Paddle craft rentals in the Florida Keys usually include canoes, single kayaks and tandem (double) kayaks, as well as SUP paddleboards.
Most kayak rentals in the Florida Keys offer sit-on-top recreational kayaks. This type of kayak is easy to use and is accessible for almost all beginners, regardless of experience level.
Many people are worried about capsizing in a kayak; open-cockpit, sit-on-top kayaks are easy to use and don’t require specialized training, unlike enclosed-cockpit kayaks with spray hoods.
Most outfitters in Florida Bay and the Florida Keys offer both single and tandem kayak rental options.
Tandem kayaks are especially popular for groups, couples and families where one adult is matched with one child who needs an adult onboard.
Kayak rental prices in the Florida Keys are usually calculated by the hour or day. Some outfitters offer half-day pricing, as well as multi-day rental options.
Clear Glass-Bottom Kayaks
In Key Largo, Glass-bottom boats are an excellent way to experience the fish and marine life of the Florida Keys!
Clear kayaks can replicate this experience, with the added adventure of kayaking. Many forms of marine life can be seen through clear-bottom kayaks, including:
Clear, “Glass-bottom” kayaks are a relatively new innovation in the paddling world. They have only become widely available in recent years thanks to advances in polycarbonate technology.
The quality of see-through-canoes varies dramatically. Some low-quality see-through kayaks are made from interior materials that crack and turn hazy when exposed to the sun’s destructive UV rays.
Some outfitters also offer canoe rentals, but not all do. Most outfitters in Florida Bay and the Keys prefer kayaks because they generally have lower-profile hulls and are easier to use in coastal winds and tide.
Most canoes are tandem paddle craft and accommodate two paddlers. Canoes are also rented on an hourly basis or by the day for multi-day rentals.
Outfitters in the Florida Keys offer sales of both new and used kayaks, canoes, SUP paddleboards and other gear.
Kayak and canoe outfitters are a great place to find new and gently-used kayaks for sale in the Keys. Many kayak rental and tour shops sell their fleet every year or so. Used kayak sales from reputable outfitters are often well-maintained and may include a warranty.
Local outfitter prices can be very fair and can be competitive, or cheaper, than other sources. They can also offer same-day equipment availability which may save an adventure from last-minute emergencies.
Some outfitters allow the use of a “try-before-you-buy” period for free, or for a small fee. Fees are often refundable if/when you make a purchase from the outfitter.
Many outfitters also offer trade-ins, consignment sales or may offer to purchase used boats and boards.
Outfitters are an essential resource for the paddling community because they often stock hundreds of boats and boards so it’s easy to find a boat that fits well, and is well-suited for your own paddling style.
Bring Your Own Kayaks, Canoes and Paddle Craft
Some outfitters allow guests to bring their own kayaks, canoes or SUP paddleboards!
It can be a hassle to transport gear down to the Florida Keys, but it can be worth it in certain conditions. It is an exhilarating experience to explore the Florida Keys and Florida Bay on self-guided tours and aboard your own paddle craft.
Many Florida Keys outfitters allow launching either for free, or for a small launching fee. Outfitters in Florida Bay are also known to allow launching of privately owned kayaks and canoes.