Paddle for the Planet – December, 2013 Update

Posted on: December 12th, 2013 by Paddle Surf No Comments


“Paddle for the Planet” is winding down the third year of paddling every day to “Change the Way we live on the Planet”!

On December 31st Bob will paddle for the 1096th consecutive day, and is planning a celebration! Bob has invited paddlers from all over the Pacific Northwest to join him at Rotary Beach in Kelowna on Tuesday the 31st at 11 a.m. Rotary Beach is the place where “Paddle for the Planet” all began back on January 1, 2011. This will bring 3 years of consecutive daily paddling to a close, and there will be an announcement of upcoming plans for 2014! 2014 is shaping up to be an even bigger year for “Paddle for the Planet” and “World Paddle for the Planet Day”, we can’t wait to tell you about them!

We are going to announce one of those upcoming plans a bit early. “Paddle for the Planet” is going to make an exciting sponsorship announcement at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 14th during the “Winter Chill Paddle” at Kalavida Surf Shop in Vernon! The announcement will involve a major global board manufacturer, and has been in the works for several months! The ‘Winter Chill Paddle” always attracts a good crowd of paddlers, and this event is the perfect place to share this very exciting announcement!

Thank you for the coverage you have given to “Paddle for the Planet” and “World Paddle for the Planet” in 2013! Media coverage has been an integral part of the successes we have seen this year in our daily work to “Change the Way we live on the Planet”, and we are very grateful!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you from everyone at “Paddle for the Planet”, wishing you a super awesome holiday!

Bob Purdy

Bob’s Big Paddle: 135km in one day!

Posted on: June 18th, 2012 by Paddle Surf 1 Comment


Bob Purdy paddling Lake Okanagan (photo: Joan Vienot/SUP Radio Show)

Bob Purdy paddling Lake Okanagan (photo: Joan Vienot/SUP Radio Show)

Those familiar with stand up paddleboarding in Canada and this site are probably familiar with the name Bob Purdy and his Paddle for the Planet initiative.

For those that aren't, let's bring you up to speed! Bob has been stand up paddling every single day since January 1, 2011... Through rain, sleet, snow, ice and wind, he's been out there every single day for the past year and a half, stand up paddling  to help raise funds and awareness for the protection of our planet through the David Suzuki Foundation.

Bob also recently pearheaded an effort to have Transport Canada recognize the standup paddleboard as a suitable safety alternative when combined with use of a worn board leash. While this initiative still has a ways to go, at the very least he's managed to get the attention of key decision makers, and the dialog is now underway.

Adding to his impressive portfolio, this past Saturday June 16th, Bob completed an epic 19 hour SUP journey  along the entire length of Lake Okanagan. Yep, that's right... From Penticton to Kelowna to Vernon. That's ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FIVE kilometres (80+ miles) in a single day!

To put this into perspective, that's like paddling from Vancouver to Nanaimo, then back to Vancouver, then heading back to Nanaimo once more. I realize lake conditions are typically tamer than what you'd find out in the open ocean, but any way you slice it, this was once heck of a paddle! And what made it even more impressive, is he picked right up the next day and continued his daily paddle routine!

Bob Purdy and his support crew (photo: Joan Vienot/SUP Radio Show)

The journey kicked off before sunrise in Penticton with grey skies and light rains, and gradually changed throughout the day. Some brightening of the skies, some headwinds, a bit more rain, and some tailwinds later on all made for an interesting day on the water.

Leslie Kolovich and Joan Vienot from the SUP Radio Show in Seaside, Florida accompanied Bob on the journey, and kept everyone up to date through Facebook. Leslie will also be writing a piece for the Stand Up Journal... Watch for it later this year!

Thanks also go out to Rayburns Marine in Kelowna for providing a support boat for the expedition.

Way to go Bob, you are truly inspiring!

June 16, 2012: World Paddle for the Planet Day

Posted on: January 12th, 2012 by Paddle Surf No Comments


Bob Purdy is continuing his mission of paddling every day in 2011 and 2012 with World Paddle for the Planet Day, which will be held on June 16, 2012! The general goal of the day is to gather as many people as possible around the World, and get them all out paddling to help raise awareness for the protection of our planet.

