Policies

*** COVID-19 Health & Safety Policy ***

We understand things have changed and we want to make sure you feel confident and comfortable joining Happy Paddler for any of our activities. Fortunately, our business and activities have always been based around the happiness of the great outdoors, which offers plenty of space for all of our customers to spread out and enjoy. Here are the changes we are making to promote a safe and healthy experience for all:

Online Reservations – You can book your group’s experience completely online or over the phone with no office check in or face to face interaction with any staff, if preferred. If you are renting equipment, your gear will be there waiting for you!

Stringent Cleaning – In every launch location and office space, you will have the opportunity to sanitize. Every paddle, life jacket, kayak, paddle board, among other things will be fully sanitized after every single use. And if you’d like, you will also have the option to sanitize your own equipment from supplies at our launch areas.

Social Distancing – Our staff will all have face masks and be trained to always provide a six foot distance from every customer. During rentals, we will simply set up and sanitize equipment. If you need instruction or assistance, we will do so at a distance of at least six feet.

Masks – Throughout the check-in period and any guided portions of your adventure, staff will maintain physical distance. When physical distance is not possible staff will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (masks).

Small Groups – As always, Happy Paddler maintains small tour group sizes compliant with CDC and State recommendations.

No Hassle Cancellations – No cancellation fees for any bookings outside of 24 hours. We know times are confusing and we want you to have the best time ever… starting with your booking all the way through your adventures. We do not want you worrying about cancellation fees, which is why we strive to be the most flexible adventure company out there. For details, please see our cancellation policy below.

General guidelines:

Paddling is an amazing sport that is accessible to people of all backgrounds and abilities. To ensure that all are safe and happy during their adventures with us, we restrict our programs and services to individuals who are:

  • 18 years or older, or accompanied by an adult.
  • Able to listen, understand and follow instructions.
  • Able to manage all personal care and mobility independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Comfortable on or in the water while wearing a properly fitted personal flotation device.
  • Able to maintain a properly balanced, upright position while seated in a kayak, following instruction.
  • Not under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication which may impair one’s abilities or judgment.

Safety checklist:

The following are meant to keep paddlers and our beloved marine life safe and happy!

  • Always wear your lifejacket (PFD) while on the water.
  • Do not disturb wildlife. Treat the dolphins and manatees as if you’re entering their home. Please do not chase them, especially if babies are present.
  • Do not stand up in a canoe or kayak and avoid weight shifts that may cause capsize.
  • Load your craft properly; an unbalanced craft is hard to handle or difficult to keep upright.
  • Keep weight low and centered for the best stability and craft handling.
  • Stay together as a group, especially when crossing boat channels.
  • Cross boat channels using the most direct and visible route possible. It is always safer to give the right-of-way to the larger vessel.
  • Recognize when others in your group are tired or having difficulty and adjust pace. Look out for everyone in your group.
  • Communicate effectively on the water. Wind and water sounds can make hearing others difficult.
  • Never litter and always pack out trash.
  • Sun and wind can be very dehydrating – make sure you drink plenty of water.
  • Wear sunscreen and reapply every two hours.
  • Dress in layers using clothing made of synthetic fabrics. Lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants provide great sun and bug protection.
  • Carry extra clothing during cool or cold weather trips and store in a waterproof container.
  • Plan for emergencies. Always know where you are and how to contact emergency services. In an emergency, call 911 first. Otherwise, contact us at 941-773-1920.
  • Know basic first aid and CPR and be able to recognize the symptoms of hypo- and hyperthermia.

Cancellations

We totally understand that life happens and we believe in accommodating requests for changes in reservations with honesty, fairness, and flexibility. If your paddling excursion needs to be cancelled, we are happy to offer a generous cancellation policy and ask that our guests respect this policy:

Each reserved seat cancelled at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled trip will be issued a full refund, no matter the reason. For any reserved seats cancelled less than 24 hours prior to the scheduled trip, no refunds will be issued. If conditions are expected to be unsafe or unsuitable for paddling, excursions will be modified, postponed, or cancelled at our discretion. In such situations, we will make every attempt to contact you in a timely fashion.

In the event that an excursion is modified/postponed/cancelled at our discretion, all participants will have the choice to reschedule their excursion or receive a full refund. In order to ensure a safe and happy environment, we reserve the right to deny, abort, or refuse services at our discretion.

Privacy

We are a mom-and-pop operation and fully understand the importance of safeguarding privacy in today’s world. In a nutshell:

  • We won’t sell or give any of your information to anyone.
  • We won’t spam you with emails.
  • The site does use cookies to collect basic usage information to help improve the site.

The following explains, in more detail, the information we may collect and how it is used:

Name(s), billing address(es), credit/debit card information, e-mail address(es), and/or phone number(s) collected during the reservation/billing process are used in order to process payments or to contact you with information regarding your reservation/payment complications. This information is used for these purposes only. We will not sell, lease, exchange your personal information with any person or company other than parties directly associated with the processing of payments.

Besides for reservations & billing purposes described above, we do not actively gather personal information, such as your name or email address unless you choose to provide it to us (i.e. by filling in a ‘send us a message’ form or signing up for our newsletter). Upon signing up for our “Notes From the Waterfront” newsletter, your information (name and email address) will only be used for the purpose of sharing the newsletter with you. We will not sell, lease, or exchange your information with any other person or company.

The sign-up (and unsubscribe option) for the newsletter on the Happy Paddler’s website and other social media (e.g. Facebook) is handled by MailChimp. Alongside the email address you sign up with, MailChimp logs the following information:

Statistics show which links in the mailings are clicked and how many times

Statistics show how many of the mailings are opened

Statistics showing from which countries mailings were opened

These statistics helps us understand the demographics of our readers so we can tailor the content. Your data will not be shared with any other third party outside Happy Paddler, unless we are legally compelled to do so. Please visit MailChimp’s legal policies page for more information on what data is collected, what cookies they use, and how data is managed by them.

Google Analytics may be used to assess what search terms visitors use to find the Happy Paddler website. Please see the Google Analytics privacy and security policy for more information (including cookie use).

Collecting these bits of data helps us understand the demographics of our visitors and tailor our website design and content for your enjoyment and ease of booking. If you want to disable cookies altogether, you can set your browser to do so. Instructions on how to do this vary from browser to browser and may change, so please use your favorite search engine to find help with optimizing your cookie settings.

Terms of Use

Unless otherwise noted, all content (including but not limited to articles, photos, and videos) appearing on HappyPaddler.com are subject to copyright and cannot be reproduced without permission. This includes content that is not owned/copyrighted by Happy Paddler but reproduced here with the express permission of the original creator. If you would like to reuse any content, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the terms of use or privacy policy, please do not hesitate to contact us directly or send us a message using the form below. To learn more about our tours and rentals, feel free to read over our frequently asked questions.