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Kayaking in Tacoma on the Puget Sound

Kayaking has long been a mainstay of water sports in the Pacific Northwest. Paddling on a kayak offers either a vigorous athletic experience or a calm cruise on the gentle waters, depending on your output. Kayaking in Commencement Bay is an awe-inspiring visual experience, offering the sights of Mt. Rainier, the Cascade Foothills, and the Olympic Mountains.

Kayaking and other paddle sports like stand-up paddling, rafting, and canoeing are also growing in popularity. According to 2012 data compiled by The Outdoor Foundation, nearly 20 million Americans enjoyed paddle sports in lakes, bays, rivers and other local waterways. It’s easy to see the attraction of kayaking.

Imagine gliding through the water, pulling steadily with your oars, and enjoying the scenic beauty and serenity of the waters off the Point Ruston shoreline. The kayaker, in a way, becomes part of the surroundings.

In addition to being a fantastic way to appreciate the natural beauty of our region, kayaking is also a great sport that provides good upper body motion and consistent athletic conditioning. As athletic millennials continue to move to Tacoma, kayaking at Point Ruston is becoming a growing part of the Tacoma waterfront lifestyle.

Kayaking in Tacoma on the Puget Sound

Rentals Rundown

To meet the demand for kayaking on the Sound, more local shops are renting kayaks to beginners and intermediates. Rentals are available daily during the summer months, at both Owen Beach in Pt. Defiance Park and Ruston Way.

Ruston Recreation Rentals offers the best in kayaking equipment and services. The shop is located at the Point Defiance Marina, and its close proximity to Point Ruston is a bonus for local residents.

Kayak packages (available during the summer between 12pm-7pm) include having access to:

  • Paddles
  • Personal Floatation Device
  • Float Cushion

Single kayak rentals cost as little as $14/hour on weekdays, or $50 for the entire day. Double rentals on weekends range from $25/hour to $75 for a day trip, plus tax. Customers can book rentals for one, two, three, or more hours. Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) rentals are available too. For these, head over to Jack Hyde Park, on Ruston Way.

For SUP enthusiasts, Dolan’s Board Sports is one of the Pacific Northwest’s only shops dedicated to this pastime. Rentals, repairs, and demos are available. Customers can book a lesson on any fair weather day. Conveniently situated on Ruston Way, the shop also sells top quality gear. Dolan’s is open 2pm to 7pm Wednesday through Friday, 10am to 7pm on weekends.

Après Kayaking

After being on the water for the morning or afternoon, kayakers can relax along Point Ruston’s mile long Waterwalk. Combined with the natural beauty of the area, the vigor of the kayaking experience and the convenience of the Waterwalk, Point Ruston is quickly becoming the premier waterfront destination in Tacoma.