Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jackson Kayaks now at WCK!

We've got a lot of new stuff for 2011, possibly the most exciting of which is the latest addition to our kayak line up. While Jackson is one of the newer kids on the block in the kayaking industry, they have definitely taken the kayak world by storm. After enjoying much success in their whitewater line up, they are now raising the bar for touring and recreational paddling as well.

Jackson is known for its innovation, and has a habit of introducing multiple new boats each year. We like new, so making the Jackson line part of our family was a no-brainer. Aside from making boats that actually fit all sizes of paddlers, big or small, Jackson isn't afraid to try something new. This is evident across their line of boats from whitewater, rec and touring to the always growing fishing kayak market.

This week we got our first shipment of shiny new Jackson boats, and I do mean shiny. These guys keep their molds in top notch condition and it shows in the finished product. The shine and finish to these boats are as good as anything I have seen before on plastic kayaks, bravo!

Our first mound of Jackson boats.

Jackson does an awesome job on their mixed color boats. This Super Star was our of my favorite color mixes.

The Journey comes in 13.5' or 14'. It's got comfortable outfitting and a really nice loose feel on the water. Considering this is the first ever light touring boat they have built, they should be pretty happy with the outcome. We have demo's available for all Jackson Kayaks.

Jackson's Villain series of creek boats is their newest whitewater boat and it's getting great reviews, especially by the big boys. The larger Villain is one of the largest fitting creek boats on the market. There is a ton of room for multi days in the back of this bad boy.Laura Demers and Ryan Bayes in the new Dynamic Duo dropping into the last hole on the Chilliwack Canyon. We took a nice brisk December swim a few seconds after this picture. A Gore-Tex Dry Suit is a must for winter whitewater in BC.

Check our website in February for spring demo dates and come try out some Jackson for yourself.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More new stuff arriving for 2011

As 2011 creeps closer we are starting to get in new product for next season. Some of the new items that have arrived include:

New Deck Stash Bag Never lose a water bottle again.
The Deck Stash Bag is the perfect accessory for keeping your necessities close at hand.
The water bottle holder will fit the typical 25 oz. stainless steel water bottle. The zipper mesh compartment is great for storing items like suntan lotion, lip balm, sun glasses, stirrup, etc.
Easy to attach and remove with 4 side squeeze buckles that connect to the deck line or bungees in front of the cockpit (water bottle not included).

We've also got some new dry bags from Outdoor Research. OR has some cool new takes on keeping your gear dry. With everything from cool graphics, to window bags and double roll top closures give the ultimate in dry protection.

Indian Arm Explorer;

Hiking & Kayaking around Indian Arm, Vancouver:
Cutting deep into the Coast Range Mountains, Indian Arm is Vancouver’s very own “local fjord”, and offers a wealth of exploration opportunities to kayakers and boaters alike. Visitors to these (relatively) sheltered waters will experience rocky islands, cascading waterfalls, secluded beaches, camping spots, quaint oceanfront dwellings and a wealth of marine wildlife

Those of us that already own the Astral Green Jacket know its one of the best pieces of paddle sports gear money can buy. The green jacket is unrestricted for any type of paddling and packed full of goodies like pockets, quick releases and just about anything else an avid sea kayaker or whitewater paddler could hope for in a PFD. So, how could this ever be improved upon?? Well the good folks at Astral stepped up the sexy on this latest "Limited Edition". The LE4 has some super retro colors that clash so hard they actually work. As the name suggest the Limited Edition is, well, limited so get one before you're left looking just like every other paddler.

Were also excited about a new line of skirts for 2011. After viewing the samples we were sure that Seals Skirts were something we should be carrying. Seals Skirts are all hand crafted in New York, its very refreshing to see some paddle sports gear still being made in north America, and their quality backs up their claims of top notch gear. We have several models now in stock and more to come.

Check out their full line of skirts here.

Laura Demers modeling the new Astral Green Jacket, Seals Skirts and OR dry bags.

Check back for more updates on all the new gear for 2011.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More new boats arriving at WCK in time for the Holidays.

I just got back yesterday from picking up another load of kayaks from our friends at Pyrnaha. This shipment is particularly exciting for us as there are several new boats that we have never had at WCK before.

The Everest, Karnali, and Varun are all new additions to our ever growing whitewater line.

The Karnali is a river running creek boat with softer edges than other Pyrnaha whitewater boats giving it a more relaxed feel for paddlers who are not as comfortable with aggressive edges.

