Mainly kayaking photographs taken on the Isle of Man and beyond.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Sea Kayaking Isle of Man - Surge Rapids.

As you can see, Ian, Jess and myself spent today in the Manx tidal races. Regular viewers of this blog will quickly realise that there is nothing unusual in that. The three of us spend most of our paddling time surfing the Calf Sound tides. Blog is read by kayakers from around the World and I'm hoping that a few Canadian paddlers might view this post. In July and August I'll be headed off again to Vancouver Island in British Colombia. Unlike the last time I went, I won't be taking my Rockpool 3 piece kayak; it's just too difficult to get it there these days, and last time it got badly damaged in transit! Instead I'm going to rent boats, in particular in Tofino, Port Hardy and Quadra Island. I already know where I can lease boats from, but I really would like a British style boat such as a Nigel Denis Explorer or something similar. If you rent out such kayaks in any of the places listed above then please contact me here Finally, I would really like to paddle the infamous Surge Rapids off Quadra Island in a sea kayak. If any paddling companies based in the area provide organised trips to these tidal races then please contact me again here.


James said...

Hi John,

You have a few options for renting Brit-style boats here in BC:

Comox Valley Kayaks in Courtney on Vancouver Island ( - sorry, I don't know how to make the url clickable) sells and rents NDK boats. They should have an Explorer, Explorer HV, Romany, and Romany S/Surf. They also carry Valley boats, and probably have a Nordkapp on their fleet. Courtney is about an hour north of the highway turnoff to Tofino, but if you call ahead, they may be able to bring it to Parksville/Qualicum Beach, which is right where you would turn off Hwy 19 onto Hwy 4 to cross to the west coast of the island (and into paddling paradise!)

Barring that, if you are flying into Vancouver and renting a car for your trip, Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak ( in North Vancouver has an Explorer, Explorer HV, and Romany S/Surf in their fleet, and do long term rentals.

Ecomarine ( in Vancouver has Valley boats in their fleet, as well. I know they have an Aquanaut and a plastic Nordkapp, and may have a 'glass one available.

As for Surge Rapids, check out the community pages of WestCoastPaddler ( - I see you've already got the site listed in your "links" section!) and post in the "Paddling Partners" forum. WCP is a group of local paddlers who love to share information and plan trips. I know there are a few members who look for any excuse to go up and play at Surge Rapids. Not a company organized trip, but I'm sure you'll find someone who would love to join you; I would, but my skills aren't up to that level yet... :-)

Hope that helps...enjoy your trip in my neck of the woods!


John said...

Thanks James, some very useful and comprehensive information,