We would like to respectfully acknowledge that the land on which we gather is in traditional, unceded Sto:lo Nation territory.
Western Canoe Kayak is celebrating more than 40 years in business. Western first started out as an importer of canoe paddles, distributing them into the Vancouver market. In the late 70s, the Company started a manufacturing facility in Abbotsford to begin building Clipper Canoes. The owners, Marlin and Mary Bayes, gave up their teaching careers and went into business full time.
In 1989, a new facility and retail store were built along the freeway in a prime location, and it has since grown to be the largest paddle sports store in Western North America. Since then, other lines of products like kayaks, stand-up boards, sailboats and rafts have been added. Their son, Ryan, eventually joined them in the family business. The staff has grown to include sales people who specialize in stand-up-paddling, whitewater kayaking, canoeing, touring and sailing. Western has gained a reputation as the place to go for kayaks and canoes for sale, and if you have questions you need answered.
Our Mission Statement
Here at Western Canoe Kayak, we pride ourselves with having the largest and most diverse selection of canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle-boards and accessories, with easy access through our on-line store.
Our staff don’t just talk about paddling, they live for it! Whether you’re just getting into paddling or have been paddling your whole life, our staff have the expertise to answer any questions you may have.
Our main mission is to help you find the best gear at the most reasonable price, and we like to make your buying experience fun as well as knowledgeable. Good service and sharing of knowledge are our most important products, and they’re free!
Meet Our Staff
Ryan grew up canoeing remote northern rivers on family expeditions. His love for outdoors and adventure landed him with an obsession for whitewater kayaking. Within 2 years of starting whitewater kayaking Ryan progressed to class 5 kayaking, multi day expeditions and pioneering new runs around South West BC. In recent years’ kayak fishing, paddle boarding and even rafting have crept into his quiver of paddling disciplines. Let it ride!
Sweet Protection Intergalactic Drysuit and Wanderer Helmet. Also, Danishes!
Laura has been with Western Canoeing and Kayaking since 2006. Laura came to us as a graduate of an Adventure Tourism program; once a newbie, now an experienced paddler in all forms. Regardless of whether it's canoeing, paddle boarding, sea kayaking, whitewater, kayak fishing and all things Hobie she is the go to about it all. Laura has a reputation for being the first person to stand up paddleboard around the 116km Bowron Lakes circuit in 2010 as well as catching giant White Sturgeon on the Fraser River in her kayak. Laura now has 2 young children keeping her busy so she gets out paddling when she can to spend time with her family. More paddling is in Laura's future training the next generation of young paddlers. Since starting out Laura has moved from working in our warehouse to sales to purchasing. Laura is an asset to our company and is continually trying to keep our floors stocked with all the newest and greatest paddling equipment available.
Our 2001 Clipper Tripper - Fit's the whole family
Neil only joined the WCK Team in February of 2022, but he has been coming into the store for over 30 years, first as a customer, along the way as a Paddle Sports Purchaser picking up Clipper Canoes and other gear for a shop he worked at in the Interior and eventually as a Paddle Sports Sales Rep, and now as the Retail Store Manager at WCK. He was mainly known as a whitewater kayaker, a competitive freestyle and extreme kayaker in the 90s and early 2000s, winding up as an Instructor for all paddle sports disciplines for a few years after that, now a days he is pretty happy to be re connecting with the lakes and rivers of the Lower Mainland in whichever types of paddling craft he happens to find himself in on each trip, along with a new passion, angling for salmon and steelhead on the Chilliwack River.
Neil is a bit of a gear fanatic, you'd understand if you have ever been in his garage, because we are making him pick though, he does feel though that for 2023 it will probably be Dagger's new Super Nova, split wheels are back!Explore Neil's Gear
Sam started at Western Canoe & Kayak in the spring of 2016. He grew up in Upstate New York, hiking, paddling, and rock climbing in the Adirondack Park. He has lead numerous multi-day canoe, kayak, and backpacking trips in New York, Wyoming, Alaska, and BC. When is comes to the outdoors he is a true jack of all trades, master of none. He is always up for trying something new.
Call him lazy, but if Sam can pedal and/or sail it, he is in! The Hobie Tandem Island or Lynx are his personal favorites. If he is paddling, he better have a Blackwater carbon paddle in my hands.
Margaret joined the WCK team in 2014. She competed in the ’92, ’96, ’00 and ’04 Olympics in the Whitewater Slalom event. She has won multiple world cup medals and has 9 National titles. When she is not chasing her 2 boys around, she can be found hiking, skiing or paddling her carbon surf ski.
Anything Carbon! Werner Cyprus kayak paddle, Werner Grand Prix SUP paddle, Zaveral Power Surge Pro Canoe paddle (perfect for the Ski to Sea race). And don’t forget the Kokatat Paclite Gore-tex Pullover.
Lynne started working with Western Canoeing in 1977, just before Kayaking was added to the name. Working part time while she completed her degree – she has turned her love of canoeing into a full-time career. Canoe tripping, a little racing, whitewater paddling, sea kayaking – it’s all on the water and she enjoys it all.
If I’ve got a Kevlar CLIPPER Tripper, Zaveral B/S paddle and Salus Eddy PFD, I’m good to go.
Abby started in June 2022 as a Sales Staff at WCK. She has been paddling her whole life, seeing as both her parents are avid whitewater kayakers. She's spent time ocean kayaking, white water kayaking, and recreational paddling. She also enjoys many other outdoor activities like surfing, skimboarding, mountain biking, softball, and hiking.
My favourite gear is my new Dagger Rewind Medium in the colour Aurora, the Sweet Protection Strutter, Astral Green Jacket, and the NRS Hydroskin pants/long sleeve . These are all great products for whitewater kayaking!
