day before the rental, or any forecast after that time.
      • If you are thinking “Wow, 20 knots is still a little beyond my comfort level”, then we seriously suggest that you rethink your plans for a multi-day sea kayak rental without taking a prior lesson or gaining experience with smaller day excursions first. The weather on the coast can change rapidly and unexpectedly, and it is not uncommon for winds of 20 knots or more to pick up without any prior warning from Environment Canada or other weather agencies. PRSK runs introductory lessons, as well as guided day and multi-day tours for those guests that wish to enjoy Desolation Sound without these added stresses!
  • What about early returns due to weather?
    • Early returns will only be refunded when the final day(s) of a rental has a forecast of 25 knot winds or more and the renters elect to return to Okeover early as a result.
    • The refund will only apply to the days affected by the 25 knot forecast.
      • I.e. if the forecast is for Wednesday and renters return on Monday, they do not also receive a refund for the unaffected Tuesday forecast.
    • Mere rain is not covered under this refund policy.
  • What about smoke?
    • In recent summers, wildfires are becoming more prevalent in BC. That said, conditions on the coast and areas that we kayak are seldom affected by smoke and wildfires, however this can occur. For most healthy people, these conditions are not dangerous.
    • Our rentals go ahead as planned with or without smoke. If you feel that you would want to cancel your trip as a result of wildfire smoke and expect a refund, we ask that you do not book a rental with us. There will be no refunds due to wildfire smoke for any of our rentals.
    • If you have a pre-existing condition that would be affected by smoke and would therefore need to cancel, it is especially important to have trip cancellation insurance when making a reservation.
  • As the majority of our focus as a company is on multi-day tours and rentals in Desolation Sound, those who are wishing to book kayaks for a single day can only do so within 48 hours of the date of the rental.
    • We ask that single day rentals book online within this 48 hour period, and as a thank you receive a $10 online booking discount!
    • Due to this multi-day priority, it may take some time to set you up and get you on the water.
    • Mornings are often busy, especially in the peak season, so be prepared to wait a little longer at these times.
    • For people without any kayak experience or training, staff will need to take more time for the safety orientation, and this can delay your paddling time as well.
  • We do not rent kayaks in hourly or half-day increments. The shortest rate that someone can rent a kayak for is a full day.
  • Due to the busy nature of our summer operations, day renters may have to wait until staff are free from helping tours and multi-day rentals. If you are planning to kayak in the afternoon, please leave enough time to receive instruction and launch talk and return by closing time.
  • To ensure availability of kayaks guests must book online. We cannot guarantee that we will have availability of kayaks or staff for drop in rentals.
    • At any time you can check the availability of kayaks by following this link.

Large Group Rentals for a Single Day

  • Even if booking within the above 48 hours of the rental date, groups of 6 or more must contact our office before making a booking.
  • Rentals for 10 days or more receive 10% off.
  • Online Rental Discount of $10 per booking.

To greatly help with our busy summer rentals, we need all renters to reserve on-line. As a thank you, we will provide $10 off your rental!

  • Families from the same household are required to book under 1 reservation (ie: separate bookings for the same household will not receive multiple $10 discounts).
  • To receive the discount, renters must also complete the on-line rental agreement, waiver and float plan as provided upon reservation.
  • PRSK will not rent to groups of more than 10 people, regardless of whether they are in singles, doubles, or a mixture of both.
    • All groups of 3 or more people are required to have had at least 1/3 members in the group to have had multi-day kayaking experience prior to the trip.
  • Groups of 6 or more people will be required to have one or more people in the group provide credit card details to hold in lieu of a deposit to protect PRSK against any damages that may occur to kayaks or equipment during the course of the rental.
    • It does not matter if there is one booking or multiple bookings across the group, as long as there are 6 or more people launching together as a group.
  • A minimum automatic charge of $50 will be charged to the card for every instance of gel coat damage to the bow or stern of the kayaks, where it has been scraped or gouged down to show the fibreglass beneath the gel coat.


  • We provide high quality kayaks and equipment for our clients, and as such any damage that arises from rental will be charged an appropriate fee.
  • The most common kayak damage we encounter is the scraping damage of the ‘gel coat’ on the hulls of our fibreglass kayaks. This damage reduces the structural integrity of our kayaks and is commonly caused by dragging or dropping kayaks – or sitting in kayaks – on rocky beaches or coasts. Our staff will thoroughly direct you on the proper way to avoid this damage when entering, exiting, or moving the kayaks before you launch. With just a little care, gel coat damage is easily avoided!
  • Upon returning from your trip your kayaks will be inspected for damages. 
    • An automatic $50 charge for gel coat damage applies per kayak with gel coat damage.
    • An automatic minimum $200 charge will be applied for structural damages that require fibreglass repair.
    • Missing equipment will be charged at the regular retail price.
    • Pictures will be taken by staff of any damages for evidence.
  • An automatic $10 charge applies per bag for those who leave garbage in kayaks upon returning them to our site. We are located in a remote area without garbage pickup and cannot possibly take or dispose of your garbage. You can dispose of your garbage (for a fee) in metal bins provided behind the Lund store.

