The idea of a leisurely float or paddle on the Bow River on a summer day sounds idyllic — until you think of what's involved.
Finding a boat and life jackets if you don't own either. Securing the boat safely to your vehicle. Arranging drop-off and pick-up points. What if you need a quick patch job?
A new Calgary company called Paddle Station hopes to make the urban river adventure hassle-free with its services.
It's not the only company in town helping rafters, but what makes Paddle Station a bit different, says founder and owner Ravi Thaker, is that it will be located right on the banks of the Bow River.
"Stations" will be located at Shouldice Park, Prince's Island Park and St. Patrick's Island.
Like a number of other businesses in the city, it will offer a variety of boat rentals and, for now, you can just show up or reserve.
The company, which opens Friday, will rent out single and double kayaks and rafts, said Thaker. Each rental includes life-jackets (currently only for adults), paddles, a dry bag and safety kit.
The company will offer safety lessons, including a quick demonstration for flipping over a kayak and providing safety guidelines for the Bow River for all guests.
There will also offer a shuttle service to take people back to their car.
Once the summer season gets underway, the company will offer take-away picnic lunches, but people will have to book ahead for that.
With files from the Calgary Eyeopener
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An earlier version of this story said Paddle Station offers kayak lessons for beginners, in fact it only offers a quick safety demonstration on flipping a kayak. Additionally, the company does not rent canoes.May 10, 2017 3:58 PM MT