A loss to the paddling community: Ecomarine goes under

kayakwriter

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Feb 27, 2006
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So as an employee, I've had to keep this under wraps until now, but Ecomarine in Vancouver is now officially bankrupt and closed.

This saddens me as a member of the general paddling community. When I first moved to Vancouver in 1989, I made a pilgrimage to the centre of the then-just-emerging sport of sea kayaking. Over the years, I bought a lot stuff from Ecomarine, and was on excellent terms with Chris Ladner, even when I was working for a rival retailer.

In the last several years, I've worked for Ecomarine as a guide, instructor and in retail sales. It's been an amazing way to share my passion for paddling with others.

To pre-empt a couple of questions I think may be asked:
We don't know yet whether the remaining inventory will be sold out of the store in a going out of business sale, sold individually at auction, or purchased as a job lot by someone.
There are attempts going on to reincarnate the paddling school at Jericho in some form, but no certainty yet, as it's all up to the receiver which, if any, proposal to accept.

Any of my clients, students or friends from Ecomarine, please feel free to PM me via WCP if you'd like to keep in touch. I'm going to remain an active padder.
 

Tangler

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Sep 5, 2016
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Nanaimo, BC
Sorry to hear that Phil.
Sounds like we both gravitated there at the same time.
Ecomarine was a large part of my paddling career, both learning and teaching, and thus had a large influence on the rest of my life. I was still buying stuff from them and am now at a loss to know where to find all those useful little kayak specific things...
 

pawsplus

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Jan 19, 2015
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Landlocked in Tennessee
I just saw this on FB. This sucks!!! Having it right down the road from my mom's place simply MAKES my trip up there! Surely someone else will buy it??? I'm bereft.
 

AM

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Jan 30, 2006
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Vancouver
Wow, sad sad news. Granville Island used to be a cool place for paddlers, with Ecomarine and Feathercraft within a short walk of each other. The industry sure has changed.

Ecomarine missed an opportunity a few years ago to pick up the SUP rental business out of Jericho, but that likely wouldn’t have been a game changer to their retail side.

Deep Cove seems to be doing well, at least at their waterfront location, though their retail side is also quite diversified, with x-country skiing gear in the winter. The last time
I was at their waterfront rental shop, the place was packed. Looks like they are the only game in town now for retail, rentals, and Paddle Canada training. Rocky Point is still running, though with less extensive offerings across the board.

Cheers,
Andrew
 

dermot

Paddler
Joined
Apr 9, 2015
Messages
70
i've had a studio on Granville Island for fifteen years now, walked over to Ecco at lunch today and found it closed and a reciver's sign on the door

i am very sorry for all the great staff who have helped us over years, many thanks for all the advice, good humor and shareing the love of the sport

There's alot of talk on the island about the damage created by the decision to drop the 3hr free parking, it's causeing fair amount of foot traffic loss for all the retailers, and the tour busses that drop thousands of folks are not replaceing the folks who support the local retailers... Eccomarine is seemingly not the only one in a bind on the island

best wishes for the crew there, hope Jericho can keep going in one form or another, and folks can stay employed doing something they love

20190911_153207(1) copy.jpg
 

jamonte

Paddler
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
135
Wow, what a loss for metro Vancouver and the greater paddling community. I bought my first sea kayak from Ecomarine in 1998 and made many return trips for paddling gear. Always worth the drive up from Bellingham.

In other news, I heard a rumor that Body Boat Blade is being purchased by a 27 year old man with some instructor certs from the UK and he plans to move the business to Anacortes. I'm sure someone on this board can provide more detail. (But there's no mention of it on the BBB website.) Anyhow, perhaps Anacortes will have a kayak shop again! It's been ages since that big shop on Commercial St. closed... So long ago I can't even remember its name!
 

Alana

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Sep 18, 2010
Messages
312
Location
British Columbia, Canada
This really saddens me... I worked for Ecomarine a number of years ago for seven years. Ecomarine was where my passion for kayaking really blossomed. I started as a bright-eyed keen dock staff and eventually worked my way up to an instructor. It was a wonderful place to work and Chris (the owner up until a couple years ago) treated everyone like family.

I met a lot of great friends and learned so much from Ecomarine.
 

AM

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Jan 30, 2006
Messages
1,045
Location
Vancouver
Who is that next to them at Jericho? It's a SUP place, isn't it? Might they not take on kayak rentals and classes? Or the sailing people?
Windsure’s area of expertise is windsurfing; Mac’s is sailing. They don’t know kayaking. Ecomarine had high end gear and certified instructors offering Paddle Canada courses. That sort of operation can’t simply be taken over by another outfit with no experience. Whatever another outfit might offer, I can guarantee it won’t have the Ecomarine quality, which clearly wasn’t profitable.

Club Locarno is now the best bet for quality gear and instruction at Jericho, though you need to buy an annual membership to access those services. Not for out of towners, unfortunately.

Cheers,
Andrew
 

kisielk

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Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
106
Location
Vancouver, BC
I just got the news via email from the lawyers as I’m driving back from Canmore. Really sad. Ecomarine is what got me into kayaking and I’ve taken a number of courses with them, most recently a rolling course just last month. I’ve rented a pair of kayak racks from them for over 10 years now.

@kayakwriter : do you know what’s happening with the kayak storage? I’m guessing I’m going to need to move my boats ASAP.
 

kayakwriter

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Feb 27, 2006
Messages
1,133
I just got the news via email from the lawyers as I’m driving back from Canmore. Really sad. Ecomarine is what got me into kayaking and I’ve taken a number of courses with them, most recently a rolling course just last month. I’ve rented a pair of kayak racks from them for over 10 years now.

@kayakwriter : do you know what’s happening with the kayak storage? I’m guessing I’m going to need to move my boats ASAP.
Hi Kiseilk,

I don't know specifically about the storage at GI. Those of us instructors who had our boats stored on Ecomarine's racks at Jericho were advised to move them so they wouldn't get swept up with Ecomarine assets by the receiver. So I'd imagine it would be wise to do the same thing with your boat at Granville Island.
 
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