Inaugural Let's Go Paddling Month launches June 1

Momentum gathers as grass roots paddlesports growth initiative prepares to launch June 1.

Kayak and Canoe teaching centers around the country are rallying to shine a spotlight on paddlesports next month as part of a nationwide grass roots initiative to get more people padding more often.

Leaders of the initiative, simply titled Let's Go Paddling, believe paddling is an antidote to many of today's most pressing ills such as obesity and nature deficit disorder. “Paddling is an easy and fun way to stay fit, connect with nature, and is a lifetime sport grandparents, parents and kids can enjoy together,” said Olympic Gold Medalist and USA Canoe Kayak CEO Joe Jacobi.

The backbone of Lets Go Paddling is the nationwide network of Welcome Centers dedicated to making it easier for first-timers and lapsed paddlers to hone their skills and amp up their enjoyment of the sport with the latest instructional technique and gear. The American Canoe Association, the member-based hub of paddlesports, education, advocacy and event sanctioning since 1880, joins USA Canoe Kayak in supporting the initiative.

Beginning this year, each June all Welcome Centers will offer at least one introductory paddlesports lesson session free to the general public, whether during major community paddling events or smaller in-house clinics.

Examples of Welcome Center activities this June include the following:

Oklahoma City. The Chesapeake Boathouse Foundation will showcase an exciting lineup of events and ongoing multi-discipline paddlesports and athlete development programming during the annual US Conference of Mayors in Oklahoma City, June 11 – 15. The state-of-the-art facility offers rowing, kayaking and dragon boat for all ages from junior to masters.

Denver. Welcome Center Confluence Kayaks will be providing free canoe and kayak trials as part of the National Get Outdoors Day celebration in Denver City Park on June 12.

New York. Manhattan Kayak Company will be offering free Fun in the Sun Tour and send delegates to the first-ever Outdoor Nation Youth Summit in Central Park the weekend of June 19 – 20.

Let's Go Paddling also enjoys the support of the allied organizations that welcome paddlers to enjoy the sport on public rivers and lakes and recognize the fitness benefits of the sport: National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, President's Challenge, National Association of State Parks Directors. Publisher Rapid Media is also an early industry supporter of the initiative. For information on these and other Let's Go Paddling news and information, visit the website