Damon, the Expedition Manager at Wildcoast Adventures, just finished his first fibreglass single sea kayak – a Nimbus Telkwa. It is the first of a handful of new kayaks that Wildcoast Adventures will be adding to our already all-Canadian built Fiberglass sea kayak fleet.
The story of how Wildcoast Adventures started building their first sea kayak
The serendipitous events that led to this end: we were replacing some boats in our fleet, and wanted a high-quality, high-volume, fibreglass boat that would suit a wide variety of paddling abilities. We had a short-list of manufacturers, and thought we’d start with the closest. We had learned that Nimbus kayak owners and builders had recently moved to our very own Quadra Island – and we joked about how we would save on freight.
Turns out, the Nimbus Telkwa came with great reviews among our guide friends who had paddled them and the others we were considering. Guides are fantastic resources for gear as they often have experience with multiple outfitter fleets, that contain various makes.
Why not use Quadra Island built sea kayaks for our kayak tours?
We were excited to meet these new residents of Quadra Island. Generally outfitters have someone on their team that maintain the quality of their fleet boats. Well-built sea kayaks have a significant life-span when maintained, even within outfitter fleets. Damon had some experience having been “that someone”, and had just finished a work contract, so was gearing up for off-season work.
Before we got out of the vehicle, I joked off the cuff “hey you should see if he needs any help” already anticipating our purchase. I have a bad tendency of volunteering Damon for any good job opportunity as his extraordinary resume and his proven ability to do, and excel at, well, anything, leaves me to rightly assume just that. Not only did we enjoy learning about their boats, their innovations and hearing a pinch of the many stories they’ve acquired as veteran kayak designers and builders, but we did so over tea and home baking.
Quadra Island businesses work together to support the local economy and a strong community
It was to my surprise that I actually heard Damon mention that if Nimbus needed any help with the builds we were about to give them, he was available. Indeed, after we submitted our order, Damon got the call to begin to learn the process of fibreglass kayak building under the tutelage of a pro. While Damon has learned to build a kayak now from start to finish – knowing his boats inside and out – he has more importantly gained valuable mentors and friends. They have been generous with their knowledge and the wisdom acquired from years of manufacturing.
As I’ve watched these kayaks literally take shape, it’s become a very tangible example of the beauty of local economy and community. I swell with pride as I revel in just how neat it is that not only do we get to share our passion for nature, kayaking, adventure, and the outdoors with others, but we get to outfit our guests with boats that are not only ideal for this purpose, but were hand-crafted with skill and heart and by Wildcoast’s very own Damon.
[To see the entire process and more photos, connect with us on Wildcoast’s Facebook page]
So come put one to the test, and paddle one of these boats for yourselves on one of our beautiful sea kayak vacations! But I’m warning you, you may want to just bring it on home with you…..