Each year, as summer rolls around and the temperature starts to rise, residents in Hall County head out to Lake Lanier. There are beaches for swimming and marinas for boating, but there’s also another, sometimes overlooked, option out there: rentals.
In an effort to fill a niche market around the lake, Christine Breault helped start Northeast Georgia Paddling Company. She loved being outside on the lake and wanted to make sure everyone else had the chance to do it, too.
“We have kayaks, tandem kayaks and (stand-up) paddleboards,” said Breault, who handles administrative tasks and deliveries for the business. “We offer delivery in and around Lake Lanier, and that includes waterways above the dam.”
The unique thing about Northeast Georgia Paddling Company is it delivers everything they offer. And even though its located on the south end of the lake, Breault said they deliver just about anywhere nearby. That means people wanting to use its products don’t have to have a truck or go out and buy enough rope to strap it to the top of their car.
Breault said she “likes the adventure” of getting out on the water in a kayak and wants to give the opportunity to others.
“It’s a very different experience than when you’re on a motorboat and you’re blazing across the water, not putting any effort into it,” Breault said. “It’s a way, I think, to connect with nature in a different way and it offers a little more peace and quiet.”
Northeast Georgia Paddling Company is open seven days a week for rentals and deliveries. All prices include delivery, pickup, paddles and life vests. For half-day rentals, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., it’s $55 for a kayak, $65 for a paddleboard and $75 for a tandem kayak. For a full day, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., those prices increase by $20.
Breault said she always tries to offer discounts for multi-day use or larger groups, too. And it’s all kid-friendly. The tandem kayaks can hold three people and up to 550 pounds, so Breault said that can be split up into any kind of group. She carries youth-sized paddleboards and children’s life jackets as well.
“It’s definitely a family thing,” Breault said. “We try to make it so that the children can participate as well.”
The Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club, on the opposite end of the lake, has some of the same rentals. It has single and double kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and pedal boats. Tracy Barth, past president with the LCKC, said double kayaks are pretty popular, but paddleboards beat out everything else.
“We started out with a fleet of five paddleboards three years ago,” Barth said. “And last year, we purchased 10 more because it was so popular.”
She said she thinks people like the “flexibility” of being able to sit down and stand up on a paddleboard. She said the LCKC offers some paddleboards that are wider for stability, but it also has some that are more “sporty” for guests that have a little more experience.
Barth said canoes are usually a good rental for families because “families that have smaller kids can ride in the boat while the parents do the work.” Lot of families like that option because there’s room to bring a cooler for a picnic if families want to stop and relax during the rental.
“We get a lot of people that are vacationing or spending a weekend on the lake camping,” Barth said. “And they just come here to rent for just a little while … or it’s people that don’t live on the lake and they don’t want to deal with the hassle of transporting a kayak or stand-up paddleboard.”
She said renting is a way a lot of people test out the equipment to see if they want to invest money in purchasing one, too. She tries to answer any questions people have.
Single kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are $20 for one hour, $30 for two hours and $45 for four hours. Pedal boats are $25 for one hour, $40 for two hours and $60 for four hours while double kayaks are $30 for one hour, $40 for two hours and $65 for four hours.
The LCKC offers discounts by way of a membership. Barth said the membership is popular for families because they get unlimited use of the equipment for the entire season, which typically runs through October. It’s $150 for an individual or $225 for a family of four.
It also comes with free admittance to all sunset paddles, which take place in the evening, with a professional instructor.
Northeast Georgia Paddling Company
When: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday - Sunday
Where: 2680 Hammond Drive, Cumming
More info: www.northgapaddling.com
When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville
Lanier Boat Charter
When: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday - Sunday
Where: 6800 Lights Ferry Road. Flowery Branch, GA 30542
More info: www.lanierboatcharter.com