REI is offering free paddling demos at bodies of water near stores in Alaska, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas and Washington State.

In the Bay Area:

Location: San Pablo Reservoir/Recreation Area
(510) 527-4140
Date: 4/19/09
Time: 10 am – 3 pm

Mountain View
Location: Shoreline Aquatic Center
(650) 969-1938
Date: 4/25/09
Time: 10 am – 3 pm

Santa Rosa
Location: Spring Lake, Sonoma County Regional Parks
(707) 540-9025
Date: 4/18/09
Time: 11 am – 4 pm

Get out there and get wet — you can always hike yourself dry.

(Hat tip: Bay Area on the Cheap)