What if we get to kayak for free while being environmentally friendly? It attracted my attention for sure. Free things are the best.
I came across this ‘rent-a-craft, pay-by-trash’ in this article one evening and decided to go for it with my friend.
This activity allows you to rent a kayak or SUP for free in exchange for picking up trash in our local water bodies.
It is available from Wednesdays to Fridays in September 2021. There are two timeslots 9 am – 11 am and 2 pm – 4 pm. The week’s slots are open on the 12 am Monday of that week.
The sea outlets will need you to have a kayak or SUP cert as the open sea can be more dangerous. The reservoir outlets are available to even beginners.
You can book your slots and look at the FAQs here.
If you have more questions, you can call the various outlets.
PAssion WaVe Sea Outlets
|PAssion WaVe @ East Coast
|Stand up paddle certification required|
|PAssion WaVe @ Pasir Ris
|1-star kayak certification required|
|PAssion WaVe @ Sembawang
PAssion WaVE Reservoir Outlet
|PAssion WaVe @ Bedok Reservoir
|No certification required
|PAssion WaVe @ Marina Bay
|PAssion WaVe @ Jurong Lake Gardens
Booking My Timeslot
As a kiasu Singaporean, I camped in front of my computer at 11:55 pm Sunday and got ready to book the slots at midnight. I managed to book two slots for my friend and myself.
When I checked at 12:10 am, all slots for the week (Wed – Fri) for the reservoir outlets are all fully booked. There were still some slots left for the sea outlets as only people with kayak/SUP certs can go there.
You just need to click the Register button to lock in your slots and you have 10 – 20 minutes to key in the details for registration.
Things To Bring
Here are the things that you will need to bring for the kayaking session
- Covered shoes (compulsory)
- Change of clothes
- Card with name on it (for locker)
- Dry bag for your phone (optional)
- Hat (optional)
- Arm sleeve covers (optional)
If you want to bring a phone, please have it secured and don’t contribute more trash into the reservoir.
The sun is unforgiving so make sure you are protected as much as you can.
Reporting At PAssion WaVe @ Jurong Lake Gardens
We met at Lakeside MRT station at 8:30 am and slowly walked over to the water venture. The distance is about 1km so it will take about 10 minutes to walk over.
You will need to report to the office on the second floor. They open exactly at 9 am but it will be good to reach a bit earlier as only one group can enter the office at a time. There was a long queue when we were inside doing the registration.
They will check your name on their list and then give you a wrist tag to put on. If you need a locker, you will need to pay a non-refundable deposit of S$1 and give a card with your name in exchange for your locker key.
Briefing by PAssion WaVe Staff
We then exited the office to be briefed in groups of 5 by a staff member on today’s activity and safety.
There is a clearly marked boundary that we should not exceed for safety. If caught, there will be a fine of S$200. I am not sure about the other outlets but the Jurong Lake Gardens outlet has 20 slots per timeslot (40 slots a day).
Previously, masks could be taken off during kayaking. However, now masks have to be worn the entire time as the number of Covid cases has been rising. The number of daily Covid cases has reached over 800 cases on the day before.
Prepping Before Kayaking
You get to choose to go on a single kayak or a double kayak. I would recommend going on a single kayak as you will have more freedom. If you are not that confident, then you can go on a double kayak with your partner. My friend has never done any water sports but he got used to it after a while.
Jurong Lake Gardens Pontoon
We will then need to collect the equipment before going down to the pontoon.
- Life vest
If you want to bring your phone, make sure you get it secured, according to the staff, many phones have been dropped into the lake. They also asked us to be careful with the tongs as many tongs are also lost to the lake.
I made my own dry bag using a ziplock bag, medical tape and a strap from a medal.
The area for prep also has a fitness corner with free weights, exercise bikes, pull up bars and parallel bars.
Kayaking And Picking Up Trash In The Lake
It was my friend’s first time on a kayak so it took him some time to be able to row forward. Once he was ready, we went to the northern part of the lake and started collecting trash.
I was super scared to drop my phone in the lake so I only took a few photos.
Here are some of the photos that I took.
PAssion WaVe @ Jurong Lake Gardens
Kayaking towards the white rainbow bridge
Posing at the white rainbow bridge
Another angle at the white rainbow bridge
End Of Free Kayaking Session
After returning the equipment, we had to measure how much rubbish did we collect. We collected two full pails of trash that weighed 3.8 kg in total.
There were a lot of pieces of plastic pieces like drinking bags, cups and straws.
After that, we can get our stuff from our lockers and go back to the second floor to return the keys and then wash up.
Thoughts On ‘Rent-a-Craft, Pay-by-Trash’
We were directed to each station for registration, prep, etc and each station has one or more staff to brief us on what to do.
Some of the participants came back with only a few twigs. Some of the locations on the lake do not have any trash due to the direction of the current. We were lucky and the first place we went to had trash. For example, when we went to the rainbow white bridge, there was no trash at all.
The staff should let participants know which parts of the lake to focus on or else some participants would return with an empty bucket.
Printing Of Tickets Not Required
On the confirmation pdf, it asked us to print the ticket but it was not needed on that day. They should update the tickets to avoid wasting paper.
Put Floats On Tongs
When I went to collect the paddles, I saw a pail of tongs. They are probably there to replace the many tongs that were lost in the lake. I think they should buy and cut up some pool noodles and secure them to the tongs so that they will stay afloat if anyone accidentally drops them.
Avoid The Afternoon Timeslot
When we were there for the morning timeslot, the sun was already quite harsh. If you have a choice, pick the early timeslot instead of the 2 pm to 4 pm slot.
Lockers Should Be Free
For this activity, I think the lockers should be available for use at no cost since we doing volunteer work. It’s just quite sian when we have to pay to use the lockers.
Stay Safe And Don’t F*ck Around
We saw some young punks using their paddles and splashing water at each other. I know we are wearing life vests and there is a safety boat patrolling the area but accidents happen.
We get to kayak for free while doing our part for the environment. This is available for the month of September 2021 so there is still 2 weeks at the time of writing before the event ends. Remember to camp on Sunday just before midnight to make sure you can get a slot as most slots at the reservoir outlets are taken up within 10 minutes. Please don’t litter and keep our environment clean.
You can book your slots and look at the FAQs here.
If you have attended this ‘rent-a-craft, pay-by-trash’ at Jurong Lake Gardens or other outlets and have anything to share, leave a comment below.
If you know of any other free stuff to do, do let me know!
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