The reasons to gear up and explore the Sunshine Coast are endless. There's a rider-designed mountain bike park where fast and flowy trails zip you through lush forest with peek-a-boo ocean views. You'll find endless waterways to paddle, from the warm waters of Desolation Sound to an eight-lake, five-day canoe portage journey through Powell River's spectacular backcountry. And beneath those surfaces are shipwrecks and a plethora of cold-water marine life.
There's no need to weigh the car down with gear either. It's possible to travel light and rent as you go. Below is a list of places where you can suit up, get wheels, or grab paddles. No matter where or how you explore the Sunshine Coast, it will leave you wanting more.
The Sunshine Coast rewards those who explore on two wheels—hit singletrack through lush forest or cruise along the water's edge. You can also hit the links or explore incredible backcountry areas in the winter.
Rent an E-Bike and Cruise Around
There's no denying it: the Sunshine Coast is hilly. This is where e-bikes and scooters come in handy. They allow you to explore the Sunshine Coast in a safe, fun, and—most importantly—easy way. Scotty's Scooters, located at the Gibsons Harbour Marina, rents both. Grab an e-bike and still enjoy the benefits of exercise while you cruise around Gibsons, or hop on a scooter and explore farther afield. In Powell River and Lund, Palli Palli Adventure Rentals offers e-bike that can either be picked up from their Powell River rental shop or dropped off at a custom location.
Hit the Trails at Coast Gravity Mountain Bike Park
The trails at Coast Gravity Park are beloved by mountain bikers of all levels and rider abilities. Designed by professional builders and riders (and Sunshine Coast locals), these trails are fast and flowy with slick berms, fun step-ups and an array of jumps and other technical features. You'll want a full suspension bike to make the most of your day in the park. The bike park is working on bringing in a fleet of rental bikes, so stay tuned.
Learn more about Coast Gravity Park.
One of the best ways to experience the Sunshine Coast? From the water. There's 180-kilometres of coastline, plus even more waterways, sheltered inlets and bays, and backcountry lakes to explore.
For canoeing enthusiasts, the Powell Forest Canoe Route on the Northern Sunshine Coast is a must. There are eight quiet lakes and five portgages to make along 57-kilometres of spectacular coastal scenery. There's no need to worry about bringing your own canoe either. Mitchells' in Powell River has everything you need to outfit you for the journey. They'll get you sorted with a sturdy canoe, plus two personal flotation devices, bow line, throw bail, bailer with spine, and a spare paddle. They also rent overnight gear, including sleeping bags and cook sets.
You can also rent a canoe on the Southern Sunshine Coast. Alpha Adventures offers delivery to almost anywhere between Gibsons and Earls Cove, and also has locations in three communities: Gibsons, where the dock is just a short walk from the shop; Pender Harbour, near the Madeira Park boat ramp (note that this location is seasonal); and Sechelt, where you can pick up your canoe if you have roof racks for transport. Your canoe rental includes a paddle, spare paddle, pump, throw bag, whistle, life jacket, and a paddle float.
Kayaks allow you to navigate the Sunshine Coast's ocean playground. Popular paddling destinations include Sechelt Inlet, Desolation Sound, Lund, Pender Harbour, and Howe Sound (via Gibsons).
On the Southern Sunshine Coast, rent a sea kayak or book a tour from Pedals and Paddles, the Egmont Adventure Centre, Metta Eco Experiences, Alpha Adventures, Halfmoon Sea Kayaks or Talaysay Tours. On the Northern Sunshine Coast, head out on the water outfitted by Powell River Sea Kayaks, Footprint Nature Explorations, or Terracentric Coastal Adventures.
Learn more about kayaking on the Sunshine Coast.
SUPs (stand-up paddleboards) are a great option for those who want the flexibility of exploring both ocean and freshwater. Depending on the day and conditions, you can paddle quiet freshwater lakes in Pender Harbour or cruise close to the shoreline in Gibsons, Sechelt, and Powell River (and make beach stops in between). They're also great if you're short on time and are looking for a quick way to exercise the body and soul.
In Powell River, head to Willingdon Beach, where you can rent SUPs by the hour, half-day or full day from Stillwater Paddleboards. Rentals are available on a first come, first served basis unless a prepaid reservation is made.
Don't have a car? Not to worry. Alpha Adventures offers rentals from their locations in Gibsons, Sechelt, and Pender Harbour, and also has a delivery option. And Palli Paddles is a mobile paddleboard rental delivery company that operates in Powell River, Lund, Madeira Park and Sechelt. Both companies will bring paddleboards straight to the water's edge and help you discover the spectacular waterways of the Sunshine Coast, hassle-free. The best part? There's no need to return the gear. They'll pick it up so you can be on your way.
Jet Ski Rentals
Looking to switch pace? Hop on a jet ski and surf the waves of Jervis Inlet and Hotham Sound near Egmont. Power your way to Freil Falls, one of the longest free-standing waterfalls in the area, scoot around Harmony Islands, or drift (at a safe distance) in view of a sea lion colony—all in an afternoon. Egmont Adventure Centre will get you acquainted with jet skis and the area. But as they say, "A map and directions are provided, but the adventure is all yours."
Rent a jet ski from Egmont Adventure Centre.
Scuba Gear Rentals
There's plenty to see below the water, too. On the Sunshine Coast, our deep-water fjords and sheltered inlets offer pristine, cold-water diving with plenty of shipwrecks, marine life and artificial reefs to explore.
Skookumchuck Narrows is highly rated by the Cousteau Society while the Iron Mines dive site in Lund features a plethora of marine life clinging to the vertical walls that drop into an abyss. Mermaid Cove in Saltery Bay is a popular shore dive and where Canada’s first underwater statue rests serenely. Easy, beginner-friendly dive spots can be found in Sechelt Inlet, accessed via the small cabin community of Tuwanek.
Scuba Shack is a vacation rental meets dive shop that's located in Sechelt. They will be renting gear again starting this November, and you can book a room for easy access to diving. On the Northern Sunshine Coast, Salish Sea Dive offers gear, courses, plus the option to get out on shore dives and to deeper dive spots via a boat charter.
Learn more about scuba diving on the Sunshine Coast.
Boat & Rod Rentals
Pender Harbour is one of the most popular boating destinations on the Sunshine Coast. The area's protected waters make it an easy (and safe) place for boaters of all levels to navigate. These same waterways are home to productive fisheries and anglers can drop lines for salmon, lingcod and halibut year-round.
Rent a boat right off the dock from Pender Harbour Resort & Marina and spend an afternoon cruising along the shore, finding sheltered bays where you can drift and swim, and places where you can drop a line and lazily cast for fish. The resort has two, 19-foot motorboats that seat six available, plus fishing rods and downriggers for rent.
Learn more about boating on the Sunshine Coast.