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Ocean City Area Features

Coastal Kayak

  By: Alison Clary

Putting Their Best Paddle Forward

Kayaking came naturally to Mitch Mitchell. He is a lifelong surfer more comfortable on water than on land. He temporarily separated from the ocean while attending Clemson University, where he was an accomplished member of the tennis team. After graduating, Mitch became a tennis touring professional and then a teaching professional at various resort towns on the East Coast when he discovered his love for kayaking while kayak fishing on Lake Temagami in Canada. 

Jenifer Adams (now Jenifer Adams-Mitchell) grew up in an inland state, but escaped to the beach immediately after graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan University. She spent a year volunteering in Costa Rica where she witnessed the powerful and positive effects ecotourism can have on the environment.

It’s certainly no surprise that Mitch and Jenifer hit it off instantly when they met in 1994. They soon decided to harness their passion for the water and develop it into a way of life through founding their business, Coastal Kayak, in 1997.

At first, Coastal Kayak solely offered guided kayak tours. Over the years, they expanded the range of services to include kayak rentals and instruction, stand-up paddleboard tours, rentals and instruction, and even sailboat rentals and instruction.

Coastal Kayak runs their rentals on Little Assawoman Bay in Fenwick Island State Park. The calm bayfront location boasts shallow water and light boat traffic, making it the perfect launch spot for low-impact water sports. The bay waters offer ample opportunities to witness stunning wildlife, including bald eagles, osprey, horseshoe crabs, herons, egrets, and woodpeckers.

Coastal Kayak offers guided tours to a number of locations—the salt marsh islands in the Rehoboth Bay, an inland cypress swamp, one of the tributaries of the Indian River, and sunset paddles at the Assawoman Wildlife Area. On their Assateague Tour, it’s very likely that paddlers will catch a glimpse of the famous Assateague wild horses.

All guided tours are affordably priced between $45 and $55, and they even offer discounts for children. Costs include all instructional information, the area’s best equipment, and necessary safety gear. Coastal Kayak provides high-quality, extremely stable kayaks with adjustable back rests and foot braces, along with lightweight paddles and PFDs. Coastal Kayak also limits the number of participants in each tour, which provides a more intimate and personalized tour experience.

Kayak and paddleboard private lessons and classes at Coastal Kayak are taught by American Canoe Association certified instructors. Mitch is certified as both a kayak and paddleboard instructor and instructor trainer (meaning he can certify instructors)—one of only a few on the East Coast. His 30-year background in tennis instruction equipped him with the skills necessary to be an effective instructor for both staff and customers.

The highly-trained team at Coastal Kayak shares Mitch and Jenifer’s passion for the water. Safety is a top priority. The staff takes pride in ensuring every customer is comfortable on the water, and they cater to all skill levels.

Throughout its 21-year history, Coastal Kayak has received praise from numerous sources. They were named Best Family Attraction in Delaware by TripAdvisor, have been featured in The Washington Post’s “Going out Guide” and were recently listed as one of the “10 Best Guided Tours in Delaware” by Best Things Delaware.
The praise is always appreciated, but according to Jen and Mitch, the most rewarding aspect of their business is introducing thousands of people to kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing—activities that will bring years of enjoyment and endless adventures.

Coastal Kayak is 3 miles south of Bethany Beach on Route 1. Call 302-539-7999 for more information or book online at CoastalKayak.com.

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