Green Coast Kayaking held a free community paddle for Haida Gwaii residents on Monday, May 25, 2020 in Queen Charlotte. According to owner Bryce Klee, the free event is expected to continue weekly on Sunday mornings. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)

VIDEO: Green Coast offers free kayaking to Haida Gwaii residents

First “pop-up paddle” held Monday, May 25; free community paddles expected to continue weekly

Green Coast Kayaking is planning to offer free weekly paddles to Haida Gwaii residents, in an effort to make the sport more accessible and do something good for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The local company, based in Queen Charlotte, held an initial pop-up paddle on Monday (May 25), a free, three-hour event that started with a safety briefing at 6 p.m., including a reminder to maintain a six-foot distance from members outside of your household, handle all of your own gear, and bring your own snacks and water.

Owner Bryce Klee told the Observer he was impressed with the number of residents who RSVP’d and said about 10 kayaks got out on the water.

“It was clear people had come to get out,” Klee said. “And the kayak is such a good way to do that.”

Going forward, Klee said the community paddles are expected to take place weekly on Sunday mornings starting at around 9 a.m. Residents who are interested in participating should email info@gckayaking.com.

ALSO READ: Man drowns while kayaking off B.C. beach

With all of their Gwaii Haanas expeditions and guided tours cancelled due to the virus, Green Coast has also started promoting paid rentals — sanitized after each use — to locals.

In a Facebook post on May 22, the company announced that single and double kayaks as well as stand-up paddleboards were available at daily rates ranging from $30 to $60.

Klee told the Observer they may also begin offering a paid membership option for residents who wish to sign out equipment on a regular basis.

ALSO READ: Eyes of Society selected for Banff Mountain Film Festival

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
karissa.gall@blackpress.ca.


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