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

Campbell scores in OT as Leafs outlast Nitehawks 7-6

Nelson gave up three leads against rival Beaver Valley

COLUMN: Celebrate the season at Nelson’s Civic Theatre

The Civic Theatre presents a program of Halloween delights

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Applications sought for annual Nelson heritage award

Deadline for submissions is Oct. 30.

Playmor Junction daycare expansion faces opposition

Neighbours upset with rezoning application, citing traffic, noise and concerns about future uses

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Most Read