The Everest is the 'big boy' in expedition paddling, at home on rivers or creeks this kayak has a ton of storage and volume and makes it a favorite amongst bigger paddlers as well as people looking to load up the back of their boat for self supported multi day trips.

The Varun is Pyrnaha's new river running play boat, and it shreads. There is a review on this kayak that can be found on the local whitewater website The medium size unit is the only one we stock now, but we will be getting in the Large and Small sizes as they available.

The Fusion S (Small) is now also in stock. The Fusion is truly a cross-over kayak designed for flat water paddling up to moderate whitewater river. The new smaller size will give smaller paddlers a better fit and more control for venturing into whitewater. These are super stable and beginner friendly boats for people wanting to get out on the river but not having a ton of experience. Even though it's not a full on whitewater boat we still recommend taking some lessons before hitting the rivers.

Both sizes of the Fusion come with retractable skeg and rear hatch and bulkhead making flat water paddling and loading a breeze for longer trips.

We will be getting in some new Jackson rec. and touring boats, as well as whitewater kayaks in the next week. Stay tuned for updates on that and Western's new line of composite kayaks made by Stellar. Steller kayaks are infused composite boats and some of the lightest on the market.

Ryan Bayes

Friday, December 3, 2010

Four Creeks We are in Danger of Loosing

Four Creeks we are in Danger of Loosing by Ryan Bayes

Independent Power Projects, aka IPPs, are being planned here in our back yards - and most of us don't have a clue what has been going on. These creeks include: Big Silver, Shovel, Tretheway and Statlu.

There are over 800 applications for Run-of River projects on B.C's creeks and rivers. These are just four. They've been labelled as green energy, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

The above photo was taken at a recent IPP site on the Ashlu River.

These projects destroy huge amounts of wildlife habitat, ruin recreational experiences for everyone from kayakers, canoers, hikers, dirt bikes/atv's as well as fisherman. These projects have been proven time and again to have a huge negative impact on fish habitat.

As if that wasn't enough, these projects are all owned by American Corporations making millions of dollars off BC's resources. Very little of this money will stay in B.C. BC hydro is forced to buy the power these projects produce for astronomical rates. Ultimately this is going to increase the rate B.C. citizens pay for electricity. Right now we enjoy some of the lowest hydro rates anywhere in the world, as we should.

There are four projects currently planned for the Harrison Lake area. including all the major tributaries to the lake. If we don't make ourselves heard now, these pristine areas will be lost forever.

Most IPP's have a terrible track records for environmental mishaps on their projects. And for the most part they are never called on the carpet for their mistakes. Having part of the flow diverted, as is the case with IPP's, will mean a river never reaches it's full flood stage. These really high water events are the river's way of naturally flushing out wood and debris that can build up over a season. Without 'high water' it is highly likely that log jams and other hazards will build up over time and eventually make a river to dangerous to paddle.

At high water, or flood, the river will also replenish gravel and sand banks that have washed away during the season. This is key for fish habitat and spawning. Sediment will build up in the 'hold back' at the intake for the projects and never make it down stream where it's needed by fish and other wildlife.

It's time to stop these projects from taking BC's resources and in the process permanently scarring our beautiful province for ever.

To read more comments about these projects, please log on to

More info on Run-of-River projects in BC can be found at:

Please pass this along to anyone you know who fishes, hikes, paddles..and enjoys B.C.'s pristine back country. Help us keep British Columbia 'The Best Place on Earth'

Saturday, November 13, 2010

small cars & canoes

From time to time people will tell me they can't put a canoe on their car because it's too small. I beg to differ.

Please feel free to pass this on to your friends who are skeptical.

The white OC-1 on top of the yellow canoe, on the green Suzuki is 23' long...ok, so that is a little big.

But the red canoe on the Smart Car is just under 16'.

I'd have to say the hardest vehical to put a canoe on, that I've had to work on, would be an older model VW Beetle. For that we just customize a set of foam blocks to take care of that roof curvature.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy paddlers and their new Clipper Tripper

To Marlin and the group at Western Canoeing.

Attached are two photos of a September 2010 trip to Bowron Lakes. Of course, the Tripper is an excellent canoe. It performs excellent, turns on a dime even when loaded. We are thankful for the craftsmanship of your group at Western Canoeing. We get many compliments on the fine canoe. We refer the people to WCK. Keep up the good work.

The weather wasn't always so beautiful. It snowed the next day.


Rob and Elizabeth Savage.


Great pics Rob and Elizabeth, I'm sure there will be many more great memories to come in your Clipper. Have fun making them!