Bob will be heading up a crew of paddlers to paddle the entire 80 mile length of the Okanagan Lake... See if you can match that!

Here's Bob's remarks on the importance of the day, and how you too can help to make a difference:

“Sending a “SUPWave of Change” around the World”

My name is Bob Purdy, I am a Standup Paddle Surfing, Elder in Training, Outstanding Somewhere…….. In 2011 I paddled my Standup Paddle Surfer every day to raise funds for the “David Suzuki Foundation” and to “change the way we live on the planet”.

I discovered that we are facing many of the same challenges in 2012 that we did last year. And the year before that. And the year before that. Etc. Etc. Etc. I find it very difficult to stand by and watch the same challenges surface year after year which is why I will “Paddle for the Planet” again every day in 2012. The call to action is urgent, the Planet is crying out for help! The challenges we face socially, economically and environmentally in today’s World are staggering, and just like all life on the Planet, intricately connected! Have we forgotten that all life is precious? Have we become disconnected from the Natural World that is our home? Have we affected the planet’s ability to sustain life? Could we do better for the planet, and for each other? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then action is required!  It is time to “Change the way we live on the Planet!”

I have also discovered that as a group, Standup Paddle Surfers tend to be a proactive group of people! What better way to “Change the way we live on the Planet” than to create an opportunity for paddlers around the World to paddle for the change they would like to see?  “World Paddle for the Planet Day” is June 16, 2012 and has been created to give Standup Paddle Surfers around the World an opportunity to paddle for change by sending a “SUPWave of Change” around the Globe! Here is the plan! One, choose a change you would like to see happen in the World. Two, paddle for that change on June 16th. Three, commit to that change until it becomes reality! It could be something as simple as spending the day cleaning up your local beach, or as ambitious as joining a movement to stop an activity that is harmful to the planet. Paddle by yourself, or organize a group to send out a stronger “SUPWave of Change!” It’s simple, more paddlers, in more places around the World equals bigger change! For my part I will paddle the length of Okanagan Lake in B.C. Canada where I live, a distance of about 80 miles. The change I want to see revolves around consumption, and I will definitely be inviting paddlers to join me!  We need to rethink the way we consume and reduce what we buy, the Planet needs a break from our constant need to indulge!

The “David Suzuki Foundation” has done a lot to “Change the way we live on the Planet” and I will once again fundraise to support their amazing body of work! The Foundation could really use our help in the World and I invite all paddlers to join me in collecting pledges/donations to help Dr. Suzuki achieve his goals for change at Donations are gratefully accepted on our web site , just click on the donate button. Every penny will go directly to the “David Suzuki Foundation!” Please join me on June 16th to make “World Paddle for the Planet Day” an outstanding event for change in 2012! Organize a happening, go for a quiet paddle, join your friends or paddle solo, whatever you do let us know! Contact us on facebook at Bob Purdy with details of your paddle!

One Person is the Difference, Stand up and be that Person!

Check out for more information!


Congratulations to Bob Purdy of Paddle for the Planet for paddling EVERY SINGLE DAY IN 2012!!! Though the sun, snow, rain, and everything in between, Bob has paddled every day through it all in an effort to raise awareness for the care of Planet Earth, and the David Suzuki Foundation.

As impressive as his feat of paddling 365 days in a row may be, Bob has just announced that he's continuing his initiative straight through 2012, with plans to making it 730 consecutive paddle days!

And on Saturday June 16th, 2012, Bob is also organizing "World Paddle for the Planet Day", which will be comprised of a variety of events throughout the World. Keep tabs here and at Details will be released as they become available!

Here's the news release:

Life is a precious gift! All Life is interconnected! Is that connection lost, and have we affected the Planet’s ability to sustain Life? The evidence says we have, and indicates we need to “Change the Way We Live on the Planet”!

