ProStaffer of the Month: Pete Lavigne
New Brunswick native and kayak surfer, Pete Lavigne is Aqua-Bound’s ProStaffer of the month for April 2019. Let’s get to know Pete…
I got into kayaking as the thought of wilderness travel along the Bay of Fundy was very appealing to me. In 1999, I built my first kayak, a CLC Chesapeake 17, with three co-workers and haven’t looked back. I’ve averaged over 100 days a year since.
Simply put, I feel there is something in kayaking for pretty much everyone. From mild to extreme and for all ages, its a great way to spend time outdoors. If you want adrenaline, its out there. Wilderness travel and camping? Check. Nature photography? Yup! Something for everyone.
While awesome for groups, I love solo tripping as it tests my overall skills. Self-reliance is something many don’t experience, but it’s well worth experiencing at least once.
Giving back comes in the way of sharing my love of kayaking with others, both in formal and non-formal settings. I know I’ve introduced a lot of people to sea kayaking and always try to make sure the experience is positive. I take the time to make people feel at ease with any concerns.
I know I’m a resource of sorts locally, based on how many people contact me for information on boats, gear, places to go, etc,... That’s a nice feeling. It means people have grown to trust me. I don’t want to betray that trust
It’s a fairly small community, locally, and as written above, I keep my finger on the pulse. I participate in local symposiums like the West Isles Sea Kayak Syposium as a coach and volunteer and in events like Paddlefest as well. I’m also a member of Paddle Canada and Canoe Kayak New Brunswick.
Being that, I’ve been a guide since around 2002 and instructor for a decade. I’ve helped countless people out on their sea kayaking journey. I’m a big believer that people will safely push their own limits once they take comfort in knowing I’m there to help.
It’s pretty amazing watching someone fairly timid perform their first wet exit, or showing them something as simple as how to perform an assisted rescue. It’s very satisfying to know you helped in a small way.
In the past, we’ve worked with local youth groups. We’ve taken youth out whom otherwise wouldn’t likely get the chance to get in kayaks. That’s actually pretty cool. We’re also working on a couple programs with a seniors group with the hopes of creating a “seniors’ paddling club outing” on a regular basis.
Again, it’s about something in kayaking for pretty much everyone.
I’ve been involved in local symposiums both as participant, volunteer and coach. Our guide company, River Bay Adventures, is also taking on a minor, but increasing stewardship for Partridge Island. It involves working towards leaving the island a bit better than how we found it each time we travel to it. There is also a coastal cleanup initiative we’re organizing for the island.
Let us know your kayak paddle questions! Contact our friendly Customer Service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]
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