Ryan Bayes

Thursday, October 7, 2010

3rd annual Tamihi 5-0- Open Canoe Slalom

This past September was the 3rd annual Tamihi 5-O Open Canoe Race. Tamihi 5-O is held on the world famous Tamihi Rapid on the Chilliwack River. The race is a fun orientated slalom race on a challanging class 3-4 rapid. With multiple gates to hit the course provides lots of spectator amusement as paddlers scramble to make gates on their way down stream.

This year WCK's very own Laura Demers cleaned up taking top place in the Women's Solo and mixed Tandem with Don Frose. Laura paddled her Clipper Probe in the Women's Solo division and a Dagger Caption in the tandem. Laura was crowned "Queen of the River" for her multiple wins along with Don Frose as "King of the River".

Big thanks to Clipper, Esquif and Kokatat for demo boats and drysuits. Please click here for a complete list of sponsors and volunteers.

I went out to train with Laura on Saturday but couldn't make it in time for the race on Sunday, when I did arrive I was surprised to see the river a lot higher than the night before. This transformed the course from a gentle class 3 to a much more rowdy and faster moving rapid, it made hitting the gates a lot harder but all competitors put on a good show.

Check back next year for info on the 2011 Tamihi 5-0.

Laura Demers and her "Queen of the River Trophy".

Laura and Don on one of their tandem runs.

The Esquif Zephyr is one sexy boat.

For being an older design Clippers Kev/Dflx Viper is still really popular, that was evident by the number of them at the race.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stand Up Paddling Round Bowron

Stand up Paddling, better known as SUP is quickly becoming the fastest growing paddle sport around. This, plus a little encouragement from Marlin, the owner here at Western Canoeing & Kayaking, is what gave me the courage to try something no one had ever done before; SUP the 116k Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit.

For my trip I chose the Starboard
'Free Race'. This board is a terrific choice for fast touring, and it worked great. My paddle was the Werner 'Spanker' - really light, I loved it.

The first obstacle to overcome in planning this journey was how to carry all the gear. I figured I could take a couple of dry bags on the board itself but would need a sherpa of some sort for the rest. My lovely boyfriend, David, decided to take on the task. He paddled a Clipper Tripper 'S' with a solo seat just behind the yoke and carried the rest of our gear, about 150# worth.

We had originally planned on taking 7 days to complete the circuit and thought even that might be pushing it for time and energy. In the end it only took us 6 days. We paddled an average of 20k a day, which was only about 7 hrs per day. On the second day my abs were really feeling the core workout. I was also surprised that my legs weren't weak. After the first day of calm glassy waters we struggled with headwinds for most of the trip thereafter. If I stopped paddling I would instantly start moving backwards. So much for using those Wind Paddle Sails!

I wore a dry suit for practically the whole trip, as it rained 4 of the the 6 days we were out. I used the Kokatat Meridian, and was dry, warm and comfortable the entire time.

The portages were interesting to say the least. With me carrying the board it was pretty much impossible to assist David with the loaded canoe (on a cart) on portage trails. In the end we both seemed to manage ok.

People we met along the way called me crazy and snapped photos like the paparazzi. They just couldn't believe what they were seeing. The Germans we met just couldn't get enough of it. They said they had never seen such a thing and wanted pictures to prove it when they got home. Everyone stood by to watch as I ran the infamous Chute on the Isaac River. I made it past the first couple of big waves and then came crashing to the water. I managed to rescue myself and hop back on the board for the rest of the river. Thank goodness for that helmet I brought.

All in all the trip was a success. And, yes, I stood up the whole way!

Laua Demers
Sales/Demo Coordinator
Western Canoeing & Kayaking

Friday, September 10, 2010

Former Western Canoeing & Kayaking employee Joe O'Blenis, Circles Vancouer Island in Record Time

On Saturday Sept 4th, Joe completed a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in 16 days, 12 hours and 9 minutes. Starting in Nanaimo, Joe headed north and completed the circuit counter clockwise.

Joe, who held the record previously, beat his own and Sean Morely's recent time by 16 hours. He likely would have been faster had he not encountered 'technical difficulties' in Tofino, where he lost almost a full day.

Joe emailed us today and said that he is considering doing it all again in a Clipper Sea-1, the same canoe he paddled across Canada in, in 2004. Or maybe in a tandem Sea Clipper..hmmm.

Congratulations Joe on your record breaking feat.

Monday, August 23, 2010

We just love getting cudos. Got this one today from Todd.


