Girls at Play passed the 10 year landmark and we THANK YOU for being part of our community of amazing women paddlers! CLICK HERE to read Anna’s blog about what she has learned in the last 10 years of GAP!
In the Beginning
The process of creating Girls at Play began one sunny morning in 2002 on the shores of the Ottawa River as our founder, Anna Levesque, thumbed through a recently published instructional kayaking book. She really enjoyed the great instruction, beautiful pictures and layout, but was disappointed that there were only two photos of female kayakers. Anna had become frustrated with the lack of resources dedicated to women in the whitewater kayaking industry and the book in her hands was a blaring example.
She ranted to her boyfriend (now husband) who suggested that she write her own instructional book for women if she wasn’t happy with the ones that already existed. After giving it a lot of thought Anna decided to attempt to produce the first instructional DVD for women in kayaking. The magnitude of such project was overwhelming. How would she fund it? Who would edit it? Was the kayaking industry ready for a women’s specific resource? There was a lot of uncertainty and risk, but she couldn’t ignore the spark that had ignited inside of her.
As with anything that is meant to be, Anna raised enough sponsorship dollars, found a fantastic videographer to do the work, amazing female paddlers donated their time for the filming and she found a distributor. With the help and support of her friends and fellow paddlers the first instructional kayaking DVD for women, Girls at Play was born!
Anna received some great advice to promote the DVD with a clinic tour at different retailers across the country. She called it the Girls at Play Summer Tour and everywhere she went there were over 30 women showing up for each clinic! She realized then how powerful women supporting other women on the water can be. Since that first GAP Summer Tour in 2004 we’ve grown into a small business dedicated to supporting, empowering and helping women to build confidence on and off the water.
We offer Whitewater kayak instruction in Asheville, NC and run trips in Costa Rica and Idaho. We host the Ladies Southeast Paddling Series, a free paddling meetup devoted to fostering community on the water and to supporting the Shannon Christy Memorial Fund. And Anna has produced four additional instructional kayaking DVDs for women, including a yoga for kayaking DVD available in our webstore.
We hope you’ll join us for your next kayaking or SUP adventure! You can reach us via email at info (@) watergirlsatplay.com or call our office at 828.333.4482. We look forward to paddling with you!
GAP Mission Statement
We are based in beautiful Asheville, NC and we are dedicated to inspiring women and enhancing their lives through kayaking, SUP, yoga and travel. Girls at Play workshops,trips, instructional tools and accessories provide an environment where paddlesports feel accessible, fun, inspiring, adventurous and supportive. Join in the fun and open up to the new possibilities that await you!