The challenges we face socially, economically and environmentally in today’s World  are staggering, and just like all life on the Planet, intricately connected! The decisions made, and actions taken in the past have affected all life on the Planet. Our future decisions and actions will have no less impact. The question we need to ask ourselves is “How can I change the Way I live on the Planet now for generations to come in the future”?

My journey down this road began several years ago when Sharon and I began contributing to the “David Suzuki Foundation”. Fast forward to 2007 when I discovered the sport of “Standup Paddle Surfing”! In spite of breaking my nose in the surf of Florida my first time out, I knew I had found something very special that would become a lifelong passion, something I wanted to share with everyone! Fast forward again to 2010 where I found myself wanting to do more for the Planet. Shortly after I started paddling I told Sharon, “I would paddle every day if I could” and so I decided to combine my passion for paddling with the discovery of things I could do to “Change the Way I was Living on the Planet”. A few phone calls to the “David Suzuki Foundation” later and,  voila, “Paddle for the Planet “was born on New Year’s Day, 2011!

I had three goals in 2011; 1) challenge myself personally by paddling all 365 days of 2011,  2) raise $100,000 in donations for the “David Suzuki Foundation” to support their amazing work, and 3) challenge and change the way I live on the Planet. My experience in 2011 made me realize that lasting change takes time and effort.  So, just like the challenges of the planet, my personal efforts will continue.  On New Year’s Day, 2012, I will dip my paddle into the water again to continue the consecutive daily paddle I started in 2011! Fundraising, and searching for more ways to “Change the Way I Live on the Planet” are priorities once again! Since there are few people who have created more change for the Planet than Dr. Suzuki, “Paddle for the Planet 2012” will once again donate every penny raised to the “David Suzuki Foundation” in support of their body of work!

In addition, I invite you to watch for a very special paddle in June, the 1st Annual “World Paddle for the Planet Day” which will take place on Saturday, June 16th. This event has been created to encourage Standup Paddle Surfers all over the World to paddle for the “Change” they want to see!” For my part, I will attempt to paddle all 80 miles of Okanagan Lake in one day! I will be paddling to change the devastating impact our consumptive ways have on the Planet! Join me, and paddle to “Change the Way We Live on the Planet”!

My name is Bob Purdy and I am a “Standup Paddle Surfing, Elder in Training, Outstanding Somewhere!” I paddle 365 days a year because the call to action is urgent! Our Planet is crying out for help! I encourage you to answer the call! Start today! Make a donation at or , support a project you are passionate about, start a project of your own, Or?..........

One person is the difference, stand up & be that person! If I can do it, you can do it!

Congratulations once again Bob... It's been great following your journey thus far, and wish you the best of luck in continuing your efforts!

Bob Purdy on CHBC

Posted on: December 22nd, 2011 by Paddle Surf No Comments


Bob Purdy from Paddle for the Planet recently got some press from his work with Carey Missler, who's creating a documentary called The Canadian Surfer Movie.

Here's an excerpt from the story...

A Kelowna filmmaker is back in town to tell the story of Bob Purdy, another Kelowna man whose story CHBC News brought you earlier this year.

Filmmaker Carey Missler shot a portion of a surfing documentary, called the Canadian Surfer Movie, with Purdy on Sunday at Rotary Beach in Kelowna.

Purdy has been stand up paddling around Okanagan Lake every day this year to raise environmental awareness.

Missler is traveling across the country to shoot different stories about surfing; he will stop in Nova Scotia to film about ocean surfing, Montreal for a segment about river surfing and Lake Ontario for a story about lake surfing.

Read it on Global News: CHBC Okanagan | Kelowna stand up paddler to be featured in documentary

Click here for the whole story!

Day 300 of Paddle for the Planet

Posted on: September 18th, 2011 by Paddle Surf No Comments


LAST MINUTE UPDATE: Start time has been moved to 7:30AM to accomodate Shaw TV, who will be covering the event!