I just wanted to say thanks again for your great customer service and say thanks for making a great product. I bought my Tripper-S last winter and was able to use it over 40 times this spring and summer. We have done lots of fishing, camping, and river trips with it. And it has been great! I'm sure you already know what great products you make, but I just wanted to make the point of saying it again!. Everyone that asks about (the Tripper S) gets an ear full of how good you guys are to deal with. I am looking forward to getting many years out of it.

Thanks again


Saturday, August 21, 2010

New boats @ WCK for 2010/2011

Every year WCK staff head down to Salt Lake City for the annual Outdoor Retailer show to insure we're the first shop with all the new must have paddle gear. Although this year's on water demo was dominated by the SUP (stand up paddling) craze, we did find some cool new kayaks floating around.

One of the new boats that got me most excited was the Pyranha Fusion. The Fusion is a great cross over kayak that at 10' is perfect for light touring and up to class 3 white water. It's a great boat for some of the flatter rivers we have here in the Fraser Valley. The Fusion also has a drop skeg to help keep you going straight on the flats. The cross over category of kayaks has largely been dominated by boats more suited to recreational flat water and class 2 paddling like the Dagger Approach that we've already been selling for years.
The Fusion comes in 2 sizes and has 2 outfitting options. Being a little narrower than other more recreational oriented cross over boats the Fusion has more speed and better maneuverability from the increased rocker. Although the Approach's larger flatter hull gives it unbeatable stability an experienced paddler will likely enjoy the more aggressive outfitting and hull on the Fusion.

If you're looking for a more full-on whitewater experience we've also got Pyranha's line of whitewater specific boats from creeking and river running to their new super popular play boat the Molan (now in stock).

Aside from some cool new boats being offered by the brands we already carry like Wilderness Systems, Perception and Wavesport we also fell in love with the Hobie kayak line. Many of you will know Hobie from their great line up of sail boats, but they also build some very unique kayaks, that allow you to propel the boat with your feet . . . yes there is also a paddle included with these boats. If you are unfamiliar with Hobies "Mirage Drive System", you should definitely check out their site or swing into the store and see what it's all about. Using a combination of Hobbie's Mirage Drive and the fiber glass paddle, allows the paddler (or peddler) to get a full body work out. The Hobie also has a distinct advantage for fishing and hunting as its hands free operation allowing you to focus on more important things like that next fish.

The Hobie Rep will be at our Aug 28 sale with his demo boats for people to see. Our new Hobie stock should arrive in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned for more updates on new gear for next season.

Ryan Bayes

Friday, August 13, 2010

Instore special on now thru August 27th
Ocean Kayak Torque w/ electric motor. Listed at $2299,
on sale now for only $1999 plus receive a free Minn Kota
MK-105P battery charger. Great for 'stealth' trolling.

Purchase any new WaveSport or Dagger Whitewater Kayak and receive 10% off the list price and an additional $75 instore accessory credit, to be used at the time of purchase.

Special on now thru August 27th
Any new Current Design Solstice Titan or Titan LV at 15% off the regular list price.
Also, get a $100 accessory credit to be used in store at the time of your purchase

Purchase a Necky Looksha 14 for $1499 and receive a $175 accessory credit to be used in store at the time of your purchase.

August Special - on now thru Aug 27th

Purchase a new Necky Eliza at 15% off the list price and receive a Stohlquist BetSea PFD, valued at $129.99 with your purchase

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August Special on now thru Aug 27
Purchase a new 2009 model Necky Manitou 14 at 15% off
the regular price and receceive a $100 accessory credit to be
used instore at the time of your purchase .

August Specials - no now thru August 27th

Purchase any new 2009 Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140, 145,160,165 models at 15% off the regular price, and receive a fiberglass AT T4E Straight Shaft touring paddle (valued at $134.95) with your purchase

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Clippers on Powell Forest Canoe Route

The Davies Family wrote to tell us that they recently took their
Clipper Canoes around the Powell Forest Canoe Route
...and that they LOVE their canoes.

We always like to hear that :o)

They even sent pictures.

Friday, July 2, 2010

David Thomson Brigade Brigade, paddling in the "Silly Summer Parade"
Photo by: Ed Kaiser,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bellingham Ski 2 Sea Team

Ski2sea 2010 had a smashing finish at the recent Bellingham Ski to Sea Race.

464 teams competed in the relay from the Mt Baker Ski area to Bellingham Bay.
Our team came 5th overall, 4th in our division and just seconds out of the medals.

Top teams from Bos Construction won the event.

We’ve been competing in this event for over 10 years – almost always finishing ‘in the medals’ even finishing first in 2007

Dan Roycroft competed for us in the X Country leg and came in 5th. Passing off to Trevor Jordan who had a fall in his leg, loosing a few spots. But, Sean Chester of Victoria, who bless his heart likes running down hill, brought us back up to 2nd place again.

