Below are Darrens Kayaks testimonials - if you would like to send one in along with any photographs please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be delighted to post it here...
Turns out it was the weekend past that I had to do my trip to Kerry and while down there I did manage to fit in my trip to Darrens kayaks. What can I say the man is one of the nicest people I have ever met and the patience of a saint. I had arranged to try out a few different kayaks, and on arriving at the arranged time the kayaks where sitting out ready to load so off we headed to Dunmanus bay, which is a stunning location. Darren duely obliged with some advice on paddle strokes and then it was out on the water for a practice at the strokes and some great instruction on paddling and manouvering the kayak before paddling out around the bay trying out kayak and their features. I can't say how much I was impressed with the whole experience and approach from Darren, it is top class service and he explains everything in detail to make sure your happy, gives you honest advice about things from his wealth of knowledge and puts no pressure on you what soever and asked if I was happy and had found out what I wanted before leaving the water even though he was there with me for a few hours and the heavens had now opened. Then it was off back to his place of business where I was offered a coffee and biccies and I made my choice. So I am now the proud owner of a new reload and 7hrs and 357 miles later it arrived in the outskirts of Derry. Once again a big THANK YOU to Darren, It was a really enjoyable day and a good learning experience. Top man.
Buying a Kayak from Darren was unlike any buying experience I've had before, I didn't feel like a customer it was more like bringing an experienced mate with me to help me choose the best kayak, nothing was too much trouble for Darren, from ordering paddles he didn't stock to attaching the kayak racks to the roof of my car, it was all done with a smile and a laid back manner. His goal from the outset was obviously to get the right kayak for me and not the one that would bring him the most money, he took his time, explaining all the differences between the different hull designs, and how they affected the handling of the boats. No hard sell and no pressure for me to choose or put a deposit down ( I was able to go away think about it and let him know what I wanted to do) When I couldn't decide between two kayaks he took time out of his weekend and met up with me on a Sunday morning to let me try both at sea to see how they felt in the water. He loaded the kayaks onto his car and took me for a paddle from a nearby beach, gave me safety pointers and paddling tips no rush and no hassle. In hindsight I can't believe I would have bought a kayak without trying it first, it's one of the reasons buying a Kayak from Darren is so unique, it takes the risk out of the equation - What more can I say, Darren is a thoroughly nice and extremely knowledgeable guy who will go out of his way to help you make the right choice and give you the best price he can. If you're in the market for a kayak, take a spin out to west Cork and talk to Darren. I am now the owner of a great Point 65 Five O Five Kayak, perfect for my experience level and I've been out on it every day since I got it which is a week and a day . Darren, thanks for everything, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and hope to see you again soon.
All the best Alwyn Jennings (Cork)
Thank you so much for your time and expertise. We really appreciated that you would take time out on a cold February morning to take us out and show us what we needed to know. We are delighted with the 3 kayaks and are looking forward to exploring the lakes and rivers in East Clare.
Thanks - Cillian, Aoife and Tadhg.
It all started on Darrens website as Fergus and I were searching for our dream kayaks. We were very impressed initially with the information and detail that was available on the site. We followed it up with a visit to Durrus to Darrens local bay. As there are many varieties of kayak, we found it difficult to make the right choice for us but Darrens help of enabling us to test out different kayaks with no obligation to purchase was very beneficial. We enjoyed our experience both on the water and off as Darren is highly experienced in this field. He guided us to our beautiful boats, the Liquid Logic XP9. Darren really does go the extra mile.
Fergus and Lorrraine, Farranfore, Killarney, Co.Kerry.
I had already bought two kayaks before I found out about Darrens kayaks and they had been ok. I was at the very early stage of paddling when I got them so my criteria would have been pretty basic. By the time I came to Darren I knew that I was ready to move onto something a bit more tailored to my preferences. The first thing that struck me about Darren was his vast knowledge of the full range of what was available and also just how many kayaks he had on site (even a few he loved too much to sell!). The core decision for me was whether I wanted to go for a 'sit in' or a 'sit on top' kayak and Darren spent a lot of time discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each type, with a particular emphasis on safety.
However the number one reason why I would recommend buying from Darren is the fact that after you've picked out a few kayaks that interest you, you get to take them down to the water and try them out. What makes this so essential is that up until that point I had been going on what I liked the look of or what I had read from various internet sites. You can look at kayaks all day long and be completely wrong about them, there are so many types and so many features. But when you paddle a kayak you will know with certainty which one is right for you. Everything else is guesswork. Darren also spends a lot of time giving good paddling tips on technique and safety during the time on the water.
