WHAT IF THE WEATHER IS BAD? . . .
We will run a tour with a few sprinkles and moderate rain. It's all part of the adventure and more often than not a little rain creates a unique canvas for Mother Nature to paint upon. You can't have a rainbow without Rain!
We will cancel/reschedule or refund a tour under the following conditions as defined by the National Weather Service:
- any prediction of sustained lightning
- a heavy rain of 0.30″/hour or more
- sustained winds over 12mph
HOW LONG ARE BROKEN PADDLE'S TOURS? . . .
All of our tours range from 1.5-4.5 hours. Time spent is mostly dependent on you the paddler and the group you are paddling with. The river's current can sometimes be a factor if there is a small section of river we must paddle up, but this is always avoided if the guide has the choice. Also the guide is more than happy to extend the trip a bit or shorten it a bit depending on a group decision.
SHOULD I TIP? . . .
This question comes up a lot with our guests and the answer is always "Yes indeed, tips are highly appreciated :)" Think of it just like any other service provided. Whether it be a server, valet or adventure guide. Tips are something they rely on and greatly appreciate; and we thank you in advance.
WHERE DO THE TOURS HAPPEN? . . .
Broken Paddle has selected three of the best areas along the Upper Mississippi River to take you paddling. Your tour meetup location is detailed on each tour page and a specific Google Map is sent to you in your confirmation email. All tours will meet up in Wabasha or Reads Landing, MN with the exception of the Hidden River Group Tour, which will meet in Red Wing, MN.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR? . . .
Feet: A pair of heeled sandals like Chacos, Tevas or Keens are best. Aqua socks or just a pair of sneakers you don't mind getting wet. Please no Timberland or Redwing Boots. We support local Redwing but not while we paddle :) Or just paddle barefoot.
Body: Most clothes will work, but cotton is no fun when the temps are down in the Spring and Fall. It does not insulate when wet. It is only best in the hot Summer days. Merino wool or synthetic clothing is always great year round. When in doubt: Layer, Layer, Layer! You can always take them off and stow them in a kayak hatch. Your guide will always have extra warm clothing if needed.
Sun glasses, hats, visors, bonnets, Kentucky Derby hats, or coonskin caps are all ok, but something is recommended to shield from the sun.
SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT GETTING WET? . . .
We always say, "Kayaking is a water sport, you may get splashed." We will provide spray skirts for cold, damp or excessively breezy days but honestly you won't need one. Getting in and out of kayaks when docking or launching will be the most likely situation you get a little wet or if your loved one splashes you with their paddle.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I TIP OVER? . . .
It is very rare that a paddler- new or sage- will tip over in the boats we paddle. We have a blend of stable, fast and fun boats from Current Designs. It CAN happen though. But remember, if you do tip you are wearing a lifejacket and your guide is an ACA certified kayak guide with years of training and firsthand experience in water rescues. Listen to you guide in the moment and they will have you back in the boat in no time (this is all reviewed during the kayak 101 lesson on land). If the weather meets the standards where hypothermia is a concern we will end the kayak trip then and there and either start a fire or instruct you in the ways to warm up and get you back to shore and your vehicle. Again, trust your guide and you cannot go wrong. Safety is our #1 priority and we do not take it lightly.
WHAT IF I'M NOT IN SHAPE? . . .
We teach people of all ages and walks of life to paddle with Broken Paddle. We can go as fast or as slow as you feel comfortable. With a 6-1 guide to guest ratio you can feel assured you will not get left behind if you choose to take it easy. We are also very good at teaching the most efficient way to paddle your boat and have loads of tips to make it easy and fun. We promise within 10 minutes on the water, things will get much easier if you are in fact having trouble picking it up. Never worry though, we are all out here to have fun and learn!
*We do have a minimum age of 12 years old, must be at least 90lbs. If younger, we can paddle a tandem kayak.
IS THERE A WEIGHT LIMIT IN THE KAYAKS? . . .
Our kayaks have a limit of 250-300 lbs and we have boats of all shapes and sizes. We will fit the right boat for you - that's why we ask estimated height and weight questions during booking.
CAN WE BRING OUR OWN FOOD AND DRINKS? . . .
Sure. We do provide you with a light snack but you are more than welcome to bring your own food and drinks. We hold time on the tour to pull out and have a snack while we stretch our legs and breath in the trees and grasses along the backwaters.
WHAT ABOUT BUGS? . . .
We spend most of the tour time on the water where the bugs seem to be faint at most. We do not paddle in areas where water sits, therefore allowing mosquitoes to breed. We bring Insect repellent if you desire to use it. Or you can go natural and use mud or rub tobacco leaves on your skin. Michael -the herbal expert- probably has a few homeopathic tips for you too.
WHAT IF I CAN'T PADDLE OR GET TOO TIRED? . . .
Your guide is not there to exhaust you and we will paddle as a group at a "chill" pace. But if you simply cannot go on we are more than happy to hook up our specially designed tow rope to paddle you back to the Exit Point. A nice tip for your guide is appreciated if this happens :)
WHAT IF I NEED TO USE THE BATHROOM? . . .
We will always find a bathroom before the tours begins and while on the water, just ask your guide. Your guide will have necessary bathroom supplies. Leave no trace is very important to BPG Co. and we ask you respect that and the planet we all share.
DO I NEED TO DRIVE? . . .
We will meet you at our designated meetup location. Each tour page has a link to a Google Map; additionally you will receive the meetup location information in your confirmation email, too. Once there we have a shuttle van so all you need to do is meet us at the designated meetup location and we'll take care of the rest!
What is the cancellation policy? . . .
Stuff happens, paying for something you don't do is silly so we try to make it simple. Any cancellation due to weather is a full refund. Any cancellation, at any time other than the day of the tour is a full refund. Any cancellation on the day of the tour is a 30% charge. A no-show is no refund.
Can we have a private tour? . . .
Absolutely! We do private tours for individuals, couples, or small groups out of our headquartes in Wabasha, an extra $130 is required to secure a private tour. Our large group tour for business retreats, conferences, and large group activities is our Hidden River Tour. Contact us to request a private tour or to book Hidden River Tour.
Can we bring our kids? . . .
You bet! We paddle regularly with families and their children as young as 4. If you are bringing your child with we ask that you let us know the age of anyone under 12, that way we can be prepared with the correct sized life jacket and potentially a tandem kayak.