Gabriola Sea Kayaking Tours

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s in a name?

“Gabriola Sea Kayaking” is named after beautiful Gabriola Island BC, located in the southern Gulf Islands of  British Columbia. Our base of operations and main office are located  here along with a great community of freinds and family  that make this place special. Gabriola is centrally located allowing us easy access to local waters, the west coast and north Island. Our company has also evolved from  Gabriola Cycle & Kayak (GCK), a pioneering adventure outfitter established in 1987 and leaders in participatory multi-day kayak adventures. In the spirit of GCK,  we carry on with the same style of trips.

Why are your trips so inexpensive?

We have found it most economical when everybody participates in the purchase and preparation of meals. By taking full catering and paddler transport  out of the equation, it takes us out of the restaurant business and eliminates a lot  of overhead and time – allowing us to offer our tours a much lower cost.

How does the food thing work?

We plan the schedule from the office and relay it to group members. Anything goes and we have found that most interesting variety and delicious food comes from a variety of people! It creates a great group dynamic when everybody shares and it also keeps our guides fresh. So don’t worry, really. We make it easy for you

If you are stuck, please click to have a look at our “Meal Ideas” and our facebook group “The Paddling Chef” for tips and ideas.

How are your trips different from other guided trips?

We consider our trips to be grassroots adventure travel lead by professional paddlers. They offer real world paddling experiences in a relaxed, easy going and fun atmosphere. We are leaders in a participatory style which allow you to be involved in all aspects of the adventure from daily trip planning to meal preparation. Its a bit like  paddling  with  group of freinds, except that we’ve taken care of all the logistics and planning: Details like who prepares what meal and when, safety, navigation, equipment, and of course, the morning coffee 🙂 You get to explore, discover, relax and enjoy yourself.

Who comes on your trips?


If you prefer a more independent style of travel,  or perhaps you are a bit short on trip planning time, new to an area, budget conscious, developing your paddling skills or simply just like to paddle with a group and meet new people,  you will enjoy paddling with us! You’ll find that many are returning guests. Ages range widely from 5 year olds with private family groups to 88 years young. Its usually an nice mix of ages, men & women, singles and couples. Every trip is different.

Should I tip the guides, and how much?

Guiding is a service industry. Its kind of like tipping for a great experience at a restaurant , but only if you feel so inclined and completely discretionary on your behalf. While guides don’t expect it, tips for a job well done are always welcome.

Do I have to have previous paddling experience?

Nope. Anybody is welcome to join us 🙂 While we do require you to be reasonably fit,  no paddling experience is necessary, just a good attitude and sense of adventure. Our guides  will be able to coach you along the way and we always take at least one double kayak along.

Are kids welcome on trips?

Sure! of course they are! We have found that  teens are fine with regular groups. There is always a double kayak if there are any strength issues and one of the guides can always hop in to help out. For younger children, we reccommend booking as a private group of family and or friends. This has become a really popular option and it allows you to spend your time focused on the needs of your group.

What kind of clothing and gear do I need to bring?

Please click to have a look at our “What to Bring” list and our facebook group “Gabriola Sea Kayaking”

What kind of boats to you have?

We paddle Current Designs Solstice GT/GTS/Scirocco, Necky Tesla/Arluk III & IV , Nimbus Telkwa/Telkwa Sport/Skana (doubles), Seaward Passat (doubles), P& H Cappela. We’ll primarily use singles but bring at least one double along for safety. Everybody will take turns paddling the double(s) and share the variety of singles.

Please let us know if you have any other questions

Hope to paddle with you this season!
Matt Bowes & Jen Smith