About Us


California Canoe & Kayak is one of the top Specialty Paddlesports companies in the country. Our company was founded in Marin in 1972 by paddlers and has remained a paddler owned and operated company since inception. Our focus has been exclusively on Paddlesports. Our company started at the infancy of the sport in the Bay Area. We have been the leader in the development of instruction and access to paddlesports since the beginning. Keith started his business like many now large tech companies in his garage. He turned his love of water sports into a sometimes challenging but successful business. We have watched as paddlesports has grown from a small community of paddlers to a world wide sport available to most everyone.

From the start California Canoe & Kayak has embraced new technology from having one of the first computer (Apple) based Point of Sale systems to one of the very first outdoor sports websites calkayak.com we continue to embrace new ideas, to grow and evolve with our industry. 

Our core belief as a local business has always been to provide excellent instruction, access, service and community support. Along the way we are proud to say we have brought thousands of people young and old into our sport and continue to provide affordable access to Oakland's waterway.

In our day to day operation we are a specialty outdoor retailer and we sell, rent and service canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards.

Our sales include many top brands in our industry. In addition we sell the gear required for a safe and comfortable paddling experience.

This includes: PFDs (lifejackets), paddles, watersports wear, water shoes, safety gear, dry bags and boxes, Thule car racks, sprayskirts, dry wear, wetsuits, parts, hats, sunscreen, and casual wear.  

We are committed to providing safe and enjoyable classes and trips. We would love to help you discover and develop your paddlesport endeavors. As paddlers, we are here to support you on your adventures in and around San Francisco bay & beyond!
Our Mission Statement
Our mission is to provide the best instruction possible – whether in a sea kayak, whitewater kayak, Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP), surfski, canoe or recreational kayak. We are avid paddlers and our goal is to help you discover the Fun. Paddlesports provide so many healthy benefits and outdoor experiences people of all abilities can incorporate into their lives. Our mission is to help you explore the joy and freedom of paddling and to equip you with the instruction and guidance you need to become the paddler you want to be, recreational, adventure, exploration or at the local, regional or national competitive levels.

California Canoe & Kayak’s Pledge:

Our commitment extends to the community and the environment. We actively support Friends of the River, the Tuolumne River Trust, American Whitewater, Save San Francisco Bay, Rivers for Change, American Canoe Association (ACA) and many others that are dedicated in their efforts to preserve wild rivers, clean oceans and pristine coastlines. Our special events enhance paddlesports, build community, and raise money to support local kids and non-profit organizations.

Instructional Program:

Education is a core value in our company. Our teaching style is interactive and action-oriented. Our curriculum is nationally recognized for teaching kayaking and SUP skills safely and effectively, for all levels. Our instructors are the best in the business. We accept no less. We provide our students a dynamic learning environment and flexible curriculum, while keeping our programs creative, original, and current.