To those of us that have little or no experience in canoeing or kayaking (or paddle sports in general), that big blue building on the highway by the McCallum exit is just another building we pass on the way to work. To paddle sport enthusiasts though, its like one great big candy store! That blue building with the paddle sport mural is home to Western Canoeing & Kayaking, which has been serving Abbotsford and the surrounding communities since 1978!
When Western Canoeing & Kayaking started out in Mary and Marlin Bayes’ basement, they had no idea it would grow to what it is today. What started out as a passion for paddling has grown into a business that not only provides great service and products to experienced paddlers, but encourages new people to give it a try as well! Now into their 27th year of production, Western Canoeing is both a production warehouse for Clipper Canoes, and a retail store for canoes, kayaks, paddles and other related gear such as river guides and life vests (for humans and doggies!).
With a great mixture of gear for experienced and new paddlers alike, the staff at Western Canoeing are extremely novice friendly. They understand that starting a new sport can be a daunted task, especially if it requires new equipment! Not only are they trained to walk you through the decision making process to determine which options are right for you, they are also avid paddlers themselves. New customers are encouraged to ask questions, and are comforted by the fact they are receiving answers from a knowledgeable individual.
Not sure where to start? General manager Lynn Smith suggests considering the following 3 W’s before looking at purchasing or renting a kayak or canoe: Where you will be going (ocean, lake, river), who you will be going with (solo, family, dog), and what will you be doing (leisure paddle, speed paddling)? The answers to these questions will help staff recommend which canoe or kayak is right for you, amongst the hundreds of model types!
One of the neat things about Western Canoeing & Kayaking is their on-site canoe production. Customers purchasing a canoe have the option of customizing their canoe to suit them, with a turn-around time of less than a week! Examples of customization can include coloring, seating placement and stern design to allow for the occasional use of a motor. Plus, by ordering local your canoe (whether customized or not), is ready for pick up by you! No special freight charges necessary.
If you’re thinking about taking up a paddling sport, but aren’t quite ready to make the commitment of purchasing a canoe or kayak, consider renting one! When you rent from Western Canoeing & Kayaking, the per day rental fee includes everything you need to get out on the water. From paddles and life vests, to the car top carrier kit – it’s all included!
Lessons and demo events, both offered by Western Canoeing, are also great ways to dip your toe in the water (literally!). With events taking place throughout the Fraser Valley, and beyond throughout the summer, there’s bound to be an event coming up in your area! Check the lesson and demo event schedules for more information, and registration instructions.
Western Canoeing & Kayaking
1717 Salton Rd, Abbotsford, BC
Have you ever gone canoeing or kayaking before? What are your favorite locations to set out on the open water for a few hours (or a few days, if you are adventurous)? We would love to hear your recommendations in the comments below!