Late Returns

  • Renters will be automatically charged $30 for every hour past our closing time (4.30pm) on the final day of our rental.
  • Our usual policy for contacting the Rescue Coordination Centre will be in effect if we cannot contact you at this time.
  • After 25+ years of providing kayak rentals, we have experienced some pretty scary situations where renters with little or no experience, renters with no formal training, and renters who overestimate their abilities have put themselves in grave danger. This has often resulted in calls to the Rescue Coordination Centre and Coast Guard. These conversations with the Rescue Coordination Centre and Coast Guard have helped us develop better policies to avoid such dangers, including electing to not rent kayaks to those without proper training and experience. 
  • In addition to personal safety, it is our experience that those without formal training often do not understand how to manage the kayaks to avoid damages. Kayaks are expensive, and we would rather not rent to someone who does not understand how damages occur (or who do not care). Part of learning how to sea kayak includes proper launch and land techniques that avoids these kayak damages. 
  • Formal lessons are now mandatory for the following:
    • For every group booking, a minimum of 1 person per group of 1-3, 2 people per groups of 4-6, etc.
    • Parents of family groups with kids less than 13 years old
    • Formal lessons must be through an accredited kayak company (not just a friend) and include following: 
      • Company name when booking
      • Which rescues were covered in the lesson
    • Our short safety videos are mandatory for anyone who has not taken a formal lesson 
    • Note: as a professional kayak company a few quick questions when you arrive for your rental will tell us whether or not you have had formal training and/or have watched our safety videos. If we determine you have not watched the videos or had formal training, your rental will be cancelled. 

Our goal is not to turn you off sea kayaking. Our goal is to ensure a safe trip that allows you to thoroughly enjoy the delights of sea kayaking.

Some more things to consider:

    • Take the lessons before summer so you can learn how to pack, what to bring and how to plan your trip based on charts, currents, distances and weather patterns.
    • Start with smaller trips and not just a couple of day paddles. Do some short overnight trips to get a better sense of how to plan and manage things like equipment (and what equipment works best).
    • Joining a guided tour first is a great (and under-utilized) way to gain invaluable experience before embarking on solo or self-guided trips. You will immediately gain access to the knowledge and experience over 4-7 days of two professional guides that are trained and practiced in the business of planning and executing multi-day trips for all manner of people – from rescues to route planning to navigation and more – and you’ll get to experience the comforts of our guided tours as well!
    • Finally, if you need more assistance that what our rental page provides, it suggests you many not be ready to safely rent kayaks. This is even more important to consider if you are paddling with children as the more people in your group and the younger the people, the more that can go wrong. Safety is our priority – and should be yours too!

Please understand that at the end of the day we can’t plan your entire trip for you. We have more than 25 years experience in this area and are happy to share our passion and local knowledge with our guests, but if you call our office with questions that an experienced or well prepared kayaker should know (such as “How long will it take me to get to xx?” or “How do I check the weather?”) we are going to request that you take the time to prepare yourself with a formal lesson before booking. There is only so much we can impart from the shore on the day of your rental!

For essential information about rescues and experience needed to rent with us, please follow this link.

