Baylee Layman has established Willapa Paddle Adventures in Raymond. With the recent addition of a kayak dock at the Raymond Dock. At 17 Layman is one of the youngest business owners in the city.
Establishing her own business at 17, Baylee Layman has taken her love for the outdoor sport of kayaking and turned it into a rental business.
"The kayak community is growing and we saw that at the recent Raymond Kayak Dock launch," said Layman.
Located across the street from the Raymond Dock, Willapa Paddle Adventures was established from Layman's savings and a couple of donations to get bicycles established as well.
"We also have some touring bikes that people can rent. They are single speed bikes, very comfortable for touring around town, and even have baskets," tells Layman.
Willapa Paddle Adventures has several types of kayaks for rent that can also help people decide on a specific model if they are interested in purchasing a kayak in the future.
"I have a kayak that is outfitted for fishing, it has rod holders and even a small tank for your catch," said Layman.
Renters can try out a tandem or a single style kayak by the hour. Starting at $20 an hour for a single or $30 for a tandem, additional hours cost only $15. The tandem kayaks also have a jump seat for a small child. Beach cruiser bikes are $5 by the hour or $20 for the day. Kayak tours are also available when scheduled.
"When you come rent a kayak from Willapa Paddle Adventures you get everything that you will need from life preservers to dry bags, a whistle and even a map of special places that you may find on your glide down the river."
It has been noted that kayaking is one of the easiest outdoor sports to learn and only takes a few minutes to really get a feel of the action.
"Balance is really the key, but it is really quite easy. We can even accommodate the very tall person in our kayaks," noted Layman.
The idea had been kicked around for sometime, but with her parents both engaged with full time employment, they asked Baylee if she would be interested in making a go at the business. She was hesitant at first but after she understood what the business would be she jumped in and got the business going quickly, found a location and set out get things rolling.
"Everything was taken from my savings to get the business established, my mother is helping with the marketing, and my sisters are helping at the store location. But the business I started from the ground up."
Layman admits that it was not easy and she did learn quite a bit during the time to get the new business up and running as she is not quite 18, she had to have some of the things established in her parents name.
"I will be running the business as well as attending school in the fall. Even though many people think of kayaking as a seasonal sport, you can glide the waters almost year around."
With each rental a map is provided to advise people unfamiliar with the area special places of note and those extra special places that can only be navigated at high tide.
"You can travel a long way during high tide, and some of those places are the best to discover. Personally I prefer kayaking in the fall as it is not as hot outside and the area is still quite beautiful with all the colors changing...it's nice."
From the experienced to the newly introduced, Willapa Paddle Adventures can help you discover new areas along the Willapa.
Established just before the Willapa Harbor Festival, the business has already shown that is maybe a viable business for the area as Layman has advised that she has already had customers from out of town.
"It is my hope that it will help the community, not only to promote tourism, but to also give people something else to do that they may have not thought about before."
Paddlers and peddlers may schedule their trip by calling (360) 591-8739 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to follow Willapa Paddle Adventures on Facebook (willapapaddleadventures), Instagram (willapapaddle) and visit www.willapapaddleadventures.com.