The paddle west Story:
Located on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia; Paddle West Kayaking offers sea kayak tours and kayak rentals out of the seaside communities of Tofino and Ucluelet. Originally founded in 2001 by Chris Bowers, the company was purchased in the Spring of 2010 by long time Paddle West guides/managers Ryan Rogers & Nick Benton. As of 2013, Ryan Rogers is the sole owner and operator of Paddle West Kayaking, leading a team of fantastic guides that offer an exceptional sea kayak experience.
What We Do
Our goal at Paddle West is to provide you with a fun and informative wilderness kayaking experience, and to leave you with a sense of wonder with the breathtaking sights of one of the world’s premier kayaking destinations. On all of our kayak tours you’ll be provided with the necessary equipment and instruction for an enjoyable paddle.
Our tours are as educational as they are fun. While kayaking through the islands and waterways surrounding Tofino and Ucluelet, our experienced professional guides will touch on subjects such as rainforest and ocean ecology, local wildlife, the cultural and historical significance of the first nation peoples (Nuu-chah-nulth), and the sensitivity of environmental issues which have captured the attention of the world.
As paddlers and nature enthusiasts we feel incredibly fortunate to be able to live in such awe-inspiring surroundings as Clayoquot Sound (Tofino) and Barkley Sound (Ucluelet). Our reward as guides is not only to be able to explore this area we feel so passionate about on a daily basis, but to be able to share the sport we love and our knowledge of this spectacular place with travellers from around the world. With its stunning backdrop of old growth temperate rainforest, white sandy beaches & snow capped peaks, and its incredible abundance and diversity of life, the West Coast of Vancouver Island is one of the best places in the world to explore by kayak. At Paddle West we’ll provide you with the tools, experience and expertise to enjoy this stunning wilderness environment in the best way we know how — by sea kayak.
Paddle west is a proud Tribal Parks ally
Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks Allies are local businesses that have committed to supporting the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation mission to foster a conservation economy. Allies help to support and share the story of the Tribal Parks.
Every Ally supports the Tribal Parks by collecting a 1% Ecosystem Service Fee on behalf of the First Nation — those contributions are re-invested in the people and the ecology that comprise the life of this place.
Paddle West aims to help visitors grasp the history of stewardship and activism that has helped to protect this beautiful and important region.
The Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal parks story
Maaqutusiis stewardship society
Many of Paddle West’s tours operate in Ahousaht Territory — the Maaqutusiis Hahoulthee Stewardship Society aims to exercise sustainable management of the Territory. Select Paddle West tours and services (Viva Las Vargas 6-hour tour, multi-day tours, multi-day rentals) involve an ecosystem fee that support the Ahousaht Stewardship Fund. This fee allows for the continued stewardship and monitoring of Ahousaht lands and waters.
In this day in age with an abundance of environmental challenges we believe it is important for businesses to take responsibility for the inevitable impact we have on our surroundings. At Paddle West we try to mitigate those impacts as much as possible by using practices such as “leave no trace” ethics on our tours, and using locally made equipment and materials as much as possible.
Paddle West is committed to the environment. Each year we donate 1% of annual gross income to environmental non-governmental organizations in Clayoquot Sound.
We also work to help educate the public on important issues such as temperate rainforest conservation and salmon conservation. Each year Paddle West Kayaking donates 1% or more of its gross revenue to ENGO’s working on environmental conservation, education and sustainability. Organizations we have supported historically include:
The Raincoast Education Sociey is a community-based non profit society with a mission to help shape an environmentally sound future for the Clayoquot and Barkley Sound region through education and community stewardship. Funds go directly to environmental and cultural education programs, including their Young Naturalist programs, and the “More than Just Mud” educacattion program about the Tofino Mudflats.
To learn more or to donate visit: www.raincoasteducation.org
The Western Canada Wilderness Committee is based out of Vancouver BC, and is the largest grassroots environmental non-profit organization in British Columbia. They work on a variety of conservation campaigns including the Clayoquot Campaign to which we donate.
To learn more or to donate visit: www.wildernesscommittee.com
Other organizations we support:
We are happy to support Clayoquot Action a conservation organization committed to protecting the bio-cultural diversity of Clayoquot Sound. Clayoquot Action’s goals are achieved through public education, citizen research and monitoring, and advocacy. Clayoquot Action focuses much of their energy on the proposed copper mine on Catface Mountain, the proposed gold mine in Tranquil Inlet, raising awareness about tankers on the West Coast, and monitoring the effects of fish farms on wild salmon populations in Clayoquot Sound.
If you have visited the area by yourselves or been touched by the beauty through a kayak tour, please visit their website to learn more and if possible make a donation to the most effective ENGO on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
Dan Lewis and Bonny Glambeck, the founders of Clayoquot Action are known for delivering entertaining and inspiring slide show·presentations on Clayoquot Sound. Check out Clayoquot: Sound of Freedom at the Clayoquot·Community Theatre in Tofino. This show is not to be missed! Find up to date show times here.