Baltimore-area outfitters rent out bikes, canoes, paddleboards and more

Give the outdoors a sporting chance by trying a new activity -- without investing in the equipment

(Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore…)
April 25, 2013|By Kit Waskom Pollard, For The Baltimore Sun

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.

What they rent: Canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards

Contact: 311 Third St., Annapolis. 410-263-2303; ackannapolis.com

Hours: May 1-Oct. 20: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Oct. 21 – April 30: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rates: $20-$30 per hour; $50-$80 per day; $70-$110 per weekday overnight; $100-$160 per weekend; $220-$350 per week

Baltimore Bicycle Works

A worker-owned and operated shop on Falls Road in Baltimore, south of North Avenue, Baltimore Bicycle Works rents several models of bikes, including hybrids and road bikes.

What They Rent: Bicycles

Contact: 1813 Falls Road, Baltimore. 410-605-0705; baltimorebicycleworks.com/rentals

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rates: $25 per day, $100 per week

Baltimore Parasail

Located at Harborview off Key Highway, Baltimore Parasail offers parasailing rides in the Inner Harbor. Photo packages are also available.

What They Rent: Parasailing equipment (photo packages also available)

Contact: 500 Harborview Drive, Baltimore. 443-765-7627; baltimoreparasail.com/contact.html (Note: Not open for season as of press time.)

Rates: $64-$192, depending on number of riders

Biller's Bikes

This Havre de Grace bike shop rents single-speed coaster-brake cruisers.

What They Rent: Bicycles

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

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

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