The following year I spoke to Darren about upgrading and without hesitation he offered me an excellent trade in deal on a new model. I urge anyone thinking of getting a kayak to at least speak with Darren first, you will not be dissapointed. I know I wont ever buy from anyone else again.
I travelled to Durrus with a friend to see Darren following a recommendation. After finding out what we wanted from our kayaks, he took us out on the water to test the ones he felt most suited our needs. He spent loads of time with us and gave us plenty of great advice. At no stage did we feel pressurised into buying anything. We came back with the roof rack fully loaded! Since then I've gone back with my sister who also bought a kayak. He stocks a wide range of products to suit all budgets. It's well worth the journey to get this standard of service and I can't recommend Darren highly enough.
Séan Mullins, Killarney
June 2010: I recently bought my third kayak from Darren and I suppose that in itself says alot about the service and quality of product that he has to offer. On each of those three purchases Darren spent a lot of time showing me the various types of kayaks that would be suitable for me as regards size, weight (especially for lifting!) and speed/manoeuvrability. Once I had seen a few that I liked he arranged for the 'test-paddle' and again there was no shortage of time on his part while I tried to make up my mind on the water. Once decided, the accessories (paddle & lifejacket) were right on hand to be chosen which I found to be very reasonably priced. Finally, once loaded up on the car Darren will always have a quick look at the straps to make sure I have the kayak well tied down before I heading off. I am very lucky to be only a short drive away from Durrus, but I think even if I was further away I would consider it a well worthwhile journey given the time and service provided by Darren. Mairead Dullea.
Fergus, Niamh, Aaron and I wish to convey our sincere thanks to you for your patience and kindness to us when we visited you on Tuesday last. We thoroughly recommend that anyone intending to buy a kayak or a canoe visit you before they purchase. We thought it was brilliant that we could try out different kayaks so that we were fully confident with our choice.
We also loved that you did not push us into a corner to buy and that you had only good advice and our safety to the fore rather than a quick sale. We loved your kind and gentle approach and although I can swim and wanted a kayak for a long while, I am also weary of open water. However, after your expert tuition and the time you spent with us going through various paddling strokes and some 'safety on the water' precautions I approached my own kayak for the first time today without any sense of forboding, knowing that once I followed your expert advice and saftey tips I would enjoy paddling like a childs first paddle in the little shore waves at the beach!! Fergus can't tread water very well and even he was confident paddling about just off the shore. Niamh had been on friends kayaks before, but Aaron's first venture was with you and today he also paddled about with his dad ! Imagine our youngest paddling a kayak all by himself !
Sincere thanks,The O'Connor Family - Donnybrook, Douglas, Co Cork
Having never sat on a kayak in my life I decided to buy two kayak's, one for myself and one for my 11 year old son. I phoned a couple of dealers to find out what I could about kayaks only to be told what they had in stock and price full stop. Then I phoned Darren who asked how old my son was, what experience we had, what was our intended use for them etc, after explaining the different types of kayaks to me he arranged a day for me and my son to go down to him and try our several different kayak's to find two that would be perfect for us, before we were left out on them Darren went through all the safety aspects and showed us how to use the paddle correctly - to my sons amusement I had my paddle upside down ! We both tried out several kayak's before we found two that were right for us and Darren spent a lot of time teaching us how to paddle them properly. If you are thinking of getting a kayak go to Darren because I would have bought two kayaks that weren't suitable or safe for me or my son. Thanks Darren.
Joe Hayes , Cork June 2009
After deciding on buying a kayak I called a few kayak shops in cork to get some advice and direction on what i should buy and what would best suit my needs. After making a few phone calls I ending up talking to Darren for 20 minutes and I knew a trip to Durrus was a must. Unlike some of the other shops Darren was not giving me a "hard sell" but instead offered sound advice on what would best suit my needs, and my budget. We tried out several types of sea kayak and ended up staying on the water for couple of hours. Darren was more interested in teaching the different strokes and teaching the Do's and Dont's in terms of safety on the water rather then trying to sell me a Kayak! It was a great experience. I bought an RTM SOLO which was perfect to get me started and then once I realised that sea kayak trecking was definately something I wanted to do alot of I decided to trade in for a TSUNAMI 145 which I use 2/3 times a week. Darren took the solo back and gave me a great trade in as promised at the time of purchase. After buying my kayak i have been encouraging all of my friends to go down to Durrus to try this out.
