If you’ve tried out kayaking or paddleboarding during this long lockdown, you’re far from alone. Sydneysiders – well, those lucky enough to have water access and the freedom to participate in outdoor recreation – are flocking to the harbour’s edge for a fresh way to exercise and stay sane.
“It’s an absolute boom,” says Shannon O’Brien, owner of Sydney Harbour Kayaks in Mosman. Last month, aided by good weather, they processed about 2000 rentals compared to 550 in the same month last year. Now they’re hiring more staff to handle the workload.
The craze is palpable from Middle Harbour to Blackwattle Bay and Cabarita to Cronulla – wherever sun- and fun-starved Sydneysiders can find a patch of water (within five kilometres of home, of course). James Wheeler, owner of Annandale Boat Hire, says the lockdown and winter sunshine combined to create a “perfect storm” for his business.
“Normally I wouldn’t even get one kayak out in the middle of the week … I was fully booked [on Wednesday],” he said. On Saturdays, he’s even busier, with up to 30 customers, and sometimes he has to knock people back.
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