  • Part of organizing a self-guided kayaking trip is planning your route. If you are not familiar with route planning and related topics such as seamanship, navigation and chart work, we highly recommend taking a suitable kayaking lesson in your area before you arrive, or contacting us about completing a lesson with us.
  • great option for those who are uncomfortable with route planning is to join a guided tour. Not only are all aspects of route and trip planning taken care-of, paddling with a professional guide can be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about sea kayaking and route planning techniques. The food is pretty good too! 
  • The following are a few considerations when planning your route: 
    • You can’t plan without a marine chart or a good map. Order the Desolation Sound & Discovery Islands Map HERE.
    • Buy the book on paddling Desolation Sound for popular routes and expectations. Order Here.
    • Print the free Tide information for Lund/Desolation Sound from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Here’s the link.
    • What are your expectations? Do you want to simply paddle to an island and relax for a few days? Or, are you looking to put on the miles and try and see it all (Desolation Sound – and its surrounding waters – is very big). 
    • What is your paddling speed? The average speed for a strong paddler is said to be 3 knots. Many casual kayakers are slower. It is important to take into account the realistic abilities and speeds of your entire group when planning.
    • How far and for how long do you plan to paddle each day? Knowing your speed and roughly how far you want to paddle each day will narrow down your route choices. 
    • Be flexible! Factors such as wind, current or weak paddlers in your group will cause plans to change. 
    • Know your options. If you are not sure you can make a certain destination, have a few options for camping on the route.
    • Ultimately, if you need the rental company to plan your entire trip, you should probably consider a guided tour or a lesson beforehand. We are happy to provide background information and local knowledge, but we simply do not have the time to help clients plan their entire trip at the launch site!
  • Finally, here are a few specific thoughts and recommendations:
    • Powell River Sea Kayak’s location in Okeover Inlet is in Penrose Bay on Crowther Road.
    • Paddlers launching from Okeover Inlet and heading into Desolation Sound must paddle through Malaspina Inlet. There is no access to Desolation Sound through Portage Cove at the head of Lancelot Inlet. This is Private Property and strictly enforced by the owner.
    • From the launchsite, Desolation Sound is approximately 6 nautical miles. Common camping areas in Desolation Sound (eg: Curme Islands) are roughly 10 nm from our Okeover launchsite. 
    • There are camping areas in Malaspina Inlet for those who cannot make it to the common Desolation Sound campsites.  The first area for camping (Grace Harbour) is roughly 1.5-2 hours from the launch site. 
  • Destinations beyond Desolation Sound include Cortes IslandRedonda IslandsToba Inlet and the Discovery IslandsThere are special considerations that need to be taken into account for areas beyond Desolation Sound and kayakers must be well experienced and knowledgeable with trip planning, seamanship and kayaking skills.  
  • Don’t be in a rush to get to a specific location. The joy is often in the journey – and there are some wonderful things to experience between the launch site and wherever you plan to go. If conditions change, making it difficult to get to your planned destination, don’t sweat it! Play it safe, find an alternate site, set-up camp and enjoy! 
  • If people are expecting you at a specific location and time and you can’t make it (due to wind, safety, injury, etc), let them know you are safe! This includes when returning on your last day. Call on your cell phone, flag down a motor vessel to relay a message via VHF and Coast Guard or whatever it takes to get your message through! Failure to do this will not only result in causing worry but will require dispatching Coast Guard or other valuable rescue services. 
  • Stay close to shore while paddling. Not only is this safer, but it is far more interesting than paddling in deep, open water.
  • If you make a crossing, be visible to on-coming boaters and stay in a tight formation. Choosing to cross at the shortest distance between two points helps to minimize risks posed by weather, inexperience and oncoming vessels.
  • Last but not least: do your homework – don’t expect the rental company to do it for you! Buy the chart or map for the area. Read the guide book(s), scale the distances, know your escape routes and your options. Be flexible. Plan your route based on your goals and consider the experience, skill and fitness of your group. Consider the weather and print the tides before you come (they’re free!). Our staff are experienced and knowledgable about the area and eager to pass it on, but they are busy. When you do need to ask questions of us, please be prepared with specific questions,  having done some previous research. That way you can help us to help you have a safe and enjoyable experience!
  • For detailed locations and descriptions of the new designated campsites in Desolation Sound Marine Park and the Copeland Islands Marine Park, print off this BC Parks map here.
  • Wildcoast’s Paddling Map for Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands is a useful tool  and reasonably priced. It not only shows camping throughout the Desolation Sound and Discovery Islands area, but it shows areas of interest, hiking and freshwater. Order Here.
  • The second recommendation is to buy the book: ‘Sea Kayak Desolation Sound and the Sunshine Coast’. Order Here.
  • A permit is required for camping within Desolation Sound Marine Park, Copeland Islands Marine Park and Malaspina Provincial Park. You can either purchase your permit online before you arrive, or you can use your smartphone when you arrive at the campsite. WE DO NOT SELL PERMITS for these park sites at our location.
  • Camping is only allowed in certain sites within the park that have been equipped with tent pads, pit toilets and basic picnic facilities. 
    • These sites cannot be reserved ahead of time and are on a first come, first serve basis. What happens if you arrive at your desired site and they are already full?
      • Firstly, you may be able to find some space (especially if you are a small group) at the desired site. Just because there are no tent pads left, doesn’t mean you can’t find room! Feather Cove and Tenedos Bay especially have ample flat space beyond the tent pads that are often used by campers when the pads are all full.
      • Secondly, in extreme circumstances, you may have to move to a separate area, beyond the designated sites themselves. While it is desirable that everyone who is camping in the park does so in designated campsites, safety is obviously of upmost priority. If the day is getting late or the conditions are unfavourable and the only other option is to paddle in the dark or out in winds beyond your ability as a kayaker, camping in a nearby, unofficial area will always be preferable to putting your safety at risk. In such circumstances, be respectful of the land (no fires or cutting of foliage) and plan to move on the next day at the earliest convenience.
  • There are some areas – both within and outside the marine parks – that are not open for public use. These include private land, shellfish leases, tour companies’ tenured sites, and areas that have been marked for environmental restoration. These tenured sites have been paid for and are used by various organizations to grow tourism in the Desolation area and the use of these sites or any structures thereon is prohibited. Most of these are clearly marked on maps or charts of the area, and some will have signage to indicate its classification as such. Some notable examples include.
    • The entirety of Mink Island, near the Curme Islands, which is privately owned.
    • Portage Cove at the head of Lancelot Inlet, which is privately owned and strictly enforced.
    • Various small shellfish leases near the mouth of Malaspina Inlet.
    • Previously popular campsites on the Copeland Islands which are currently undergoing environmental restoration. Two large sites have been developed for camping and day use at the top of the Copeland Islands to meet demand.
  • While there are many campsites available in the greater Desolation Sound area, some sites are more suited for large groups than others. Follow this link for the map of each park campsite and the number of tent pads on each site.
  • Read the “Kayaking Routes in the Desolation Sound Area” bullet point above before you set out. How far can you (or your group) paddle in a day? How far do you (or your group) want to paddle in a day? Are you all on the same page concerning trip expectations? Plan accordingly.
  • Leave no trace! Desolation Sound is an extremely fragile costal marine environment that gets a lot of traffic in summer months. There is no garbage collection available in this remote area. If you pack it in, make sure you pack it out! This includes food scraps and waste to deter wildlife from associating campsites with an easy meal.
  • Fires are not permitted in the marine or provincial parks in Desolation Sound unless there is a designated fire ring. At this point the only such rings are at Tenedos Bay and Roscoe Bay. Firewood is not provided and it is an offence to remove wood from the park for a fire. If camping on Crown Land, small fires are only permitted during periods of no fire bans. 
  • Parking is included in our Premium Rental Package!
    • Renters launching from our private Okeover launch site may park for free in the designated parking areas on the private property.
  • We are unable to accommodate non-renters with personal kayaks launching from our private location unless they are in a group with PRSK renters that have pre-booked.

