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Easy flat water around Vancouver to practice.
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Author:  Tereva [ August 26th, 2018, 6:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Easy flat water around Vancouver to practice.

Hey guys,

I am looking for easy flat water to practice and get used to the boat. Obvious choice are Deer and Burnaby lakes. I am just wondering how clean is the water if I go for a swim?

What about Indian arm?
I did it once in a -very- small motor boat and the return trip was pretty rough. How difficult is it to paddle up to Jug beach or the twin island? Do you have to plan with the tides?



Author:  jefffski [ August 26th, 2018, 11:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Easy flat water around Vancouver to practice.

Indian Arm is fine. To avoid afternoon winds, be off the water before noon, expecially on hot days. Paddling in the early morning, especialy on weekends, will also help you avoid motorboats and their annoying wakes. Also, avoid Friday evenings.

For day paddles, we launch at Barnet Marine Park (there's no overnight parking), cross Moody Inlet to Belcarra and paddle along along the west side, past Belcarra Park, around Hamber Island, past Jug island, into and around very quiet Bedwell Bay and then to Twin Islands. This route is almost always near shore, so if you dump, you can self rescue.

Tides are only an issue regardng put ins and take outs as the water recedes quite dramatically at low tide. It's not a problem if you don't mind getting your feet wet.

I also suggest taking a course with a certified instructor through the RCABC ( to improve your paddling strokes, (such as the forward stroke, draws and pries and the J stroke). The Beaver Canoe Club also organizes trips.

Have fun-and always wear your PFD with a whistle attached, and in your boat carry a spare paddle, bailer, throw rope and a dry bag with spare clothing.

Author:  Tereva [ August 27th, 2018, 9:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Easy flat water around Vancouver to practice.

Thank you for the detailed answer.
What about Friday evenings?
I was expecting tides to generate currents and waves in some places.

Thanks for the RCABC link. I would like some lessons yes.
How is it done., you just contact one of the person listed here directly?

Cheers ,


Author:  yarnellboat [ August 27th, 2018, 10:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Easy flat water around Vancouver to practice.

There are not a lot of canoe instructors around Vancouver. The main option is the "Basic Paddlers" program that the Beavers offer in the spring, it's good fundamentals, well organized, it's cheap (free with BCC membership), but it's only once a year on fixed dates. They do it at Deer Lake, including swimming. This is led by a guy named Carey Robson who is the BCC's training director and has been doing it for many, many years. He's been the most active canoe instructor in the area forever, often the only one, and for a period he wasn't offering courses either, so the pickings can be slim to non-existent. Carey's private courses and contact info are probably on the BCC website.

Deer Lake is a fine place to practice.

False Creek Community Centre used to offer canoe lessons as a program at one time, but I don't know if that's still on. You could check the city's rec programs for possible courses.

False Creek is another place you could paddle.

I guess there are 2 other ways for lesons:

1) Just try contacting somebody off the RCABC website. Though that's the theory of the web pages, many listed probably don't actively offer courses. I haven't heard of any courses happening that way.

2) Join the BCC and get to know who the instructors or mentors that you might ask for lessons or tips.

Taking a course is a good idea. If you can't find a course, I'd just suggest you go on as many of the club's trips as you can - they are safe, and you'll meet a range of experienced canoeists who will be happy answer questions about put-ins, boats, technique, whatever.

Good luck and enjoy your new boat!, Pat

(p.s. Hi Jeff, Hope you guys a had great summer of adventure. I've done a bit of paddling around Winnipeg this summer, but never as much as I'd like. I miss the year-round continuous rock gardens that you're spoiled with on the Seymour, Cap, Mamquam, Cheakamus and Chilliwack around Vancouver, not to mention Merritt and Princeton - we don't have that quality selection of ww in the prairies. But hearing loon calls again is nice! And the kids appreciate the warm water.)

Author:  Tereva [ August 27th, 2018, 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Easy flat water around Vancouver to practice.

Thanks for the detailed info Pat.

I will start playing at Deer lake ( but it's small so I'm sure I will get bored fast ;)).

If I can find some lessons I will take them, else I will just practice by myself.
I join the BCC already and will participate in as many easy trip as possible. They should help a lot like you said.

False creek is also a great idea. For some reason it didn't cross my mind.



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