Why Paddling?

Community Boating Center (CBC) is thrilled to complement the success of our sailing initiatives with kayaking and NEW paddleboarding.

This engaging enhancement capitalizes on the popularity of paddling and its ease of participation to provide youth (and families) with a direct connection to and awareness of their impact on the environment.

Paddling is a growing and popular recreational activity. The simplicity and acceptance of paddling as an entry-level sport for anyone, makes it an important medium to attract urban youth to get outside, get moving, and embrace a healthy lifestyle. Our paddling initiative complements the success of our other sailing programs and offers an active alternative to television, video, and other static activities detrimentally impacting the health of urban youth.

At the same time, paddling offers a less expensive way to introduce youth to boating: capital costs are lower than sailing for a similar number of youth served; maintenance and storage is also cheaper than for sailboats. Paddling enables us to serve additional youth – at one-tenth to one-twentieth of the cost of adding a similar number of sailboats to our fleet. Additionally, we have realized further growth in our paddling programs with our vast array of summer and after-school partners.

Our paddling program is focused on three goals: (1) Enhancing student choices for healthy lifestyles; (2) Reducing barriers to water sports and activities; and (3) Increasing our capacity to serve urban youth and our community.

Enhancing Student Choice

Our youth students use these kayaks and paddleboards in our existing summer sailing and after-school sailing programs. Kayaks and paddleboards diversify our programs and add a new element of physical activity. Paddling offers a one-on-one environmental experience that fosters a first-hand appreciation and lasting relationship with nature. Paddlers connect to the water using “people power” to experience a quiet and sustained interaction with water and wildlife. Paddling is a great entry-level activity requiring little training. We incorporate paddling into our existing youth programs and continue to create new free youth scholarships and fee-for-service adult programs to ensure future sustainability.

Reducing Barriers to Water Sports and Activities

Paddling attracts new youth who would otherwise not identify with sailing, because kayaks and paddleboards are more easily accepted and understood as an “everyman’s” boat. Paddling is generally viewed as being less complicated and training intensive than sailing. Many current and inspiring paddlers could easily envision themselves as volunteering for a recreational paddling tour. Additionally, CBC and Providence are compelling paddling areas. Like our sailing programs, organized lessons and youth initiatives entice volunteers to participate.

Increasing Capacity

The capital costs of purchasing and owning kayaks and paddleboards are substantially lower than for sailboats. A paddling program at CBC is a quick, cost-effective way to increase both the quality and quantity of our efforts to connect people to the environment. Paddling also directly affects our ability to entice more people to try complementary CBC sailing programs. Many people attracted to CBC hold common interests in paddling and sailing, and are connected to a network of similar friends and colleagues.

Ideal Location

CBC’s location serves as an ideal geographical hub for expanding water-based activities that connect youth to the environment. CBC is located in India Point Park, the apex of Narragansett Bay. Buffered by geographical land features of the upper bay, CBC enjoys unique protection from wind and waves for small boats and is perfectly situated as a centrally located starting or destination point for paddling trips. CBC offers safe, fun, and viable paddling distances North/South to WaterPlace Park, West/East to the Seekonk River, and guided tours South/North along the Providence River to venues of interest like Ponham Rocks Lighthouse and Save the Bay.

Beginner paddlers and volunteers appreciate the convenience and safety of realistic paddling distances on weary arms, while seasoned paddlers can choose multiple trip options from a safe, convenient facility with an existing infrastructure of launching docks, chase boats and trained staff.