We have a wide range of makes, brands and models of kayaks in our rental fleet:

  • Single or Double Kayaks?
    • Single kayaks offer a great range of freedom for the paddler. They typically are from 16’ to 18’ in length and can be manoeuvred close to shore with ease. In a single kayak, you are in sole control of where you go and the speed in which you get there. However, for novice or inexperienced kayakers, single kayaks may seem far less stable than a double kayak, which is wider, longer and sturdier in the water.
    • Double kayaks are typically around 20’ to 22’ in length and offer great stability for new or inexperienced kayakers. They are designed so that the person in the back operates the foot pedals that steer the kayak, while the person in the front takes the role of the ‘navigator’, alerting their partner of any obstacles in the water ahead. Communication is key in a double kayak, and the ‘freedom’ associated with a single kayak is somewhat mitigated. If both parties are in agreement a double kayak is a great way to get around, with a reduced workload. If however a conflict arises as to the direction or speed of the paddling, troubles can ensue. They don’t call double kayaks ‘divorce boats’ for nothing! 
    • While two single kayaks can conceivably carry more gear than one double, a double kayak has a very large centre hatch that can fit even the most bulky of items, such as saucepans or overly large sleeping bags.
    • One thing to keep in mind is that double kayaks are heavier and bulkier than single kayaks, and can be challenging for some people to carry longer distances as a couple or group of two.
  • Plastic or Fibreglass?
    • The main reason people will choose to paddle a plastic kayak over a fibreglass kayak – apart from the small difference in price – is the sturdiness of the plastic boats, which are less likely to be badly damaged on our rocky coastline. This is not to say that you can drag them up and down the beach without damage, but a plastic kayak can offer a paddler some peace of mind when it comes to launching and landing, and entering and exiting, the kayak.
    • Performance wise, a fibreglass kayak is quite a bit lighter, quicker and more responsive in the water, more comfortable to paddle, and can generally carry more gear on longer trips (depending on the make and model). While more fragile than the plastic boats, with just a little care one can easily avoid the hull damage that is often associated with a fibreglass kayak. All in all, a fibreglass kayak is of better quality, and slightly higher price, than a plastic boat.
  • Brands and Models in our rental fleet
    • Nimbus Kayaks:
      • Single Kayaks
        • Telkwa & Telkwa Sport
        • Njak
        • Solander
        • Lootas
        • Seafarer
      • Double Kayaks:
        • Skana (3 hatches)
        • Hyak (2 hatches)
    • Seaward Kayaks
      • Single Kayaks
        • Ascente HV
        • Tyee
        • Chilco
        • Shadow (Skeg)
      • Double Kayaks:
        • Passat G3 (3 hatches)
    • Current Designs Kayaks
      • Single Kayaks:
        • Nomad HV
        • GTS
        • GTXL
        • Squall
        • Storm
    • Boreal Designs Kayaks
      • Single Kayaks:
        • Saguenay
        • Nanook
        • Alvik
      • Double Kayaks:
        • Esperanto (3 hatches, but centre hatch has no bulkhead separating rear cockpit)
  • How do we allocate kayaks?
    • When booking, rental guests will be asked (in person or on the booking form) for the relative heights and weights of everyone in their group. We then use this information in conjunction with things like the length of trip and experience of the renter to fit each guest into an appropriate kayak for their trip.
    • If renters would like to request a specific kayak, we will do our best to accommodate their request. However we may need to change if a kayak becomes unavailable due to damage or unforeseen circumstance. In this case, we will do our best to find a suitable replacement and will inform the renter of the change.
  • There is no need to transport kayaks from our shop to the water. We have a private waterfront location in Okeover Inlet, so you can show up and launch with the minimum of hassle. From here it is a relatively relaxed day-paddle or less into Desolation Sound.
  • Damages to kayaks often occurs during vehicle transport, even if you think you are being careful!
  • Our policy if you wish to transport kayaks on your vehicle:
    • Kayak damage prevention is essential. This will only be allowed if the renters have all of the following:
      • Must have roof racks
      • Must have kayak cradles (eg, foam V- or U-shaped cradles)
      • Must have plenty of rope or webbing to tie the kayak down twice across the middle as well as the bow and the stern
      • Anyone transporting kayaks will be required to sign a damage agreement and provide a credit card, agreeing to a charge up to the replacement cost of the kayak
    • No roof rack + cradle + rope = NO TRANSPORT
    • Kayaks cannot be transported in the back of a pick up truck
  • If you wish to transport kayaks on water (i.e. into Desolation Sound):
    • We do not have a boat that can transport kayaks into Desolation Sound and other areas.
    • There are no regular operators of such a service in this area.
    • We are not able to arrange third party transport for you.
    • Transporting kayaks on a motor vessel is generally cost prohibitive due to high costs of fuel and the fact that large boats are required to handle the substantial size and weight of kayaks, people and gear. 
    • As the renter, you are liable for any damage that occurs to kayaks or gear during the transportation.
    • If you are able to find someone to transport the kayaks on a boat, renters are required to provide their own padding as motor vessel operators will not have the required paddling to safely transport kayaks.
      • A PFD is never to be substituted for actual padding!
    • Anyone transporting kayaks will be required to sign a damage agreement and provide a credit card, agreeing to a charge up to the replacement cost of the kayak.
  • We recommend paddling to your destination. Enjoy the journey  and don’t miss out on all the great stuff in-between!
  • We do not allow non-renters with personal kayaks to launch from our private location.
    • The Okeover Government Wharf is located 5 minutes down the road from our location (just beyond the Laughing Oyster Restaurant on Malaspina Road) and is a great place to launch personal kayaks for accessing Desolation Sound, including paid parking.
