Passionate about paddling, making learning fun for all

Here's What Paddlers Are Saying About Blue Dog:

  • Again, a great learning experience ( with some fun thrown in !) with Dave of Blue Dog Kayaking. This time a number of paddlers seeking to upgrade their skills went on a 6 day excursion. It was challenging and very rewarding . I came away with more than my expectation goals and more importantly , more confidence to handle more adverse sea conditions. As I do longer kayak trips… this is very important to me.Thanks Dave ! and Crew ! 3 great instructors.

    “Level 2 3 Paddle Canada Course”
  • Outstanding instruction and coaching! Dave Nichols and Blue Dog offer instruction using adult learning principles and a genuine desire to see each student grow and succeed. Some companies talk about doing this, but Dave actually does it and not only is it refreshing, but it really accelerates your learning.

    He welcomes questions and is an excellent instructor trainer for both men and women of all ages. Dave uses video, practice teaching and open feedback sessions to help instructors improve over the course. If you are considering taking an instructor course, I highly recommend Dave Nichols and Blue Dog

    “Paddle Canada Instructor Level 1”
  • Phenomenal instruction and guiding. We enjoyed seals, jellyfish, waterfalls and a beautiful sunset! What more could you ask for? It was a memorable experience and I look forward to visiting Blue Dog again soon.

    “Amazing SUP experience!”
  • We had an amazing time with the two hour sunset SUP. Family of four with two teens and we all had a great time. None of us had paddled before and it was easy to learn. Allison showed us different ways to paddle- standing or sitting- so that all of us were in our comfort zone. The scenery was great with the highlights being the pink and purples of Mount Baker and the watery sunset and the week old seal pups with their moms. There is a bistro on the wharf if you want food before or after. Mill Bay is only 20 minutes or so past Goldstream and there is great signage through Mill Bay to get to the marina.

    “Great Family time!”
  • I wanted to go kayaking. I was staying in Cowichan Bay and the outfit there wasn’t available. Am I EVER glad! The hotel suggested Blue Dog Kayaking in Mill Bay. It was fantastic! I went to rent a kayak for a couple of hours. The owner Dave was just starting his teaching of a basic kayaking course. I stood aside and listened for a few minutes. I was SO impressed with what he was saying/teaching that I decided to take the course! Need I say more?? Ok I will. Dave is funny, patient, clear in his explanations, patient, focussed, patient.

    “Outstanding!!! Amazing!!!”
  • On the first October weekend I took the basic and level 1 kayaking course with Dave. I had kayaked before but I felt ready to learn some proper strokes and rescue skills. Dave is a very gifted teacher, able to encourage learning and pointing out how to improve. The student teacher ratio was great and so was the supplied equipment. Blue Dog is a place where you come as a stranger and leave as a friend. I can’t wait to put my new skills on the water and I will be back for the next course. Thanks Dave and crew.

    Great Course
  • I first put my butt in a boat late August, with the instruction of young kayak prodigy Amber. Her ability to connect with her students was superb, and this friendly rapport successfully carried the class through our first hurdle in learning to sea kayak: the wet exit.

    After those first two days, I was hooked and signed up for the next steps: L2 skills, rock gardening, rolling, and the L1 instructor course. All were led by Dave, along with the exceptional support of Mike and Kevin, two leaders in the coast kayaking community.


    “My “sea kayaking semester” with Blue Dog”
  • “The two day level one paddle Canada course with Dave was awesome. I learned so much and had a blast. The information learned will save your life! Do not hesitate. You are in excellent hands with Dave and the blue dog kayak company!”

  • “I learned how to hand roll!! Amber is a fantastic instructor, very patient and thorough. I felt very confident in her ability to ‘pop me up’ if I didn’t succeed…and I did!!”

  • “My Girlfriend and I had a great time out on the water with Allison who made it easy to learn the basics of paddle boarding. The water was amazing. We would do it again in a heartbeat. Definitely recommend it to anyone thinking about trying out paddle boarding!”

  • “I took the introductory course over two days. Our instructor: Amber, was incredibly knowledgeable, thorough and paced the information well. I learned a lot and had great fun doing it. Thank you Amber and Blue Dog Kayaking! Looking forward to taking other courses with you.”

  • “My wife and I decided we wanted to expand our horizons and take on the hobby of Sea Kayaking, and to get into it properly and safely. We stumbled upon Blue Dog Kayaking and booked our Basic Sea Kayaking course with them and had Bree as our instructor. They have been fantastic to deal with, and our day out on the water was a ton of fun. My wife was very anxious of capsizing (for performing a wet exit and rescues), but Bree was patient and talked her through it, easing her anxiety. After making it through the initial nerves, we finished up the day in the sun and decided that we would push on and booked for their Level 1 Certification course.”


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