Our single kayaks have a maximum load of 350lbs and our tandem kayaks have a maximum load of 450 lbs. If you, or you and your paddling partner, are concerned about nearing the maximum load for our tandem kayaks, please let us know ahead of time so we can arrange to have you in single kayaks.
The boats that our guests use are wide-set and very stable. The majority of our guests will be in our tandem kayaks that are designed to maintain stability when paddling. Our single kayaks are also designed with a wide hull to increase stability. If you are cognizant of your surroundings and pay attention to the guide’s directions, the likelihood of capsizing is extremely low.
In recent years, water quality in the Mississippi has greatly improved. However, in the metro area (like most urban bodies of water), some pollutants are at higher levels than normal, but direct contact with the water is not harmful. It is a good idea, though, to rinse off after prolonged contact with the river water.
During the majority of our season, the water levels are low and the river moves quite slowly. This makes a kayak very easy to maneuver and control. There are no rapids on this section of the river, and at some points it may even feel like paddling a lake. That being said, there are always risks associated with paddling and being in a moving body of water. Before every tour, our guides give a safety and skill demonstration to make sure our customers are comfortable before getting on the river. While on the water, our guides take every precaution to ensure the safety of every guest.
Note: In the spring, when water levels are at their peak, the risk associated with paddling on the river dramatically increases. We monitor water levels and flow rates very closely and will cancel a tour if the water levels are higher than we have deemed to be safe for inexperienced paddlers.
For most of our tours, the maximum amount of people we can accommodate is 40, so bring all of your friends! Unfortunately we do have a minimum 4 people to ensure that we meet guest and guide expectations. So, if your tour does not meet the minimum number of guests, it can be subject to cancellation. However, we love getting people out to experience the great Mississippi, so we do try our best to avoid cancelling due to the minimum not being met. If we are forced to cancel your tour we would try to reschedule you or refund your payment. If you would like to do a private tour with less than our minimum, we would be happy to accommodate you for an extra fee.
Unless you specify that you would like a private tour, there will likely be others joining you. We strive to make every tour a unique and exhilarating experience, and part of this is meeting new people! We don’t require that you socialize with your paddling neighbor, but we love seeing guests learn from each other and share the incredible experience. However, if you would like to arrange a private tour, we require advance notice (subject to tour availability). Making a tour private also requires the addition of a 15% service charge. Note: even if you don’t specify that you would like a private tour, there is still the possibility of being the only group on your tour (depending on the day of week and time of season).
Tour length can vary with river flow rates, wind, paddler skill lever, etc. We do our best to estimate the length of your tour, but we cannot guarantee when your tour will finish. Please keep in mind that your tour may be shorter or longer than our estimate and plan your day accordingly.
Yes. We take pictures on every tour and post them on SmugMug.com. If you provide us with a valid email address on your waiver, we will send you a specific link to your group’s photos on Smug Mug. Medium resolution photos are free to download, and high resolution photos are $2.00 per photo. To see examples of other trip photos please visit: www.abovethefallssports.smugmug.com
We prefer that all of our guests use our tandem kayaks, unless you have an odd number of people in your reservation (in which case 1 person will be in a single kayak). Our tandem kayaks tend to be more stable and comfortable for our guests. If you have paddling experience and prefer to use our single kayaks, you must notify us ahead of time so we can have singles ready when you arrive. If you don’t let us know ahead of time, we cannot guarantee that we will have singles available for you to use.
We offer a 30% discount to children 6-12 years old.
We generally don’t recommend that children under the age of 6 paddle with us. We have found that children under six tend to get uncomfortable in a kayak for an extended period of time. However, if you believe that your child will enjoy the trip and not hinder your own enjoyment or safety, we can allow young children with the requirements that they know how to swim and will fit into our child life jackets. Keep in mind that parent or guardian must sign our waiver for anyone under 18 (if you need the waiver ahead of time, we will happily email it to you).
For the “Working the Local Channel”, “Coon Rapids to Minneapolis”, “Friday Night Sunset”, and “Paddle and Brew” tours, there is a pay lot at Boom Island Park 724 Sibley St NE (the meeting location).
For the “Minneapolis to Minnehaha Falls” tour, the meeting location is at our shop located at 200 N 2nd St Minneapolis 55401 and parking is available in the pay lot directly across from our shop.
We suggest that guests arrive at our shop at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled trip time to ensure there is enough time to fill out waivers (if you have not already done so online), get outfitted with life jackets, use the restroom, etc. If you are driving, please arrive earlier than 15 minutes to give yourself time to find a parking.
Our guides work very hard to ensure your safety and enjoyment on the river. Gratuities are not required, but greatly appreciated. If your guide exceeded your expectations, feel free to honor them with a tip! (If you didn’t bring cash, you can call, email, or let a staff member know that you would like to add gratuity to the credit card we have on file for you)
We don’t recommend bringing valuables on the water and are not responsible for lost or damaged items. However, if you would like to bring your valuables on the water, we do have zip-locks available for you to use.
We monitor weather very closely, and if there is any chance of an electrical storm, or heavy rains with high wind, we are forced to cancel the tour. We will run tours in light rain. Should we have to cancel your tour due to weather, we will notify you as soon as we make that decision and either refund your payment or try to reschedule you. We try to give you as much notice as possible, but weather is often unpredictable and we cannot guarantee a time when we would notify you of our decision.
Should you decide to cancel your trip, we require at least 24 hours notice to refund your deposit. If you would simply like to reschedule, we are able to keep your deposit and apply it to a different date.
We are 100% beginner friendly on all of our tours. Most of our guests have never paddled before and have a great time. Before each tour, our guides teach paddling basics and river safety to make sure everyone is comfortable before getting on the water. However, if you are at all concerned with your physical ability, we suggest that you start with our shorter 2.5 hour “Working the Local Channel” tour.
Comfortable, weather appropriate clothing
Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen
Shoes that you don’t mind getting wet (sandals, crocs, old tennis shoes, etc.)
Snack (if you like)
Light rail and food/drink money (if on the Minneapolis to Minnehaha Falls tour)
All necessary paddling equipment will be provided for you (boat, paddle, PFD, and guide).