Kayaking being offered, free, this weekend in Summerside

Nancy MacPhee nmacphee@journalpioneer.com
Published on July 8, 2014
Aidan Smith heads to the water with one of the kayaks the city has on offer. The kayaks will be used for go! Summerside’s learn to kayak event, taking place Saturday and Sunday. 
Nancy MacPhee/Journal Pioneer

SUMMERSIDE — Melanie Ramsay-Mugridge has never been in a kayak.

But that’s going to change this weekend — weather permitting.

“I am going to take part on Sunday,” she said with a laugh.

Ramsay-Mugridge is the go! Summerside co-ordinator.

For a third year, go! Summerside is offering residents the chance to get in a kayak and take it out for a try in the Summerside Harbour off Green’s Shore.

On Saturday and Sunday, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. each day, those who pre-register can get a tutorial on kayaking from a certified paddling instructor.

“The first year that we did it we let people go out and do their own thing,” said Ramsay-Mugridge. “Last year, we found Rachelle MacArthur and she was very excited. She has her padding instructor’s course so she wanted to help out. She’s a certified Level 1 padding instructor.”

Unfortunately, on the day of last year’s event the winds were too high to go ahead.

“It’s something that is different. We are always looking for different things for people to try,” said Ramsay-Mugridge. “We have access to kayaks and paddleboards and that was one of the main reasons we decided it would be a good thing to offer.”

There will be eight kayaks available at each time, with 30 minutes of instruction on land by MacArthur and 45 minutes on the water testing those skills.

“If people aren’t very experienced it might be tough going to be out there a long time,” added Ramsay-Mugridge. “It will depend on who she (Rachelle) has at the time.”

All equipment, including lifejackets, is provided and the kayaks are being provided courtesy the City of Summerside.

“So far so good,” Ramsay-Mugridge said when asked about interest so far.

On Sunday, there will be a stand-up paddle boarding demonstration.

“You can actually try that, too.”

She recommended participants to wear comfortable clothing and older shoes since there is the possibility of getting wet.

For more information or to pre-register, call 724-3142 or email gosummerside@gmail.com.