When Trevor fell the lanyard on the timing chip broke, so when Sean passed the lanyard on to John Meehan, our road biker, it ended up getting caught in his spokes. Narrowly missing doing a header over his handle bars, John had to come to a full stop and untangle the mess. This put us back significantly. But bravo for John for getting back in there and fighting his way back up to 10th.

John passed off to canoeist Harry James who sprinted to the river jumping in with fellow paddler Ron Williams. Ron slipped in the mud at the start and was, for a moment, under the canoe. They ended up well though, beating their time from last year.

Ron and Harry passed off to Ricky Federau our fearless mtn biker, who managed to pass several bikers and make up over 3 minutes in our overall time.

Our final leg was completed by Ian MacKenzie who paddled his surfski across Bellingham Bay in 43minutes and 45 seconds. Finishing mere seconds behind 3rd place

We’re very proud of our Ski to Sea Team – and we’ll be back next year to medal for sure.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

2010 Vancouver Kayak Club Festival -Chilliwack River-

The Vancouver Kayak Club pulled of its 3rd annual festival on The Chilliwack River. Like the two before this year's event was another great success. With shuttled runs, down river races, free style throwdowns and a live band there was lots to keep you busy.

Dan Bentley running the log drop on the "Lake Down" section of The Chilliwack River.

There was an absolute mountain of gear to be raffled and given away at this years festival. Western Canoeing and Kayaking were one of 3 gold level sponsors and donated a Dagger KingPin 6.2 along with some gift certificates and other goodies. Wavesport has always been a gold sponsor of this event and was so again this year with the donation of a Fuse 56.

The lucky new winner of a Dagger KingPin 6.2, she used the boat the next day to come in second in the women's beginner class at the Throwdown.

The throwdown was also a great success. A throwdown is basically a informal free style competition aimed more towards having fun than crowning the best paddlers. The turn out of beginners was awesome, some paddlers even had their first surfs ever during the competition. Check here for more information on up coming throwdowns.

Jeff Cowan and myself trying earn some points in the Throwdown with a tandem surf.

VKC Festival

See you all at next years festival.

Ryan Bayes

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Reel Paddle Film Fest


The 5th Annual Reel Paddling Film Festival is coming to Abbotsford Friday, March 12.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is an international film tour presenting the world’s best whitewater, sea kayaking and canoeing action and lifestyle films of the year on screens in 75 cities across Canada, United States, Europe and the United Kingdom.

Sponsored by Western Canoeing & Kayaking and Valhalla Pure Outfitters, the festival will be shown at Columbia Bible College in Clearbrook. This year’s event features 3 hrs of paddling films short-listed for the World Tour, including the nine festival category winners. Audiences can expect to see a variety of hairy whitewater action, sea kayakers exploring remote coastlines, coast-to-coast canoe expeditions, international river travel films, motivating environmental documentaries, grueling kayak fishing battles and hilarious short films capturing the lighter side of paddling life.

For tickets and information call Western Canoeing & Kayaking, 604-853-9320,,
Tickets are $12 at the door, and $10 in advance.
Advance tickets also available at Valhalla Pure Outfitters

Columbia Bible College – Chapel is located at 2940 Clearbrook Rd.
Show begins at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

River Safety Tune Up Day

With all the local rivers frozen or dry and spring paddling just around the corner February was a perfect time for Western Canoeing and Kayaking along with Purple Hayes School of Kayaking to throw their first ever "River Safety Tune Up Day". WCK uses Purple Hayes for whitewater kayaking lessons and "River Rescue" courses.

The idea behind River Safety Tune Up Day was to give an opportunity for newer paddlers to learn some new skills and give experienced paddlers the motivation we all need to practice our skills that for the most part we don't practice enough, and hopefully never need.

With around 25 canoers and kayakers ranging from rank beginner to expert there was a good mix of teachers and students. Kay was stuck doing the always exciting knots station while the rest of us floated around the throw bag and more technical rope skills section. Moving the Hyundai with the Clipper Canoes delivery truck anchor was my favorite station.

To wrap it up we had a throw bag competition with 1st place taking home a $50 gift certificate to WCK.Were hoping to run two Safety Tune Up days next year so stay tuned for dates next winter, and don't forget, you don't need an event to practice safety techniques. How much more efficient would we all be at rescuing if every time we waited for a shuttle or late paddler we practiced our rescue skills?

Ryan Bayes