The Tube Shack in Lake Cowichan will soon be opening a second location for tube rentals.
Owner Aaron Frisby said the second location, called Cowabunga Tubes, will be located at 53 North Shore Rd. in Lake Cowichan.
He said Cowabunga Tubes will have the same tubes, shuttle and the same pull-out spot as the The Tube Shack, which is located at 109 South Shore Rd., but will offer more parking and a new launch location for tubers.
Frisby said he made the decision to open Cowabunga Tubes because when The Tube Shop is at capacity, staff has to turn people away and many are forced to buy their own single-use tubes that are often left as litter in the Cowichan River at the end of the day.
“We don’t want to see more single-use tubes and are trying to get people to rent their tubes so that there’s less waste in the river,” he said.
“We have committed to renting the new location for the next three years, and we think we need it.”
Frisby said the business, which has 24 staff members so far this year, is taking more environmental responsibility for the Cowichan River by hiring a full-time river clean-up crew that will target areas along the river for a thorough clean up every day of the tubing season.
That’s on top of the major river-clean up it has committed to annually.
Frisby said the business, the only tubing company currently in Lake Cowichan, will also continue the practice of handing out free environmentally safe sunscreen that is not harmful to the river to its customers this year.
“We will continue to do as much as we can to operate as environmentally friendly as we can,” he said.
Frisby said business has been good so far this season, and staff were stunned by the high volume of people that came to go tubing during the historic heat wave that hit the region at the end of June.
“It was the shock of a lifetime for us,” he said.
“We are not used to being so busy so early in the season, but all went well. Business is about normal now for this time of year now, and we’re looking forward to a great season.”