Having had an inflatable Kayak, I wanted something sturdier, which would be both good in rivers and on the coast. As the wife is not the greatest of swimmers, the stability of the Kayak was very important. Darren suggested the Ocean Duo, and after spending two hours on the water under tuition we are delighted with the boat and the extremely sensible skills needed to safely enjoy the Kayak. While back on base we were also taught by Darren on how to the secure the Kayak to the car safely. To date we have been out at Inniscara Lake and are delighted and thrilled with the handling of the Kayak and looking forward to many happy adventures ahead.
We bought 3 kayaks from Darren and have been hooked since. He spent five hours (on Easter Sunday!), including over two hours in the water showing us eight different boats and helped us to choose the right ones for us (RTM Duo,Loko and Tango).
There was no "hard sell", just sensible advice and guidance on what was best for our needs. As we were beginners, there was an emphasis on safety and he gave us many tips on getting started. He was very encouraging to the kids who were a bit dubious at first but are now hooked as well. The level of service far exceeded anything from other retailers and made the trip from Tralee well worthwhile!
The Higgins family, Tralee.
The benefits I perceived from shopping at Darrens Kayaks were -
Choosing a kayak at Darren's was a great experience, especially for novices. There is a huge range of kayaks, from beginners to proper sea-kayaks, along with all the necessary gear. You have the opportunity to try out any number of kayaks and Darren gives great tips on technique and safety. This was much better than shopping at an outdoor store which are all indoors! Darren's Kayaks provide test-runs on any number of boats. He even installed the proper roof racks for us. Kids can try out their own kayaks. For a family starting out on kayaking, Darren's is the place to go - excellent choice, professional advice and good value.
Timothy Counihan Galway.
We bought two kayaks last summer from Darren's Kayaks. We found Darren very pleasant to deal with. He gave excellent advice and was very patient in helping us to find the most suitable kayaks for us. He also gave us lots of tuition time. We have no hesitation in recommending Darren's Kayaks.
Liam & Angelique Cashman, Cork
Without Darren's excellent service of taking you to the seaside with a huge choice of Kayaks and introducing you to the world of kayaking there is no way you could pick the kayak that is right for you. Darren goes about his business with enthusiasm, patience and he certainly is a good teacher. In his company one feels confident and safe and the fun starts immediately. Coming home after three hours on the water on a frosty winter morning you are already looking forward to the next trip. Thanks Darren.
Like many people I was somewhat sceptical to the authenticity of website testimonials however where Darrens Kayaks is concerned I can vouch to say hand on heart that all is true. I was in the market for a kayak and thought that the range of kayaks seen in sports and marine shops would be suffice. How wrong I was. After contacting Darren and arranging a convenient time to visit his facility, Darren begun by getting a full understanding of the type of conditions I was going to be kayaking in. From here, he selected from a vast range of 70+ models, five different options for me to consider. After lengthy discussions of the pros and cons of each one, we selected three to take to the nearby estuary. I was amazed at the difference in each make and model and had I not been afforded this opportunity, feel sure that I would have purchased something unsuitable for my weight, experience and conditions from a sport or marine shop. I also purchased all my wet weather gear, paddle and floatation device. Enjoy the Darrens Kayaks experience guys, it's rare in this day and age. Sincere thanks to Darren for his time and expert advice.
Try before you buy.
Nick Tulloch, Cork
I've bought two kayaks from Darren - one sit-in tourer and one sit-on-top recreational.
On both occasions, we tried out several potential kayaks on the water close to his store. As a result, I was able to select the perfect kayak. I think it would be madness to buy a kayak without trying it out first. The service Darren provides is excellent, and he doesn't charge for it.
Damian Brosnan, Cork.
We really appreciated all the time you spent with us on the water at Summercove helping us to decide which was the right kayak for us. We enjoyed the day so much that we hope you will be running further training sessions which we will certainly travel all the way from Wicklow to attend!!
Deirdre, Paul and Grainne Wicklow
Darren wouldn't sell me a Kayak!!!! Well not until I had visited him, had a coffee and fully discussed my requirements. We chatted about experience levels, expectations and where I would use the craft before Darren narrowed the choice down to two possibilities. Even then he wouldnt let me buy until I had tested both of them and he could assess how safe I would be on the water. I was especially impressed by this since I was bringing my children onboard and he wasnt satisfied until we had completed an hours free tuition in a local bay. Darren's knowledge of the kayak scene and one to one tuition were amazing and I have since spent many happy hours kayaking in West Cork. Darren has stayed in touch since and recommended excursions and new bays to try. ( Darren can also look after the Kayak during the winter months and saves me "long hauling" it back to Meath!!) I was very pleased by the craft recommended, A Rotomod Quattro, but amazed at the personal service and tuition, making sure that Kayaking was safe and fun for me and my family.
Marcus McInerney Warrenstown Dunboyne Co. Meath.