Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some questions that you may have about our requirements, policies, Lake Erie or general information. If you have additional questions, please contact us!
+ What is The North Coast Outpost?
The North Coast Outpost is a watersports rental service (specializing in paddleboards) for those looking to get out on Lake Erie!
+ What services does The North Coast Outpost provide?
The North Coast Outpost provides Stand-up paddleboard (SUP), kayak, and surfboard rentals for exciting excursions onto our beautiful lake. We also offer the Megalodon Paddleboard, which can support up to 5 adults at one time! Before heading out, each customer will receive an overview of equipment and an introduction to paddling techniques. Lessons are available as well!
We're ready to share our knowledge with everyone! If you would like to learn more about the sport, please stop by!
+ What's the difference between SUP and Kayaking?
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and kayaking are both watersports that rely on the user to paddle for propulsion. In a kayak, the user sits down with feet away from the body facing forward. On a SUP, there are several diferent positions. The most common, is standing up with feet shoulder-width apart and even along the centerline of the board to maintain balance. Other variations include kneeling on the board or laying face-down to paddle as a surfer would. The paddlling motion is similar to a canoe stroke but the SUP paddle is longer.
Paddleboards are easier to carry by one person, easier to get back on after falling off of and a better workout than a kayak. However, a kayak is a little bit more laid back and can handle rougher conditions and higher winds than a SUP can.
+ How long has paddleboarding been around?
"It seems that stand up paddling in some form or another has been around for thousands of years. Ancient cultures from Africa to South America used boards, canoes, and other watercraft propelled with a long stick to fish, travel, make war, and even ride waves. For nearly 3,000 years, Peruvian ﬁsherman used a craft called a “Caballitos de Totora”, a small craft made of reeds that is so called because its instability made it like riding a horse. They used a long bamboo shaft somewhat like an elongated kayak paddle, and after a day’s fishing they would surf the waves in just for fun. In fact, its quite possible that this is the true roots of all surfing, let alone stand up surfing.
While stand up paddling may have developed in various places around the world, the modern surfing tradition has undeniable Polynesian ancestry. In 1778, Captain James Cook sailed into the Hawaiian Islands and became the first European to witness the Hawaiian people surfing. He’e nalu, as it is called in the native Hawaiian tongue, was done either in canoes or on special, ritually carved boards from the Koa tree. The village chief got the biggest board, sometimes as big as 5m long, while lesser village personages had smaller 2 or 3-meter boards. Because of the sheer size of the boards, a paddle was often used to power out and onto the waves." (Addison, Corran. "The History of Stand up Paddling." The History of Stand up Paddling. N.p., 6 Apr. 2013. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.)
"Though Hawaiians have probably been standup paddle surfing for centuries, the earliest photographic evidence is only about 60 years old. Duke Kahanamoku, the most famous of the Waikiki beach boys, was said to use an outrigger paddle to help propel his heavy board into the velvety waves of Waikiki." (Andriola, Maria. "The History Of Stand Up Paddle Boarding." Standup Journal Magazine. N.p., 2011. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.)
The modern sport of paddleboarding got it's boom when Brian Keaulana, Rick Thomas, Archie Kalepa and Laird Hamilton started SUP (Stand-up Paddleboarding) as an alternative way to train while the surf was down.
+ Where is The North Coast Outpost?
We are located at Breakwater Beach in the Geneva State Park. We are steps away from the parking lot by the beach so you can't miss us! A naturally calm body of water in the summer months, Lake Erie is perfect for beginner paddleboarders and kayakers.
+ Can I make a reservation?
Yes, while reservations aren't required, they are highly recommended! Visit our reservations page to get started! Reservations will be held up to ten minutes after intended departure time. Your reservation starts at your requested time! With this in mind, please plan to arrive fifteen minutes prior to your reservation in order to complete paperwork and receive a brief introduction to the sport!
+ What do I need to bring with me?
Before your intended excursion, please bring a valid drivers license/photo ID as this is required by all of our customers and helps to ensure the safety and security of our guests. You should also bring a spirit of adventure and clothes that you are okay getting wet in!
+ Do I need to sign a waiver?
All of our customers must review and sign the following documents: the rental agreement, safety guidelines, and waiver of liability. Parents must sign for equipment that will be used by minors.
+ Is paddleboarding and kayaking family friendly?
Yes! The North Coast Outpost provides paddleboards to fit all shapes and sizes so no one will be left out! Lake Erie is generally calm during the summer months, making it a perfect body of water to learn a new sport on!
+ Can I rent for longer than two hours?
If you would like to rent for longer than the two hours please give us a call and we would be happy to work out the details with you!
+ What are your payment options?
The North Coast Outpost operates using Paypal HERE for the convenience and safety for our customers. We accept all major credit/debit cards and cash!
+ Is there an age requirement to rent a kayak or paddle board?
You must be over 18 years of age to rent from The North Coast Outpost. Children under 18 must have a parent rent the equipment for them and a parental signature is required. PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices) must be worn at all times by both adults and minors! In some cases, children may ride with parents in a "one-person" vessel, depending on child weight/size and parent paddle-level. The minimum age for a child to operate a vessel unsupervised is 12 years old in calm conditions, and size/ability based when the conditions get windier.
+ Is the lake safe to swim, paddleboard, or kayak in?
Yes! Outside of the occasional storm, Lake Erie is generally calm during the summer months. The North Coast Outpost will only rent out equipment when the lake is safe. We will provide updates on our website and social media outlets if the weather isn't ideal.
+ Are there lifeguards on duty while I paddle?
While it is swim at your own risk, there are lifeguards on duty at Breakwater Beach during the summer months.
+ Is the lake warm?
Lake Erie freezes most winters and will remain chilly until mid-spring, however weather patterns such as a strong El Nino can change the outcome dramatically. In the height of summer (and into September), Lake Erie will have an average water temperature between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
+ How big is Lake Erie and why is it important?
Lake Erie is a 9,910 square mile body of water and has an average depth of roughly 62 feet. Lake Erie is the warmest and most biologically productive of the Great Lakes and Lake Erie walleye fishery is widely considered the best in the world.
+ What is there to do in Ashtabula County?
From golfing and wineries to go-karts and restaurants, there are many things to do in Ashtabula County! Head over to The Ashtabula County Convention & Visitor's Bureau for more information on what to do.