Kits to Jericho Paddle

One of my favorite paddleboarding spots in Vancouver is the stretch between Kitsilano Beach and Jericho Beach. The view is spectacular: as you look west, open water stretches in front of you, flanked by the North Shore Mountains and Point Gray peninsula, with the sun setting on the horizon if you time it right. As you turn towards the east, the skyline of downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park lies close to view. There is minimal boat traffic close to shore, unlike the busy English Bay and False Creek area. There are a few docks and a yacht clubs so there are the occasional boats that cross this route.

There are lots of paid parking spaces in each park. Kitsilano Beach features a playground, a restaurant, a public swimming pool, plus other amenities, whereas Jericho Beach Park features a small forest to explore, and a kayak rental company.

Launching from Kitsilano Beach Park.

But my go-to launching spot is one of the several small parks in between the two beaches, where there are free street parking and fewer crowds.

Launching from Volunteer Park, one of the small parks between Kits and Jericho. Looking east towards downtown and Stanley Park.

The water doesn’t get too far from shore at low tide, unlike the shallow sandy beaches at Spanish Banks where the water can retreat up to 1km at low tide. The waves are small and steady on a day with low winds, but it definitely takes some practice to get comfortable.

Since I’m fairly new to paddleboarding, it took me 5-6 practice sessions before I am confident enough to bring our toddler onto my board and paddle standing up on the ocean. Progressing from kneeling paddles by myself to sitting paddle with my son, finally to standing paddles with him was quite rewarding. Each session felt like an “achievement unlocked” badge.

View from Kits towards the west close to sunset.
Little man enjoying the evening light.

The distance between Kits and Jericho is about 3.2km, or 6.5km round trip. It would take me 2 hours to complete a round trip, but I usually start in the middle and just leisurely spend an hour in either direction.

Ferrying a toddler definitely slows me down significantly, because I am more careful about large movements or potentials for falling in. My son is still quite timid on the water especially with movements of the ocean, and I am sure that if he accidentally fell overboard, we are going to have a Code Freak-Out until he gets back to the safety of Mom on the beach.

I hope he can eventually gain enough confidence to go on and off the paddleboard for short swims one day, then I should be able to paddle faster and further.

  • Difficulty – minor ocean waves, but I’d avoid windy days
  • Boat traffic – occasional sailboats and small boats at low speeds coming in and out of the yacht clubs
  • View – great views of the English Bay and Burrard Inlet, as well as big oceanfront mansions including the most expensive house in Vancouver
  • Facilities – great facilities at Kits and Jericho Beach, minimal facilities in the small parks in between
  • Overall score – 9/10

Vancouver Shoreline Series:

5 responses to “Kits to Jericho Paddle”

  1. […] Kits Beach is a popular sandy beach, with a great playground and restaurant nearby. The paid parking lot can get quite busy on a bright summer day. Unlike the narrow False Creek channel, you don’t have to deal with motorboats near your (unless one happens to becoming into or out of one of the yacht clubs). If you pick your conditions well (low winds, low swell, slack tide), this can be a good spot for a beginner to practice. […]

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