Baltimore-area outfitters rent out bikes, canoes, paddleboards and more
By By Kit Waskom Pollard and For The Baltimore Sun
Apr 25, 2013 at 9:08 AM
Spring is a time for new beginnings, and that includes new hobbies.
As the air gets warmer and the days last longer, it's the perfect time to try out a new outdoor sport. The Baltimore region offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun, from biking to paddleboarding.
Thanks to local retailers that rent sporting equipment, budding outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen can try out new hobbies without investing too much money.
Gary Weeden, of Annapolis boat and bike rental shop Paddle or Pedal, likens renting to test-driving a car. "Before you spend your money, this is a great way to try things out. Like with cars: Before you buy, rent and say, 'This is what I like and don't like.' "
"If someone hasn't been on a bicycle for a while, and they're not sure of the type of bike they'll want to purchase, we offer several types they can try out at low cost," adds Jim White of Monkton Bikes.
Weeden also notes that, especially with boats, some people prefer long-term renting over buying. "You can try it out and decide if you want to go through the hassle of cleaning, storing and taking care of your own boat," he says.
Renters of outdoor sporting equipment agree that ultimately, one of the best things about their business is that it helps people discover sports.
"We just encourage people to try things," says Weeden. "It's not too big of an investment, so you can just try it and enjoy."
We rounded up some of the diverse sporting rental companies in the Baltimore region to get you started on that new hobby.
Annapolis Canoe & Kayak
Annapolis Canoe & Kayak rents variety of kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards from their shop near the water in the Eastport neighborhood of Annapolis.
Contact: 213 N. Juniata St., Havre de Grace. 443-502-2377; billersbikes.com
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Rates: $15 per four hours, $28 per day
Chester River Kayaking Adventures
Chester River Kayaking Adventures rents single and tandem kayaks and organizes guided paddles near its location in Rock Hall.
What They Rent: Kayaks
Contact: 5758 Main St., Rock Hall. 410-639-2001; crkayakadventures.com
Hours: Call for seasonal hours.
Rates: $40-$52 per half-day; $60-$68 per full day; $80-$88 per 24-hour period
Columbia Paddleboats rents traditional paddleboats and character boats in the form of swans, dragons and ducks for use on Lake Kittamaqundi.
What They Rent: Paddleboats
Contact: Lake Kittamaqundi, 10221 Winocopin Circle, Columbia. 301-370-5105; columbiapaddleboats.com
Hours: Spring and October: Saturday-Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m; Summer: Monday-Friday, 4 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.; September: Saturday-Sunday (and Labor Day), 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Rates: $15-$20 per 30 minutes
East of Maui
This Annapolis surf shop rents a variety of kayaks, surfboards, windsurfers and stand-up paddleboards and offers lessons.
What They Rent: Kayaks, surfboards, shortboards, windsurfers, stand-up paddleboards
Contact: 2303 Forest Drive, Suite E, Annapolis. 410-573-9463; eastofmauiboardshop.com
Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Rates: Stand-up paddleboards: $40-$75 per day. Windsurfers: $125 per day, $30 per week. Surfboards: $25 per day, $100 per week. Kayaks: $30-$50 per day, $125-$200 per week
Hunt Valley Village/Chakra Cycle Station
From its location near the Northern Central Railroad trail, Hunt Valley Village rents a variety of bikes (including kid cruisers, carts and tag-a-longs) and river tubes. The Village also has a concession stand.
What They Rent: Bicycles, river tubes
Contact: 1235R Paper Mill Road, Hunt Valley. 410-527-9997; chakracyclesstation.com
Hours: Monday-Friday, by reservation; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to dusk
Rates: $5-$12 per hour; $20-$40 per full day (weekday and weekend rates may vary)
Inner Harbor Paddleboats
Located at Pier 1, Inner Harbor Paddleboats rents traditional and "Chessie" paddleboats, as well as electric boats, for use in the Inner Harbor.
Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Columbia location open until 7 p.m.)
Rates: Tents: $20-$40 per day plus a $100 deposit; backpacks: $10-$20; sleeping bags: $15; sleeping pads: $8-$10. Discounted rates for member.
South River Boat Rentals
Located near Annapolis on the South River, South River Boat Rentals offers sail and powerboat rentals and charters.
What They Rent: Sailboats, powerboats, tubes, water skis, fishing equipment
Contact: 2802 Solomons Island Road, Edgewater. 410-956-9729; southriverboatrentals.com
Hours: Full day rentals: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Half-day rentals: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Rates: Sailboats: $160-$500 per half-day, $300-$900 per full day, $1,200-$2,300 per week; Powerboats: $500-$700 per half-day, $800-$1200 per full day; captains and instructors available for $100 per half-day and $200 per full day; tubes: $40 per day; water skis: $40 per day; fishing equipment: $40 for a four-person setup.
SunTime Rentals rents powerboat-oriented watersports equipment, from the boats themselves to water skis, on the South River near Annapolis.
What They Rent: Powerboats, jet skis, tubes, wakeboards, water skis, kneeboards
Contact: 2820 Solomons Island Road, Edgewater. 410-266-6020; suntimerentals.com
Hours: Open May 1 to September 30; Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 8 a.m. to sunset
Rates: Call for rates.
Operating out of two locations in Gunpowder Falls State Park — one near calm water (Dundee) and one near open water (Hammerman) — Ultimate Watersports offers a variety of nonpower watersports equipment.
What They Rent: Kayaks, standup paddleboards, sailboats, windsurfers
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Contact: Hammerman Beach, 7200 Grace Quarters Road, Middle Rive, and Dundee Creek, 7400 Grace Quarters Road, Middle River. 410-335-5352; ultimatewatersports.com
Hammerman: May and September: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; June-August, Daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dundee: May-October, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Rates: Kayaks: $15-$25 per hour, $45-$75 per day. stand-up paddleboards: $25 per hour, $75 per day onsite; $85 per day, $125 per weekend, $340 per week offsite; sailboats: $45-$65 per hour, $95-$145 per half-day, $140-$190 per full day; windsurfers: $20-$25 per hour, $60-$75 per day onsite; $70-$80 per day, $105-$125 per weekend, $280-$340 per week offsite.