Lets Go Paddling, an outreach iniatitive by the paddlesports industry, is recruiting retailers, outfitters and others to open 40 Welcome Centers across the country in its first season.

Interested learning centers are invited to apply to become a Welcome Center, which requires hosting at least one free intro to paddlesports event at their facility during June. USA Canoe Kayak, the American Canoe Association and World Kayak have designated June “Lets Go Paddling Month.”


Once their application has been accepted, Welcome Centers will be able to access members-only resources at KayakEducation.com including curriculum, outreach ideas and tip sheets on how best to work with such Lets Go Paddling national supporters as the National Park Service, National Wildlife Refuge System, the Presidents Challenge and state parks.

Saltwater, freshwater, flatwater, whitewater, Lets Go Paddling is designed to unite the paddlesports community in sharing its passion for human powered boating with new and lapsed kayakers and canoeists, said Olympic gold medalist Joe Jacobi, interim executive director of USA Canoe Kayak, the national governing body of the sport.

Another key Lets Go Paddling partner is Rapid Media. Publisher of four niche paddlesports magazines, Rapid Media is the first to sign on as Lets Go Paddling media partner, offering Welcome Centers and their clients everything from subscriptions, to participation in Rapid Medias I Love Paddling, amateur short paddling video competition.

Rapid Media founder and publisher Scott MacGregor also donated the web address for the initiative. I registered this URL (LetsGoPaddling.com) years ago with the intention of someday launching a nationwide campaign to increase paddlesports participation, says MacGregor, And here it is. Were happy to be involved.

Details of this and more can be found at the online hub of the initiative, http://www.LetsGoPaddling.com