Frequently Asked Questions

Please keep in mind we require at least 24 hours’ notice for all cancellations. If you have any other questions, please email us at [email protected] or call the retail shop at 312.965.0035. Thank you for choosing Urban Kayaks to service your paddling needs.


 

TOUR INFORMATION

  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled tour time to use the washroom and stow items you don’t want to bring on the water.
  • Plan on being on the water for approximately 90 minutes.
  • A normal tour travels about 2.5 miles along the Chicago River, stopping frequently to rest and chat.

WATER/FOOD

  • It’s a good idea to bring a bottle of water and any other foods/snacks you may want during the tour.
  • We do sell beverages, food, and other kayaking essentials you may need.

APPROPRIATE WARM WEATHER CLOTHING


  • Beach attire is ideal, so think bathing suits/board shorts. In other words, plan on getting wet.
  • Flip flops or sandals also are a great idea.
  • Sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen are all suggested.
  • We have a room where you can change into and out of clothes you plan on wearing on the water.

APPROPRIATE COLD WEATHER CLOTHING

  • Spring skiing attire is appropriate.
  • Waterproof pants/jacket.
  • Gloves/hat also are suggested.
  • We have a room where you can change into and out of clothes you plan on wearing on the water.

CLOTHING

  • Keep in mind we will be kayaking through downtown Chicago. Do not wear nice/dressy clothing. If you plan on going out after kayaking, bring a change of clothes.
  • The chances of tipping our kayaks is extremely low, however, you will get wet. Please dress appropriately.
  • Wear athletic clothing, preferably no jeans or cotton pants. You’ll be happy you did once off the water.
  • Water-resistant clothing/quick-drying materials are suggested.
  • We have a customer changing room on-site for your convenience.
  • Protect your skin and wear sunscreen.

STORAGE/BATHROOMS

  • We have a few portable toilets on site.
  • Locker rentals are available on-site for a minimal fee. Free open-air “cubbies” also are available.
  • Bring all belongings at your own risk. We are not responsible for valuables lost or damaged during the outing.
  • We do not provide free dry bags, but we do sell them for $6. Please plan accordingly for any electronics or other valuables you wish to keep dry.

GUIDED TOURS: ALL PARTICIPATING INDIVIDUALS MUST...

  • Be at least 18 years of age or be accompanied by a parent or guardian who can give consent on your behalf.
  • Be physically able to perform the basic tasks necessary to paddle safely.
  • Be willing to sign a release of liability and indemnity waiver.
  • Be willing to disclose any and all medical conditions that may inhibit your ability to participate safely.
  • Be capable of understanding and communicating with the staff and accompanying tour members.

RENTALS: ALL PARTICIPATING INDIVIDUALS MUST...

  • Be at least 18 years of age or be accompanied by a parent or guardian who can give consent on your behalf.
  • Be physically able to perform the basic tasks necessary to paddle safely.
  • Be willing to sign a release of liability and indemnity waiver.
  • Be willing to disclose any and all medical conditions that may inhibit your ability to participate safely.
  • Have had prior experience paddling a kayak on flat water and demonstrate proficient skills before entering the water.

AGE RESTRICTIONS

  • In order to paddle a single kayak as an unguided rental you must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Teenagers 15-17 may paddle single kayaks in guided or supervised situations with parental consent.
  • Children under 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in a tandem (two-person) kayak.
  • Children who weigh under 50 pounds must ride in a toddler seat between two adults. Toddler life vests are limited, so if you have one, bring it! Only very experienced paddlers can/should bring toddlers with them on the river.
  • All minors must have signed liability waivers and parental consent.

EQUIPMENT INFORMATION

  • A single kayak holds one person and has a weight capacity of up to 250 pounds.
  • For those who are bigger, our tandem kayaks can be converted for a single kayaker.
  • A tandem kayak can hold one or two people and has a weight capacity of up to 550 pounds.
  • Life vests and paddles are included with all tours and rentals.