Nelson's Steve Kerr has channeled his love for paddle boarding into art.

A Nelson artist combines art and sport

Nelson paddle board maker shares the inspiration behind his handmade boards and the sport that is gaining popularity in the Kootenays.

There are few sports that allow participants to combine art and athletics, but local stand-up paddle board maker Steve Kerr has found away to combine his passion for the increasingly popular sport with his creative side.

“I always wanted to be somehow involved with surfing,” said Kerr in his studio, located in the Latimer Street brewery building. “I’m a snowboarder and that’s what brought me to Nelson. This sport is really booming, quickly, kind of like what snowboarding did 20 years ago where it went mainstream really quickly. I’ve seen an opportunity and that led me to building paddle boards.”

Simply put, Kerr’s boards are functional art.

Using the grain of sustainable, locally harvested cedar, the boards each have their own unique design.

“It’s really fun. It’s quite an organic process,” said Kerr. “Shaping and making them is a totally fluid experience. Even though I start working on the boards with a template, I normally end up doing them by eye or by hand. The aesthetic of it is important and how the wood grain looks and fits.”

Paddle boarding has its roots in Hawaii.

It’s believed ship artist John Webber, who accompanied Captain James Cook to the Sandwich Islands in 1778, depicted paddle boarders in his 1781 engraving.

“If you read National Geographic there are always pictures of tribes around the world using logs or old dugout canoes, like in the South Pacific you’ll see indigenous people paddling an outrigger with people standing and paddling,” said Kerr.

“I remember seeing a picture in a National Geographic last year where this man was paddle boarding down a river in Africa pulling logs behind him. Making and using paddle boards is very much paying homage to an indigenous approach to the high tech world. For myself and anyone who uses them, a big focus of it all is staying in touch with nature.”

Even though paddle boarding has been popular in Hawaii, it is gaining momentum in Nelson as people take to the rivers and lakes.

“The whole surf culture is very similar to the mountain sport culture but has just been geographically separated,” he said. “They are really similar and how people approach them and approach them with our lives. And now we get to have our own surfboards and that is really attractive to me.”

Kerr will be having a showing for his paddle boards on Friday, August 3 in suite No. 4 in the brewery building.

 

Just Posted

Four-storey development slated for Hall-Front intersection in Nelson

Building will be mixed commercial and residential

Wildflower School to keep its bee hive

City council voted to give the school a bylaw exemption

Nearby wildfire closes Idaho Peak

The popular hiking spot is off limits to the public

Granite Pointe’s GM honoured among world’s top golf teachers

David Belling has been included on a top-100 list

VIDEO: Nelson Leafs prepare for new season with training camp

Forty-seven players hit the ice last weekend

VIDEO: Monday Roundup: Aug. 13, 2018

The Nelson Star’s weekly news roundup

Plane fighting wildfire crashes near Canada/U.S. border

The plane experienced an unknown problem.

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Darkwoods Conservation is closed to all public road access due to wildfires

Boat access to Tye along the shore of Kootenay Lake is still permitted.

Most Read