Hiring sea kayaks on Shetland

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Hiring sea kayaks on Shetland

Post by jonf »

Hi Sea Kayak forumers,

I am a long time silent UKRGB member who was mostly active in the whitewater pages when I was a student. Recently I have been getting hooked on sea kayaking, and I was hoping to get some help from your collective wisdom.

I currently live on the continent and am without access to a car. Myself and two friends are looking to fly into Lerwick and hire some sea kayaks for a week of trips around Shetland. I did some internet research and couldn't find anywhere that it is possible to rent sea kayaks without also renting a guide. Can the forums confirm whether or not it is possible to rent just sea kayaks from somewhere on Shetland?

Thanks in advance,


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Re: Hiring sea kayaks on Shetland

Post by MartinW »

I don't know whether he rents out boats to independent paddlers, but I can heartily recommend Angus Nicol of Sea Kayak Shetland. I spent two highly memorable days paddling with him in Shetland at reasonable cost. If there are three of you then the cost of guiding, which includes all equipment, should work out very reasonable and you have the added benefit that he knows all the best spots and can match the trips to suit the prevailing conditions.
After the trips he also sent me loads of excellent photos of the two days which serve to cheer me up when I'm having a bad day at the office.
Rockpool Alaw Bach

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Jim Tait
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Re: Hiring sea kayaks on Shetland

Post by Jim Tait »

Hi Jon,

Theres nowhere here to hire kayaks independantly I'm afraid and without a car, you''ll be severely limited in what you can do, unless you're planning a complete circumnavigation?
Would it be an option to join one of the guided trips up here? I know Glenmore Lodge have coe up in the past, and there are one or two other groups that come up as well. (sorry, that I can't be more specific than that)


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Re: Hiring sea kayaks on Shetland

Post by lg18 »

If you can't/don't want to have a "guide", I wonder if you could join the Shetland Canoe Club as a fully paid up member and then go out with them as they have kayaks and trailer etc, or even perhaps go on your own as a member? I don't know if this is possible and might be a bit cheeky but worth finding out from the Club itself perhaps? Jim do you know?

Jim's comment about a car is spot on. Essential. Shetland is a big place, with a gazillion amazing things to see, even off the water... There are 3 hire car companies, but once when I asked one of them if they did roof bars they replied, "no we don't because if we did we know you'd use them!". Still worth asking around though.

Alternatively, if you can get hold of kayaks elsewhere, consider taking the boat from Aberdeen (either trolley the kayaks on, or hire a car with roof bars in Scotland and take that (at great expense) on the boat?). (To be honest, depending on how long you're visiting for, it might be cheaper to go with Angus as a guide, and he's a very quiet, low-key guy and his local knowledge could be invaluable).

I hope you manage to sort something as it's quite a nice place to paddle.

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Re: Hiring sea kayaks on Shetland

Post by jamesl2play »

Can I suggest that you contact Martin Rickard at http://www.seakayakadventures.co.uk
He is a very experienced Coach/Guide/paddler and he is based on Shetland at this time of year.
I have paddled with him many times recently and he is a really nice guy.
Hope he can help.

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