  • For those with personal kayaks in a group that includes people renting kayaks from Powell River Sea Kayak:
    • A $10 site use and launch fee applies per person if booked online ($12 in person on the day)
    • A $8 per day vehicle fee applies for those who wish to park at our location if booked online ($10 in person on the day)
      • If you are launching with renters and you arrived in the same vehicle, only the launch fee applies
      • If you are launching with renters and came in your own vehicle, both launch and parking fees apply
    • These launch and parking fees need to be booked online before the rental. You can either add these fees on to a current rental booking, or book these yourself individually at the booking widget below.
    • We only allow personal kayaks to launch with renters if there is a ratio of (or less than) 1 rental kayak : 1 personal kayak.
  • What do these site use fees get you?
    • Unparalleled access to Desolation Sound from our waterfront launch-site adjacent to Desolation Sound Marine Park.
    • Safe and secure parking on our private property.
    • Access to our hardworking and knowledgable staff with unbeatable experience kayaking in Desolation Sound.
    • Lodging an official itinerary / float plan with PRSK in case of emergency / late return.
    • The ability to purchase or rent last minute necessities for your trip, such as dry bags, water and dromedaries, some camping gear, books, etc.
  • Hours of operation are strict for renters AND non-renters alike: 
    • Open: 8:30am 
      • If you arrive before, please wait outside the gate. This is private property and the people live on-site. 
    • Closed: 4:30pm
      • This is the latest return time. 
      • Staff close the gate at 5pm. All renters and non-renters must vacate by this time.
      • Personal kayakers are not permitted to return alone (without their group) outside of our operating hours.
  • If the thought of planning, packing and cooking food for you and your friends and family on a wilderness-based kayak trip is overwhelming, you might want to check out our fantastic, fully-inclusive guided tours before you book your rental kayaks. We take care of everything and let you soak in the atmosphere of Desolation Sound without undue stress!
  • Our kayaks are large, touring kayaks that have plenty of hatch room to transport food and cooking equipment for a week or more. You don’t need to spend the week eating ramen noodles or reheated mac and cheese – if care is taken to avoid direct exposure to sunlight, coolers keep perishable items fresh and cool in the hulls of the kayaks for up to a week or more. Kayaking is not like backpacking; the large storage capacities of the kayaks enable you to put together surprisingly creative meals if you are so inclined!
  • That said, you may need to be somewhat selective in what you bring. A good meal plan is essential to ensure you aren’t bringing along too much – or too little – food.
  • There are a number of large grocery stores in Powell River (30 minutes south of our launch site) that can provide you with everything you will possibly need for a week or more on the water. Some of these are:
    • Save On Foods – 7100 Alberni St, Powell River
    • Freshco (formerly Safeway) – 7040 Barnet Street, Powell River
    • Quality Foods – 4871 Joyce Ave, Powell River
    • Mitchell Brothers – 5687 Manson Ave, Powell River
    • Ecossentials – 6812 Alberni Street, Powell River
  • There is nothing to purchase at our launch site in Okeover Inlet. If you have forgotten something or need any last minute items there are two options north of Powell River that provide basic essential grocery items:
    • Stockpile Market (formerly the Lund Store) – Behind the Lund Resort
    • Tla’amin Convenience Store – 5245 Lund Highway, Sliammon
  • A general rule when on overnight kayaking trips is to plan to bring enough food for the duration of your trip, and then one or two days worth of extra food (bulk items such as rice or quinoa is good, as these do not spoil quickly) in case of emergency or delay in returning due to weather.
  • While the hulls of the kayaks are quite cool and can keep food fresh for a surprising length of time, it is always best to plan to use any quickly perishable items early in the trip. Chicken, fish, leafy green vegetables, fresh herbs, etc, are prone to spoiling and should be consumed early to avoid this.
  • In addition to the food, don’t neglect to plan to bring any utensils you might need, such as the stove, pots and pans, plates and bowls, cups and cutlery!
  • Note: Renters are required to bring their own fresh water with them to the launch-site. We have a shallow well and are unable to provide fresh water to renters if they arrive empty handed.
    • We do have a limited supply of pre-filled water dromedaries that can be added to your booking and we can rent you if required, however we highly recommend planning to bring your own.
  • Unless you’re going for longer than a week, we highly recommend bringing all your water with you in the kayaks. There are many types of containers on the market these days, although flexible containers are best as they fit better into the kayak and can breakdown for storage once empty. 
  • How much water is enough? 3 Litres per person per day is the typical, recommended amount. However, this should be adjusted depending on personal needs as well as type of food being cooked (ie: pasta needs more water to boil) and air temperature (ie: will you need to drink a lot due to perspiration).  
  • Where can we fill-up?
    • We cannot fill water containers or dromedaries for renters at our launch-site. Please fill your containers at home and bring them with you.
    • In Desolation Sound, there are limited options for filling your water containers, and if you are planning on spending an extended amount of time out there we highly recommend you plan your trip accordingly!
    • Fresh water can be obtained at Grace Harbour, Tenedos Bay, Roscoe Bay, Teakerne Arm, and from the stores at Refuge Cove and Squirrel Cove.
    • All water obtained from lakes or streams should be treated before consuming!
  • Click here to see the recommended packing list determined by the Sea Kayak Guide’s Alliance of British Columbia. While this list is exhaustive and not everything contained on it is required for a rental trip, it is a great resource to check your gear against and make sure you don’t leave anything important at home!
  • For more packing tips, including how and where to pack a kayak, please read our Essential Preparations page.

