Council supports standup paddleboarding at Lake Canobolas

Simeon Cooke.
Simeon Cooke.

WHAT do you do with a calm expanse of water in a picturesque setting? Put a paddleboard on it, of course. 

Simeon Cooke hopes to do just that this summer, hiring out standup paddleboards for lakegoers to use. 

Mr Cooke reached the first milestone on Tuesday night, with Orange City Council resolving to enter into a licence agreement for the use of Lake Canobolas as a hire facility for up to three years.

He was pleased to hear the news, saying the lake was ideal for the activity.

“I like it as a fitness activity, it works the whole body at the one time,” he said.

“I’m an electrician and it gets really hot in the region in summer so I found a way to be at the beach and make money.”

He has plans to build a retro-look caravan shopfront, set up on the western side of the lake.

However, he still needs development approval from Cabonne Council to go ahead because while Orange council operates the lake, it falls within Cabonne’s boundaries.

Subject to the final go-ahead, Mr Cooke hoped to be ready to operate by November.

“I’ll probably be there Friday, Saturday, Sunday to start off with and during the holidays, I’ll be there a lot more,” he said. 

The report to councillors indicated Nambucca Council charged $450 in rent a year for a similar business, but Orange would not charge any rent for the first year to test the viability of the business. 

The operator of the Lake Canobolas Kiosk tried to start a canoe and bicycle hire business in 2014, but there were several federal water safety requirements and the proposal did not proceed.

Standup paddleboards are not considered a vessel, therefore not subject to the legislation. 

The current form of the sport, which involves standing up on a large board and propelling it through the water with a long paddle, was invented in Hawaii in the 1900s, but did not take off until the 2000s.

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