Meet Vince and Em!
Vincent and Emily Shay are the local husband and wife team who owns and operates Avila Beach Paddlesports. They grew up exploring the waters of the Central Coast and have decades of local ocean expertise. They have dedicated the last 10 years of their life to creating the best experience possible for locals and visitors alike.
Vince has spent his entire life on, under, or near water. He combined his love of surfing and ocean kayaking and began surf kayaking in the early 2000’s. Vince became a competitive surf kayaker and competed on the world champion US National Surf Kayak Team. Vince knew that surf kayaks could be designed better, so he began working with Murky Waters Kayaks a company located in Canada, to design a series of surf kayaks. Vince has designed and collaborated on the designs of 7 surf kayaks and is now working on downwind SUP foil designs.
In addition to competing and designing, Vince has been a Central Coast ocean kayak guide for almost 20 years. In the last 10 years, Vince has also branched out into paddleboarding. He loves getting out into rough, open ocean for “downwinding,” and he has even paddleboarded from Morro Bay to Avila Beach (over 23 miles) multiple times! Vince’s enthusiasm is legendary and he loves nothing more than the satisfaction of guiding others on the ocean.
Emily grew up surfing all over the Central Coast and enjoys sharing her love of the ocean with others. Emily graduated from Cal Poly SLO with a degree in English and later completed her Master’s Degree in Education. Emily loves teaching and her passion is working with at-risk youth. Emily has taught in a variety of settings, including public high schools, alternative charter schools, and at the California Conservation Corps. She never planned on becoming a small business owner, but when the opportunity to start Avila Beach Paddlesports presented itself in 2009, Emily said, “why the heck not? It’s go time!”