Day 300 of “Paddle for the Planet” is fast approaching! The paddle will be dipped into the water at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 27th at Cedar Ave. Park for the 300th consecutive day on the water! The countdown to Day 365 is getting closer, with the final paddle for 2011 coming up on Saturday December 31st complete with wind up celebration... More details to come!

Shop Profile #2: Kalavida Surf Shop

Posted on: September 16th, 2010 by Paddle Surf No Comments


This week we hear from Kevin O'Brien from Kalavida Surf Shop up in Vernon BC.

How long has your company been in business, and how did you get your start?

Kalavida opened up in May of 2010 as a SUP-specific shop for the Okanagan region and beyond. It took 3 months and countless loads reclaimed wood, tin roof and supplies to get the shop ready for action. It was modeled after those quaint n' quirky surf shops you find in Hawaii and was built using as much recycled materials as possible.

We just kinda fell in love with the sport during the summer of '09 and a series of coincidences and good fortune helped us make the ultimate decision to turn our passion into a business. After spending the last decade marketing BMX in the US and Canada, I was finally able to put those skills to work for our own project – and Kalavida was born! Kala is one the Hawaiian Huna principles that means go with the flow or hang loose so that was a perfect fit given that the First Nations have a Hawaiian connection in the Okanagan. We really wanted a connection to our region so the name was perfect.

When and how did you first find out about Stand Up Paddleboarding?

I had seen the sport for the last couple of years through guys like Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama and others but never really thought much about what it would be like on the lakes. I saw it in Mexico in the winter and showed it to a few friends as well. We picked up boards early last year and it just kind felt right from the first time we stepped up so to speak. It truly is one of the most versatile sports I have ever been involved with. Shortly after our first paddle on Kalamalka Lake, we took the summer off and drove around BC to paddle in all kinds of lakes and rivers. BC is one amazing place for SUP and we are blessed to be on the shores of Kalamalka Lake

When did you start carrying SUP related products in your store?

May 1st. We took a fairly big gamble that the sport would have a break-out year and even before we had opened our doors, we could tell that there was some interest out there. We started off with Surftech, C4 Waterman and Rogue and I can remember looking at our shop in early May and wondering whether if the timing was right – luckily it was and we continued to add brands like Kialoa, Werner, Sitka and Ocean & Earth.

What sort of growth have you seen you started selling SUP related products?

We beat our forecasts!

What are your top selling board brands and models?

The Rogue All-Rounders did very well but we ran out of boards in early July and so did the company. Surftech 'Laird' Tuflites and softops did very well along with C4's Holoholo and their inflatable iSUPs.

What are your top selling paddle brands and models?

It was interesting….. Werner came out strong in the first part of the season and then Kialoa ruled the second half. We had a good response from the people at the Vernon Paddling centre and they love their Kialoa.

What are your most popular SUP related accessories?

The basics like rail tape, rack pads and leashes were popular. The Ocean & Earth board bags did very well along with Rap Rax (Soft roof racks) the Dry Case for iPhones and such. Later in the season, EZ Plugs and attachments came on strong as people progressed through the sport (and because of Transport Canada). We expect booties to come into season very shortly

If there was one accessory you'd suggest that all stand up paddle boarders should purchase, it would be...

A board bag for travel. I held off for a year but swear by it now. Keeps your ride bug free, ding free and surrounds your board in mystery.

Do you offer additional value added services?

Information and advice – Since flatwater is still 'new' on the SUP radar, we made sure that we educated everyone about the boards, their features and which ones worked best for flatwater. One of our main focus points was to let people know how versitile the boards really are. A common question was "so all you do is paddle"?, so we had to find creative ways to paint a picture for people and many of them were pretty stoked to hear that you can take them on the rivers – The Shuswap river near our shop is amazing and this will become a big category next year.

Try before you buy. Rather than outfit our rental fleet with safe boards, we had a mix of all types of boards so that potential buyers could try out a number of them before making their purchase. The Surftech 'Laird' and C4 Holoholo and ATB sold well because of this.

We worked with customers to provide rail tape applications at no charge and we were pretty diligent about making sure paddle lengths were right for each customer.

