I just wanted to wish everyone Happy New Year. I hope you have set your goals for 2011 and that your year is already looking bright. 2010 was an awesome year for me personally, for Mountain Surf Adventures and for my new initiative Standup4GreatBear. I am really looking forward to 2011. Here are a few things I was excited about in 2010.
Standup4GreatBear Expedition: As a recipient of the First Ascent: Be First Sponsorship I SUPed 400km from Kitimat to Bella Bella through four first nations communities highlighting traditional food harvesting territories and the wildlife of the GreatBear Rainforest. I was standing up to keep the proposed oil tankers off our coastline. The trip itself, the First Nations in the communities, school kids and those that supported across Canada really inspired me. Thank you to the communities for sharing your traditional food with our expedition. Big thanks to Skeena Watershed Conservation’s “Bman” Brian Huntington and my sister Shannon who were by my side for the whole expedition. Thanks so much to everyone who supported my journey. Thanks to the watchman in each territory that showed me sacred places and traditional food harvesting sites, highlighting what’s at risk. Thanks to Ian and Karen MacAllister of Pacific Wild for their support and guidance throughout the expedition and as leaders and mentors in the GreatBear Rainforest. Together we will keep the proposed Enbridge Pipeline and oil tankers off our coast. A special thank you to Miss Falconer’s North Vancouver Class, Ashley Conley’s Grade 8’s, Ann Hills class in Terrace, the Rivard’s, and the inspiring First Nation’s youth in Kitamaat, Hartley Bay, Klemtu and Bella Bella. Thank you!!
Explore Magazine: The Mountain Surf Adventures SUP Exploratory trip to the GreatBear Rainforest was highlighted on the cover of the May issue of Explore Magazine. Writer Masa Takei and photographer Taylor Kennedy did an outstanding job on the project and highlighted the area and the people well. The GreatBear Rainforest is an incredible place to explore on SUP’s.
SUP CANADA: MSA started offering SUP products in 2009 and in 2010 the sport has started to blow up in Canada. As a result of the Explore Magazine we ran our first commercial SUP expedition to the GreatBear Rainforest in August which was a huge success. Thanks to Diana, Lance, Jamie, Todd and Steph for coming up to experience the magic of the area. Our lessons, fitness classes and Standup4Coffee trips got a lot of people stoked for the sport. Thanks to the people of Squamish and the Sea to Sky Area for supporting my business. 2011 should be a massive year for SUP. Big Kudos to Kevin OBrien who started the first SUP Surf Shop, Kalavida, in the Okanagan and who hosts the best SUP race in Canada, The Kalamalka Classic. I had a blast at his race last June and shared good times with great people. Look for some big things from Kevy in 2011. Another guy who has been pushing the sport huge has been Bodie Shandro, the Surftech Distributor in Canada. Bodie sponsored me with my Surftech Joe Bark Expedition Board for the SU4GB trip. Bodie is a tireless worker, promoter and is super stoked on SUP in Canada. Not only that but he is a great competitor and SUP surfer. I am looking forward to working with both Kevy and Bodie to continue to promote the sport, push SUP exploration and introduce Canadians to the SUP stoke. Great job Taylor Fulde with your promotion of the sport at www.paddlesurf.ca Cheers to Warren Currie at Easy Rider and Bob Putnam at Deep cove for their SUP contributions. And a big cheers to all the paddleboarders who are out there enjoying the sport, having fun, sharing the stoke and being creative.
International League of Conservation Photographers: Christina Mittermeier of the ILCP and Ian MacAllister of Pacific Wild brought together some of the world’s best conservation photographers to the Hartley Bay and the GreatBear Rainforest to help bring awareness to the threat of oil tankers on our coastline. I was fortunate to be a part of this successful project and help with guiding and logistics. I am always inspired by passionate people who are really good at what they do. It was a treat to work with award winning National Geographic Photographer Paul Nicklen as we worked together to find Spirit Bears and spawning salmon.
SUP Racing: My first SUP race was Kevin OBrien’s Kalamalka Classic in the Okanagan, already a Canadian SUP classic. After the guiding season in the Great Bear was completed i headed down to California to race the 22 mile Lake Tahoe Fall Classic. After this warmup i met up with Bodie Shandro, Kev and the Canadian boys for the Battle of the Paddle at Dana Point California. Wow, what an event. I competed for Surftech in the Elite Race, the long distance race and the SUP relay. The SUP relay with Kevin H, Bodie and Lina was a lot of fun. So much stoke down there, so many legends and so many smiles. The highlight though, at the BOP, was the day before the races, SUP surfing at San Onofre with Bodie, Kevin O, Ian from Rogue, Ken and Geoff. I will never forget those waves and the fun times in the surf. Oh ya, i got a chance to share a wave with the pipe master himself, Gerry Lopez…that ruled.
So these were some of the highlights. I am happy to see that the No Tanker Campaign on our coast is gaining momentum. The government has underestimated the power of the people on the coast. Outstanding work and momentum has been built by Coastal First Nations, the ILCP, Pacific Wild, individual expeditions like Frank Wolfe’s Walk the Line, Mike Reid’s coastal kayak, SU4GB, the Pipedreams Project and all of the other organizations working hard to keep our coastline the way it is.
Thanks to my friends and family in Hartley Bay who support me and who give the shirts off their backs to anyone i bring into the community. You have provided me with inspiration and a drive to protect the area that i didn’t think i had in me. Thanks for showing me the way.
Big thanks to my sponsors, Surftech, Ryders Eyewear, WhiskeyJack Paddles, Galileo Coffee, Pacific Wild, and all the supporters of Standup4GreatBear.
2011 will be another incredible year. I am fortunate to be healthy, to have amazing family and friends, and to be a Canadian. Thanks to my partner Jen who has supported me in everything that i do and is one who inspires me with her work ethic, character, drive and inspiration of others. Her new studio Challenge By Choice Performance Training Studio will be a huge success in 2011.
I will continue to explore, have fun, share experiences with others and lead a life of passion.