The fjords and channels north of Desolation Sound are immensely beautiful but very remote and challenging for even expert kayakers. Please read the information on this page for information about these challenges before planning your trip!

  • The following distances are provided in nautical miles (1.15 status miles) and kilometres.
    • All distances are approximate and dependent on exact route followed.
  • From Penrose Bay (PRSK launch site in Okeover Inlet)
    • Grace Harbour (campsite): 3.5 nm (6.5 km)
    • Hare Point: 4.8 nm (9 km)
    • Feather Cove: 6 nm (11km)
    • Curme Islands: 9.5 nm (17.5 km)
    • Bold Head: 10.3 nm (19 km)
    • Tenedos Bay: 11.5 nm (21.3 km)
    • Copeland Islands: 9.4 nm (17.5 km)
    • Kinghorn Island: 7.5 nm (14 km)
    • Martin Islands: 9.2 nm (17 km)
    • Lund: 12.5 nm (23 km)
    • Black Lake / Roscoe Bay: 13 nm (24 km)
    • Theodosia Inlet: 4.5 nm (8.3 km)
    • Teakerne Arm (waterfall): 13 nm (24 km)
  • Other common routes:
    • Copeland Islands to Curme Islands: 7.5 nm (14 km)
    • Hare Point to Curme Islands: 5 nm (9.25 km)
    • Curme Islands to Tenedos Bay (campsite & trail): 2.4 nm (4.5 km)
    • Curme Islands to Black Lake / Roscoe Bay: 3.7 nm (9 km)
  • An average kayak speed for a single kayak is 1.5-3 miles an hour, while for a double is 1-4 miles an hour
  • Factors that affect paddling speed: wind, current, experience.
  • Here is some basic information about the weather in the Desolation area:
    • The wind is not necessarily calm in the morning and strong in the afternoon – unless you are paddling the Coast Mountain inlets. For the Desolation Sound area, winds are based on the pressure gradient. That is, a change in air pressure signals wind – and a general change in weather. A few key points:
      • Low pressure means:
        • The winds will come from the SE
        • This usually means rain is current or forthcoming
        • SE winds can funnel up Okeover Inlet and into Penrose Bay and Desolation Sound
      • High Pressure means:
        • The winds come from the NW
        • This usually means sunny skies
        • NW winds will travel down Malaspina Inlet into Okeover
    • The cool, wet winters of the BC coast generally give way to clear, dry summers. However, that doesn’t mean we are immune to rain at this time! 
    • Some of the best trips are the wettest trips, but good gear is essential. However, perhaps the most essential item is simply a great attitude. It can make a wet trip wonderful – and – it can make a sunny trip miserable. 
  • Like everywhere on the coast the weather in Desolation Sound can change rapidly and with little warning. Marine weather statements and forecasts are updated 4 times every day and broadcast continuously. The Desolation Sound area is under the geographic category ‘Strait of Georgia, North of Nanaimo’. It is essential that you have some way of checking the updated marine weather forecasts every day, either by:
    • Carrying a VHF radio and listening to channel 8.
    • Checking the updates online using a smartphone here. Most areas of Desolation Sound have good cell service, and we suggest bookmarking this forecast for your trip.
  • Generally, a 15 knot wind is when you begin to see consistent white-capped wind waves, and is beyond the levels of novice kayakers, especially when making long, open crossings. 
  • Choosing a route that avoids long crossings and makes use of the leeward sides of islands, shorelines and headlines can mitigate some of the risk of paddling in moderate winds. However, care should always be taken and it is crucial to understand that wind can and does change rapidly – just because the wind is nominal when you set out, doesn’t mean it will remain so for the duration of your paddle, or even just the length of your crossing. Listening to and understanding weather forecasts is essential when planning and running a trip, before and during.
  • For the updated 7 day forecast for the Desolation Sound area, click here.
  • Free Printable Tide Tables (link). 
    • Click the above link to take you to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans page for the local tides. Enter your dates, click the query button, and voila!, you have the tides in a printable version for your trip. 
    • You can also access this information on your smart phone while on the water. Desolation Sound has good cell phone access for most service providers (though it can be patchy in some areas, and it is always a good idea to have a hard copy of important information just in case).
    • Note: the above link will auto-load for tides based in Lund, BC – which is fine for most areas around Desolation Sound. If you plan to go further, for example into the Discovery Islands, you may need to enter a different tide site.
  • Understanding Currents: 
    • Tides are not currents, but they are related!
    • Currents (horizontal movement) in the Desolation Sound area are not exceptionally strong – and you will therefore not find any currents listed in the official Current Tables.
    • The strongest area of active currents in the Desolation area occurs in Malaspina Inlet. Currents here can reach up to 3 knots at their maximum flow. While this is not particularly dangerous, if you are not a strong paddler it may be wise to plan your trip to avoid these times. 
    • As water floods in or ebbs out of Malaspina Inlet, in certain areas as it passes over rocks, or around corners or islands, ‘eddies’ are formed. These are areas in the inlet where the water actually flows in the reverse direction of the main current, and can be very useful for a kayaker should they be able to read the water and use them to their advantage to pass through the area against the main flow. Generally, these eddies occur in the lee side of islands in the inlet or in shallow bays and coves along the shoreline. By ‘hopping’ from eddy to eddy a kayaker can pass through stretches of moderate currents with far less resistance.
    • Another general rule to remember is that currents tend to be stronger in the middle of an inlet than along the shoreline. However this is not always the case, as currents are also quicker wherever the flow of water is restricted, and can whip around corners or islands or on top of reefs and rocks at fast speeds.
  • Understanding Tides
    • Tides (vertical movement) rise and fall – but are not potentially dangerous like currents. However, it is useful to know when the tides will be high or low for launching / landing purposes. 
    • Desolation Sound sits at the confluence of tides that flow around both sides of Vancouver island. If you are entering Desolation Sound from the south (i.e. from Okeover or Lund), the main flow of water floods north from the Straight of Georgia into Desolation Sound and then into Malaspina / Okeover Inlet. If you are entering Desolation Sound from Lund, a flood tide will aid you, while if you are entering from Okeover, the ebb will be your friend. Keep in mind that in some areas the water can flow in counter-intuitive directions. Water flowing over reefs, rocks, islands, etc, can cause eddies and other irregularities that can cause it to move in unexpected directions!
    • Note: As you paddle into the waters north of Desolation Sound, the tidal flow switches, as water floods around the northern tip of Vancouver Islands into Desolation Sound from the north, and ebbs in the reverse direction.
  • Please note: This is not intended to be a lesson on tides and currents! It is merely intended to highlight some of the factors to consider when paddling in this or any area. For more detailed instruction and information you can always ask about our practical lessons for both beginners and intermediate paddlers, or inquire about our fabulous guided kayak tours with fully-certified guides.