Sarah started at WCK in March of 2022 after a few years of teaching horse riding. She has always enjoyed the outdoors, mainly hiking, camping, paddling recreationally and travelling. She grew up riding horses, and when she’s not working you can probably find her with her own few. Sarah is excited to dabble in all types of paddling to keep learning as much as possible, there’s always something new to learn!
My favourite gear is the Delta 15s with a Blackwater stave. She also loves her Eddy flex with the NRS Freestyle wet shoes, and of course the floating chum's glasses holder!
Pascal joined the Western Canoeing and Kayaking team at the start of 2020, right before a very interesting time for the outdoor industry! Having grown up on B.C.'s north coast, he's always been surrounded by water, whether that's the ocean, lakes, rivers, or perhaps most prevalent, the rain. As a certified sea kayak instructor and guide it should come as no surprise that his primary focus on the water is sea kayaking, but he's always game to try new things. Whether it's falling off a paddle board or spending some quality time upside down in a whitewater boat, it's all good fun!Explore Pascal's Gear
Stellar S18 Expedition in the multi sport layup, with a Werner Cyprus to go with it!
Madison started at Western Canoe and Kayaking in May of 2022. She has enjoyed paddle boarding for several years now. Camping and outdoor activities has been something she has been interested in for most of her life, as she participated in lots of camping activities and outdoor excursions as a girl guide. It is great being a part of the team at WCK, I can’t wait to learn more!
The Blackwater Espresso as it’s very light and easy to carry, as well as the Blackwater Chehalis SUP Paddle to pair with it!
Chris joined WCK in the early spring of 2022. Coming from a family of fisherman, he has always loved watersports and getting out on the water. After joining, his love for kayaking exploded and is now fully dedicated to getting geared up and back out on the lake!
My Bending Branches Navigator, S18 Expedition and the NRS Axiom Drysuit with a Seal Skirt.
Rylan started at Western Canoe & Kayak in February of 2022, after meeting one of his now fellow team members who was out for a paddle. Rylan is adverse in many outdoor activities such as kayaking, canoeing, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, dirt-biking, rock climbing and backpacking. You name it, he has tried it! Rylan has committed himself to the outdoor industry and is always looking to expand his scope. You will find Rylan where he is happiest, chasing some rapids or paddling across open waters.
I love any and all gear to do with the outdoor industry, but if I had to pick a paddling favourite it would be the NRS Jakl Drysuit along with a Stellar SiLV ocean touring kayak. Although, if I am whitewater kayaking, my boat of choice would be the Piranha Ripper 2 paired with a bent shaft Werner Powerhouse paddle.
Meet our Ambassadors
I was born in raised in Southeast Iowa, where I basically ate, drank and breathed fishing. Moved to North Vancouver in 2009 , and taught myself how to tie flies and fly fish. My wife and I moved back to her home town, Creston BC in 2011 where we currently reside. In 2013, I graduated from Sweetwater Travel Fly fishing Guide School in Greycliffe Montana learning how to operate drift boats and jetboats on the Yellowstone River. I first started kayak fishing in 2017. I now build custom fishing rods, and lures, as well as competing on the Western Canada Kayak Fishing Trail, traveling all over Alberta, Saskatchewan, and BC. My favorite species of fish to pursue Is Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye and Trout. I'm currently sponsored by American Tackle, and Weapons of Bass Destruction lure Co.
My Wilderness Systems Recon 120 HD
Born in the Comox Valley, on Vancouver Island, David discovered rivers while doing the Yamnuska Program in the Rockies in 1995. This led to a trip to Nepal and a rafting trip on the Kali Gandaki. After some time in Banff where he learned how to kayak and spent many days rafting the Bow River it was the start of rafting and kayaking in a variety of locations around the world. Now living back on Vancouver Island, spending the spring and fall teaching kayaking and rafting with the ROAMS program, Canadian Outdoor Leadership training program, North Island College, working in the Healthcare Field and guiding on multi-day trips in the Yukon for Canadian River Expeditions. David spends a lot of time paddling a variety of different rivers on Vancouver Island. His favourite river is the Puntledge with fun waves and great play features, large slides and waterfalls on the upper section. You can find a lot of stories on his blog https://raftinglife.xyz and he is currently an Ambassador for NRS.
Currently paddling a variety of Jackson kayaks with the Rockstar 5 being his boat of choice on the Puntledge play run.
Russell grew up on the West Coast in a paddle sports family. He’s organized and executed some large scale sea kayak expeditions around the world including paddling from Brazil to Florida and breaking and holding the human powered circumnavigation record of Vancouver Island. Recently Russell’s been using his sea kayaking as a means of work, guiding off a ship in Antarctica primarily, and focusing his personal paddling on whitewater. Now based in Pemberton BC, he’s a common face seen on rivers like the Cheak, the Ryan, and the Callaghan. What really tickles Russell’s fancy though is getting out and exploring new rivers. He has some big plans for the coming season so keep your ears open. On top of this Russell is a key organizer for the Callaghan Creek Race every year in Whistler and runs a small whitewater kayaking school in Squamish, River Culture Kayaking.
Growing up in the desert, Michelle started kayaking in her early 20s as a way to find some water! Fast forward to the present and she spends most of her time in or around rivers for work and pleasure. While she should have been studying, Michelle spent most of undergrad kayaking around Vancouver island during the winter and working as a raft guide and kayak instructor in Chilliwack BC over the summer. She’s since done paddling trips to Chile, Ecuador, New Zealand and throughout the US before settling in Squamish where she works in salmon research and organizes local kayaking events like the Callaghan Creek Race. Learning to paddle, Michelle had a strong group of women surrounding her and recognized the importance of gender representation on the water. She loves to see and help more women grow and thrive within the sport, finding finesse and making it their own.