By PHOEBE PRETTYMAN
Often, Ocean City is solely associated with the beach.
However, just a few blocks away, opposite the ocean, is the beautiful bay.
Anyone looking to utilize or explore this side of Ocean City should check out Daks Kayaks.
Currently in their seventh season in business, Daks Kayaks strives to provide the supplies and equipment needed for people to be able to venture out in the water.
The business, started by Alene and Dave Hartman, offers kayak and paddleboard rentals as well as various tours along the back bay. For beginners, there are also paddleboard lessons.
Alene Hartman explained how her husband was a surfer growing up and they both “always loved kayaking and water sports.”
Feeling that there was a need to provide this type of activity for those on vacation in Ocean City, the Hartmans established Daks Kayaks. Their daughters, Allison and Caroline, also work at the store.
The family business is definitely a spot to check out.
Tours are offered at various locations, such as Tennessee Avenue, Corson’s Inlet and 34th Street, depending on the tides.
All tour guides and instructors are trained and keep the customer’s safety as their No. 1 priority.
A popular time to go out is around sunset.
“Sunsets on the bay are spectacular,” Alene Hartman said.
Another activity offered is paddleboard yoga, a customer favorite.
Anyone wishing to go out on their own can easily rent a kayak or board and have it delivered for free. Among the store’s inventory are two six-person paddleboards, plenty of regular paddleboards and a plethora of kayaks.
New additions to the inventory are sit-in kayaks. These provide more protection from the water.
“The reason we are excited is because it extends the season,” said Hartman. “Since these kayaks keep you more out of the water than a regular kayak, it is feasible to take them out in the fall and spring months.”
Daks Kayaks is open all year round.
In addition, the store has a retail portion offering beach wear, Ocean City apparel, boards, kayaks, and much more.
The business is also eco-friendly and vegan-friendly.
They sell vegan leather flip-flops, as well as many brands in which the proceeds go to a good cause. Puravida bracelets help provide education in Central America. Wander Bracelets provide jobs for artists in Bali, and 4Ocean bracelets help clean the ocean.
Also among their products are handmade bags from Guatemala and Coral Isles reef-friendly sunscreen.
“We are very proud of the products we have here,” Alene Hartman said.