For those who wish to camp near our launch site in Okeover Inlet prior to or following a trip to Desolation Sound there are a number of options:

  • Okeover Arm Provincial Park – 14 vehicle / tent sites a mere 2 kilometres up Crowther road from our Okeover location with fire rings, outhouses and picnic areas. 
  • SunLund-By-The-Sea – Locally owned private campground with powered sites, fire rings and picnic tables at each site, located in Lund. Wifi, showers, washrooms and laundry service is available.
  • Willingdon Beach Campsite – Private, oceanfront campsite located in the heart of Powell River, 30 minutes south of our location. Powered and unpowered sites, showers, washrooms, laundry services, picnic areas, fire pits, Wifi and more!
  • Saltery Bay Provincial Park – Just off the ferry on the Upper Sunshine Coast, perfect for those that get to the area late the day before their tour or rental. One hour from our launch-site in Okeover Inlet.

For those who wish to do some detailed research on Desolation Sound before arriving, or those who are looking for some quality reading material for the trip itself, we have some great book recommendations: 

  • ‘Adventures in Solitude: What not to wear to a nude potluck and other stories of Desolation Sound’ by CBC host and author Grant Lawrence. A hilarious and eye-opening read about the history and culture of Desolation Sound – from the early pioneers to Vietnam draft dodgers to new-age back-to-the-landers. Order Here. 
  • ‘Desolation Sound: A History’, by Heather Harbord. Detailed and impeccably researched historical overview of every corner of Desolation Sound, with particular focus on the pioneering European men and women (and their families) and the struggles they faced. Order Here.
  • ‘The Curve of Time’, by M. Wylie Blanchett. Classic sailing memoir of a determined woman and her young family and their yearly exploration of the British Columbia coast – much of it set in and around the waters of Desolation Sound, including some of the most beautiful writing about the area you’ll ever encounter. Order Here.
  • ‘Whelks to Whales: Coastal Marine Life of the Pacific North West’, by Rick M. Harbo. A colourful, handheld compendium of some of the fascinating marine wildlife found in the waters of Desolation Sound. A fantastic accompaniment to anyone planning on snorkelling or exploring tidal pools. A great educational tool for kids as well! Order Here.
  • There are numerous opportunities to hike for short or long periods in the Desolation Sound area.
  • The most accessible trail is the Sunshine Coast Trail, which touches the coast at Feather Cove and Cochrane Bay and can lead to expansive lookouts or hidden lakes. Other trails can be found at Unwin Lake in Tenedos Bay, Black Lake in Roscoe Bay and Cassel Lake in the Teakerne Arm.
  • Wildcoast Publishing’s Desolation Sound map includes many of the accessible trails in the Desolation Sound area and can be ordered here.
  • It is important to always remember that when kayaking in Desolation Sound – or anywhere along the British Columbia coast – you are sharing the land with wild animals such as bears, wolves, cougars, deer, raccoons and other animals. Care must be taken to minimise any potential risks associated with these animals, from food preparation and storage to camping and hiking practices.
  • Always store your food properly to avoid attracting wild animals to your camp. Set up a bear-bag and hang your food far from ground level whenever you are not in camp or have retired to your tent. Set up your tents away from the kitchen area, and don’t wear the same clothes you cooked in to bed to avoid any lingering smells on your clothing.
  • If you plan to do any hiking or inland exploring on your trip, bear spray and bear bangers are good devices that can deter any wild animals that take too keen an interest in you or your camp. Please note that it is important you read the instructions and are confident using such devices to minimize the chances of any negative wildlife interaction! Misaimed bear spray can temporarily blind a human (and sting like crazy), while a mistimed banger can startle or enrage an animal to attack. Bear spray and bangers should only be used as a last resort.
  • When hiking, make plenty of noise (laugh, sing, talk loudly) to alert any nearby wildlife of your presence. It is invariably when wildlife is startled by sudden encroaches on their personal space – or from habituation to human presence – that incidents occur.
  • Desolation Sound offers great opportunities to harvest fresh seafood, including oysters, clams, mussels and crab. However there are some things you need to be aware of before you go down and pick your appetizers off the beach.
    • Red Tide – or Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning – is the result of an algal bloom that occurs usually in the warmer months, and affects the edibility of bivalve shellfish, including oysters, clams and mussels. The shellfish filter the microorganisms and accumulate the toxins at levels that can be fatal for human consumption. When concentrated in high numbers in the ocean this phenomenon can be visible as a red or dark cloud in coastal waters – however, just because it is not visible does not mean that it is safe to consume shellfish! 
      • The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, in conjunction with the commercial shellfish industry, constantly updates the status of red tide along the coast, and this information can change rapidly. Just because there is no red tide when you leave on a trip, doesn’t mean there is no red tide on day five! 
