Welcome to BC’s first Stand Up Paddlesurf shop – right here in the sunny Okanagan. Modeled after those quaint n’ quirky surf shop’s you’ll find around the Hawaiian Islands, Kalavida has the look and feel that makes everyone feel welcome. The shop is located right across from Kalamalka Lake Beach and shares space with the new Okanagan SUP Rental and Demo Centre. ‘Kal’ Lake is widely regarded as one of the most scenic places to paddle in the region and with Lake Okanagan and a river network that includes the mighty Shuswap, the region is overflowing with all kinds of exciting places to paddle.
The shop is home to BC’s largest variety of paddleboards, paddles, and accessories and offers a selection of surfwear and even some tiki bits. The Okanagan SUP Rental and Demo Centre offers everyone with a chance to experience the sport – Rentals are offered daily from April-October and the Demo centre is fully stocked with all types of boards to try – a great opportunity to ‘demo’ a board before making a purchase.
The Making of Kalavida – Timing was everything. After following the development of the sport for a few years, we bought our first board in the spring of 2009 and spent a blissful summer exploring the waterways across BC and around the world (France, US, Hawaii). After being separated from the ocean for more than 5 years, we had rekindled our passion for water and although we were still a few hours from the nearest ocean, we soon realized that the Okanagan region would quickly become BC’s favourite inland paddleboard playground.
The idea for an actual ‘surf shop’ came in the fleeting moments of that same summer. After walking past the Kal Lake store on our daily trek to Kalamalka Beach, we decided to check out their old forlorn produce bays. The forgotten home of past produce wasn’t exactly inspiring at first but inspiration soon followed and we re-imagined this space as Kalavida.
More than two months of tireless work went into the building of the shop and much of the material was reclaimed and recycled to minimize the environmental impact. We were blessed with the talents of Cory Ferguson and Keith Elliott who helped us realize our vision and on May 1, 2010, Kalavida opened it’s doors – And then wondered whether anyone else knew about this relatively new sport called ‘SUP’.
The naming of Kalavida – Naturally, you’d think that ‘Kala’ is linked to the lake that provides Greater Vernon with 80% of their drinking water… but there’s much more to tell. Kalamalka Lake has a rich heritage in the North Okanagan and was once known as ‘long lake’ but there’s more to that story…
Digging further into the history of the region, writers make mention about a Hawaiian connection to the North Okanagan Indian Band – And what we liked best about the name ‘Kala’ was it’s Hawaiian definition; There are no limits – There are no real boundaries between you and your body, you and other people, and you and the world. Separation is an illusion. And, there are unlimited potentials for creativity.Vida means simply ‘life’. Kinda cool eh?
Our watery playground – Kalamalka Lake / Okanagan Lake / Shuswap River & Lake
Canada's largest (& Funnest) Standup Paddleboard Festival
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