Surfside Paddlesports has evolved from a journey of over four decades of working in specialty sporting goods retail.
Kevin Lawrence, the business founder and owner took a three-year Industrial Plastics Technology Course at a vocational high school in Winnipeg. Upon graduation, a job with Boeing Of Canada working with Thermoforming and Fibreglass was an easy fit. Keeping additional part-time jobs as assistant bar manager of the Officers Mess CFB Winnipeg, and sporting goods sales pro at Collegiate Sports specializing in alpine ski, XC ski, and watersports departments. Layoffs at Boeing made the decision to work full-time in the sports business an easy decision. Picking up Ski Patrolling, Ski Instructor and Coaching certifications and becoming a Senior motorcycling Riding Instructor with the Canada Safety Council along the way.
Kevin soon decided to go into specialty ski business in winter and construction, motorcycling teaching in summers for several years.
In 1988 he moved to the Comox Valley BC and continued in several aspects of the ski business.
Summer '89 revealed that there was a need for a new watersports business, so he created Windsurfing Unlimited and worked from home and his van and mobile inventory trailer selling and servicing everything windsurfing. Additionally with the Plastics and Fibreglass experience buying, selling and repairing canoes and kayaks was a great addition. Whitewater kayaking became a passion and led to instructor certifications and leading descents on several island rivers.
In summer '91, Kevin opened a storefront and changed the name to Ski & Surf Unlimited later evolving into "Ski Surf & Kayak Shop".
It's been 33 years and evolution has become a "revolution". Kevin has decided to go back to the home-based, online and roadshow business model. Now only specializing in the paddlesports business, specifically, quality Kayaks, Surfskis and paddle accessories.
Boats and many of the must-have accessories will be kept in inventory. This downsizing and relocation will facilitate much more time to spend working with each customer's unique paddlesport needs. He can now say, "Yes, let's go for a paddle and try this out" a lot easier than ever before. He is also looking forward to trips up and down the Island to meet and assist new and current customers with some of the extra time now available.