There is a war on paddlesports! Canoe Guide Drug Testing? Ugh Oh... [Paddling Raft-up]

Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Looks like bureaucratic officials are officially on the warpath against the paddlesports industry and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. It’s Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza people!

In Hawaii state officials are turning the heat up on illegal kayak vendors at Kealakekua Bay. Last week they sent in undercover (undercover!) agents and seized nearly a dozen kayaks.

At the heart of the issue is the fact that local residents in the area have gone out and purchased their own boats and renting to tourists under the table while local kayak rental businesses are struggling to stay afloat.
[blockquote]At Kealakekua Bay, KITV spoke with Lani Gaspar, a resident who said he had three of his kayaks seized in last week's raid.

According to Gaspar, a friend took his kayaks without his permission and was cited for illegal vending.

"I want my boats back," Gasper said. "I didn't rent them out."

Gaspar said he felt the crackdown was unfair. Though he declined to tell KITV the name of his company, he shared his philosophy about what goes on at the bay -- residents there take care of visitors and the parking lot.

"We are just here to help the people of the world," he said. "You come here to come have fun. You (have) some donations … We (have) some kayaks."[/blockquote]
You see people? They just trying to help visitors in the parking lot by unloading their cash burden and pointing in the direction of a kayak that they are welcome to use as thanks for the donation (of cash).

More info:

Canoe Guide Drug Testing? Ugh Oh...
In another part of the US of A, canoe and fishing outfitters in St. Paul, Minnesota are upset because the U.S. Coast Guard has sent notice they be enforcing regulations next year that include, among other things, random drug testing.

It seems that oufitters and guides can no longer operate motorised commercial boats on federally navigable waters, such as the Mississippi River, St. Croix River and many lake in Northern Minnesota unless they get a federal, “Six Pack” license.

To get the license they must pass a lengthy test on navigation and boat safety, do a bunch of other CPR/First Aid stuff and pass a drug test. The horror!

"The Ely community is absolutely petrified by this," said Hall, owner of Hall and Williams Outfitters on Moose Lake and president of the Ely Area Tourism Board.

"I have high school kids who drive towboats up and down the lake all summer. Are they going to make them pee in a bottle?"

The licenses and drug and physical testing cost about $600, but most applicants have to take a special course costing $700 to $1,000 to prepare for the Six Pack test.

More info:

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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