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Gig Harbor Canoe &

Kayak Racing Team

Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team

What you need to know about joining GHCKRT

We are excited you are interested in joining the Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team!
There are many ways you can start or continue your paddling journey with us. Our youth program is divided into several teams to accommodate different ages and skill levels. Each team has its own practice schedule and coaching staff dedicated to instilling both great technique and great sportsmanship in all athletes. Love watching the kids, but want to get out on the water too? Our Masters program is a great way to learn how to, and become competitive in sprint canoe or kayak as an adult!

Here are some basic things to know about our team and its expectations of all athletes:
Each group level practices multiple times a week. Practices are held at Skansie Brothers Park and Ancich Waterfront Park in Gig Harbor. Practices take place year round. YES - year round - even in the winter! There is no "part time" program.

GHCKRT is a nonprofit organization and is dependent upon athlete fees for participation. As a team member, you will pay a monthly fee that covers the cost of coaching staff, use of the dock facilities, and use of team boats for training. There are no discounts for siblings, as the participation fees cover just the base costs of operating the team. Occasional fundraising efforts happen for large events, or special projects such as trips for training, trips to bigger competitions, and purchase of large equipment (team boats, safety equipment, etc...) All families are expected to participate in these fundraising efforts in some way. Joining the team is a commitment to GHCKRT and GHCKRT is committed to you, so we require a three (3) month commitment to participation.

All members of GHCKRT must obtain American Canoe Association (ACA) membership independently and provide a copy of proof of membership.  

The average athlete will attend between 4-6 regattas.  Local regattas will cost about $40 for boat transport and race entries.  Attendance at Nationals is highly encouraged for Groups 1 and 2, and those fees are set each year at the time of the event. The Nationals competition occurs in different locations throughout the US; most recently in Ohio, Oklahoma, Georgia and Florida. 

Equipment! What will you need to participate? The team provides a number of boats and paddles to new athletes.  At some point after an athlete has decided which craft they will focus on training with, the coaches will help the athlete purchase paddle. The paddles used by GHCKRT have been specially designed for racing and are fit to the specific athlete. Coaches will also help athletes determine the right time and type of boat to purchase for their own personal use. Athletes 12 years of age and under are required to have and wear a US Coast Guard-Approved PFD year round. All athletes are required to have and wear a PFD from Oct 1st -  April 1st and at anytime requested by a coach. 

I'm ready! I want to join now!
Youth new to the sport should participate in one of our annual Summer Camp programs. These programs are designed to help athletes determine which boat/which type of paddling is best for them. They also provide the coaches opportunities to observe the athletes in the team environment. Athletes who are physically able to work with the boats, prove to be helpful and respectful with the equipment and other athletes, and those who show a desire to learn and improve their skills may be given an invitation to join the Development Team. Outside of the annual Summer Camps, interested athletes can arrange a meeting with coaches to demonstrate their skill on the water. Please note, all potential athletes will be asked to complete a waiver prior to the meeting.  Email [email protected] to set up a time and to complete the waiver click the TRY OUT FORM here.  

While GHCKRT does not have a strict lower or upper age limit, we mainly look for athletes to be safe on the water and safe with the equipment.  Sprint canoe and kayak is a difficult sport and not easy to pick up on your own.  Athletes under 12 need to develop solid fundamentals and learn to love the sport.  In general, we look for prospective athletes to complete one of our summer camp programs.  At the conclusion, they will be evaluated for suitability to join the team.  Alternatively, interested prospective athletes can request a meeting with one of our coaches for a tryout. Our goal is to serve athletes who are looking to improve, so while athletes need not be elite level to join, our workouts are challenging and we expect all our athletes to work hard and improve everyday.


Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team
PO BOX 1097 
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335

Email: [email protected]
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