      • If you are planning to harvest shellfish, it is crucial you check the updated report before you do so. You can do this on a smartphone at this website
      • Alternatively, the information is recorded at this phone number: 1-866-431-3474
      • When harvesting shellfish, it is important to correctly identify the species you are harvesting and checking it off against the red tide report, as some species retain the toxins for longer than others, and many species look very similar to the untrained harvester!
  • It is important that you have the appropriate fishing licence to be legally able to harvest seafood or fish in these waters. If you fail to own a licence – or do not have it have it on you if the Department of Fisheries comes calling – you are liable to receive large fines and even the confiscation of your kayaks! Information on where to buy a licence, fees and rules relating to limitations can be found here.
  • Finally, there are certain areas that fishing or harvesting is off-limits or highly discouraged. This can be because the area falls under a private lease, is a designated exclusion zone, or due to health reasons arising from high density of pleasure craft in certain protected coves and bays. For detailed information about these areas, click here.
  • While you are heading into a remote area, Desolation Sound has fairly good cell service throughout. Service can be patchy, however, in certain areas, and it is a good idea to have more than one line of communication with the outside world (i.e. cell phone, VHF radio, satellite phone, SPOT, etc).
  • One area where you will not receive any cell service is at our launch site in Okeover Inlet.
  • Cell service quickly cuts out if you are heading beyond Desolation towards Toba Inlet, especially in Waddington and Homfray Channels directly north of the Sound. 
  • Youth and School Groups can present additional, unique challenges for PRSK with regards to risk management and due diligence.
  • Youth and School Groups wishing to rent kayaks from PRSK are required to read this linked information about our policies and requirements for trip leaders and are encouraged to contact us directly before making a booking so we can discuss any concerns we may have and ensure a fun, and above all safe, experience for all participants.
  • Please see above for rental rates.
  • As a policy, we do not provide official verbal quotes (over phone or in-person). For consistency and to avoid any miscommunication, official quotes are only provided by management via email correspondence.
  • Official quotes are only provided for unusual circumstances (such as larger groups, longer rentals, discounts, etc).
  • Before arriving at our site, each member of your rental party will need to fill out an online Rental Agreement and Waiver Form, as well as an online float plan. This includes:
    • A standard waiver of liability
    • A ‘float plan’ containing information about your level of experience, your intended route and campsites, your emergency contact information and some personal information that we can access when in contact with emergency or rescue services should an accident occur or you fail to return at your stated time.
  • Here is a link to our online Rental Liability Waiver for you to complete before arriving. 
  • Here is a link to our online Float Plan for you to also complete before arriving.

Book Now

Before making your rental application, be sure to have read through all tabs on our rental page, including the Renter’s Checklist, so that you are familiar with all our rental policies.

Below you can check availability or book kayaks and optional gear.

To check availability / make a rental application:

  1. Select the product desired in the tabs at the top.
  2. Select dates in the calendar.
  3. Click ‘Availability’ to check the number of available items for the dates selected, or ‘Book Now’ to be taken to our Booking Form and Payment Screen.
  4. To book additional products (eg. additional kayaks or optional Add-Ons), you will need to click the ‘Add to Booking’ button on the booking page.
  5. Please contact our office at 604-483-2160 if the system indicates an item is unavailable, or if you have any other questions, and we will see what we can do to accommodate you.

Booking Confirmation:

  • Upon completing the reservation form, we will receive your Enquiry and you will receive a pre-confirmation email.
  • We will then review your reservation for safety and accuracy, including lesson and kayaking experience. If everything looks fine, your invoice will arrive via email within 24 hours.
  • To confirm your reservation, you must pay in full with a credit card after receiving the invoice (hit the ‘Pay Now’ button on invoice).
  • Our Cancellation Policy will be in effect from this time.
Booking Notes:
  • All prices are in CAD.
  • On-line booking discount of $10 applied at time of booking. Must also complete on-line forms (included in confirmation email) to receive the discount. Some restrictions apply.

Additional Charges May Apply:

  • In certain situations, additional charges may apply to a booking. These charges are not shown at this booking screen but will be added to the final payment. All these additional charges are described under the relevant sections of our website.

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Read our Renter's Checklist for key information before booking!