Frequently Asked Questions


Alki Kayak Tours works to provide a safe, comfortable paddling experience for everyone. We outfit you with a kayak or stand-up paddle board suitable for your size and experience level and provide you with all of the necessary equipment. Please read through our frequently asked questions, and don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any other burning questions!

  • Chevron down What gear or kayak equipment should I bring?
  • Alki Kayak Tours provides all sea kayaking equipment; you provide a sense for adventure. Besides that, please bring closed-toe shoes that you don’t mind getting wet, or sandals with a keeper strap. Be prepared for any weather with synthetic clothing and a water resistant jacket. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated, as well as a snack or two to keep your energy level up over a few hours of paddling. Sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses are always a good idea for UV protection, even on overcast days.

  • Chevron down Should I bring my phone, keys, and wallet with me?
  • The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t bring anything with you that you don’t want to lose or ruin, as capsizing is always a possibility. We do have free lockers and locks for your time on the water. If you want to bring your phone to take pictures, we sell floating dry bags that allow you to take pictures from your phone while out on the water. These are one for $13 or two for $20.

  • Chevron down What if I have never been in a sea kayak?
  • No experience is necessary! If you are comfortable with a couple of hours of outdoor physical activity, you should be fine. You don’t need to know how to swim. While our trips are not designed to be strenuous, generally good physical condition is needed.

  • Chevron down What about capsizing?
  • Our sea kayaks provide a stable paddling platform, and capsizes are rare. There are no “wet exits” required, and if you follow the guide’s instructions, you will be able to safely paddle through any conditions.

  • Chevron down Are there any age limits?
  • You must be 18 years or older to be able to use a kayak by yourself. If you are under 18, you must have a parent or guardian sign a waiver for you. If you are between the ages of 16 and 18, a parent does not have to be present, but if you are under the age of 16, a parent must be present in a kayak as well during the activity.

  • Chevron down I was blessed with ample hips; will I fit in the kayak?
  • You will be sitting in a confined cockpit for two to five hours at a time. Seats are generally 17 inches wide, and total kayak capacity is about 600 pounds for both paddlers. Come out early if you think you might want to see if you can comfortably sit in the kayak.

  • Chevron down What if the weather is nasty?
  • Contrary to popular belief, we have pretty darn awesome weather here in the NW if you are geared up correctly. We paddle rain or shine, so bring your breathable rain jacket with a hood. We use spray skirts, and paddling in the NW is a year-round activity. We have a micro-climate rain shadow effect here in West Seattle and are positioned so that southerly low pressure systems break over the peninsula, and we have a “donut hole” of blue over our shop while it may be raining in north/south and east of us. But yes, it does get stormy occasionally, and we will call off trips due to high winds or unsafe conditions.

  • Chevron down What about stand-up paddle boarding? Can I do that?
  • Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a great way to gain a different perspective and appreciation for our marine environment! While the likelihood of falling in the water is greater on an SUP, our staff will help size you to the correct board for stability and enjoyment. And don’t worry; you wear a leash connected to the board at all times, so you’ll never be without your SUP!

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Get ready for your trip! Visit our retail store Mountain to Sound Outfitters for all your kayak, SUP, and clothing needs.