MUSKEGON, Mich.- When KL Outdoor of Muskegon, through its merger with GSC Technologies of Montreal, became the world’s largest kayak maker and established its headquarters in Muskegon, the city was destined to receive many positive benefits.
This summer those benefits will come in the form of an educational community paddle program known as Paddle Muskegon.
KL, as part of its merger with GSC, recently underwent an organizational makeover, changing the name of the combined entity to Hemisphere Design Works; investing in a new downtown corporate office space and taking steps to expand its local warehousing, distribution and manufacturing footprint. Unchanged, however, is the company’s continued commitment to the Muskegon community. HemDW chose to partner with Muskegon Sports Council, a 501-c-3 non-profit organization best known for managing the Winter Sports Complex, to teach people about paddle sports.
The instructional paddle sports program offers lessons for first time paddlers to advanced paddlers on both kayaks and standup paddleboards (SUP).
“As the industry leader we’re happy to carry the torch and support causes that help people connect with nature and create human powered moments on the water. Paddle Muskegon is a perfect opportunity for our brands and products to help people do just that.” Said Wes Mooney, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Hemisphere Design Works. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that Paddle Muskegon is right here in our backyard. We think this is a great partnership for our organizations and will be a tremendous asset for the community.”
The program will launch from two locations throughout the summer, at Snug Harbor, in Muskegon State Park and Heritage Landing downtown.
“Our goal is to make paddling more accessible to people in Muskegon who may have never thought they could paddle before.” Said Eric Strickler, Lead Paddle Instructor for Paddle Muskegon. “Thanks to this partnership with Hemisphere Design Works, we believe we’re going to make Muskegon the paddle sports capital of the world.”
In addition to paddle lessons, Paddle Muskegon will also offer fun paddle sport events like Pints and Paddles; a partnership with Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, moonlight paddles, fitness paddles and maritime history paddles.
Drop in paddle sessions are offered from 10:00am to 4:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. No reservation is required for these sessions.
A variety of other paddle sessions and events are offered at different times on week days throughout the summer. Weekday paddle sessions are limited to approximately 15 – 20 people at a time. To guarantee a spot in a session, paddlers can purchase a ticket in advance at PaddleMuskegon.com.
The cost per paddle session ranges from $20 to $30 per person. A 30 day unlimited membership can be purchased for $75.