We offer 'Intro to SUP' classes throughout the spring and summer for those who want to get more out of their first experience and we started doing River SUP tours in the late Summer.

Most of all, we live the sport so you'll find us out paddling with customers-turned-friends whenever we get the chance.

How do most of your customers use their stand up paddle boards?

Our clientele was primarily from the Okanagan so the boards were primarily used on the lakes and rivers. We did a couple of River tours so we expect this to expand next year.

Where do you and your customers get out on the water?

We are footsteps from Kalamalka Beach and held a weekly race series so this spot was the most popular. Our pals from Kelowna and Penticton spent most of their time on Okanagan lake but I think most of us agree that Kalamalka Lake is the premier SUP spot in the region. It's mostly calm but when the wind whips up, it makes for one amazing downwinder.

For Rivers, we spent the first part of the summer on the Shuswap near Mabel Lake but after hitting the Similkameen near Keremeos, we have much to explore.

Somewhere in the middle of it all, Transport Canada called our shop after responding to a call about 'safety' from a local business. They held a 'town hall' type of meeting with us and explained their interpretation of the laws and how they apply to SUP.

What time of day brings the best conditions?

Best condition depends on what you want to do. Early mornings for Kal Lake and Okanagan Lake are calm and glassy. Downwinders are best in the afternoon's. Kal beach gets on-shore winds so it's pretty safe out there most of the time.

Where do you see stand up paddle boarding going in the next few years?

Its versitility will lend itself to a mainstream audience but it will also become more specialized as the sport evolves in the mind of the consumer and as the products continue to refine. Many of the boards offered today are not flat-water specific so I can see this side developing greatly. Once you get on a displacement style board, the speed might keep you from going back to the surfboard style of design….

What's your favorite part about being involved with stand up paddleboarding?

Freedom and folk. The people and the freedom to go anywhere with your board and go on an adventure on any body of water. More surf would be nice….

Any tips for the newcomers?

There is a lot of information out there about boards and paddles so try to find the stuff that pertains to your application. If you're in the flatwater region, try to find info about boards that work best for lakes and rivers. Don't get fooled by the cheaper brands who claim they are the same. We've seen it first hand that, like in other sports, you get what you pay for. We had many of our for-sale boards in the rental fleet so we have the luxury of seeing how they hold up under use and abuse.

And always buy the board that will suit 85% of where you will paddle. If you'll be primarily on flatwater, try to pick a board that is suited for the lakes. If you end up going surfing, you can just rent a board for the weekend. Ask lots of questions like 'how does it track', 'why does this board have thin rails but this one has thick rails?', 'what if I want to race it?' and so on. In a new sport like SUP, no question is a dumb question. We're all still learning and growing together.

And some closing thoughts?

It truly has been a thrilling ride so far. We jumped into the sport full-stop and have been able to share that stoke with so many good people this year already. The SUP community has come alive and we've become friends with many of our customers and that is what it's all about for us. We support our local scene and also ship anywhere in BC and across the country. We were the first shop to stock race boards this season and always have something more than the ordinary in stock.

Kalavida also partnered with SPrKL (Society for the Protection of Kalamalka Lake) and made regular donations to the society from our race events.


New SUP site for the Okanagan

Posted on: January 12th, 2010 by Paddle Surf No Comments


Kevin O'Brien and his team at High  5 Media in the Okanagan has just launched, a new resource/community to help spread the word about Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Okanagan.

The Okanagan area of British Columbia is one of the best areas in North America for flat-freshwater stand up paddleboarding. The region has a myriad of amazing lakes for touring, three of the four seasons boast exceptional weather, and the overall local vibe is super friendly.

Stand Up Paddleboarding was only introduced to the area in recent years, and is set to explode, with on the forefront for news, events and introducing newcomers, local and visitors alike, to our great sport!

We here at Servoweb Technologies helped out with the installation and customization, along with some general consultation on the project.

Congratulations Kevin, and we look forward to paddling with you up on Kalamalka sometime soon!