SUP Shop of the Year, 2020 Overview and the SUP Community

SUP Shop of the Year, 2020 Overview and the SUP Community

2020 has been a year, to say the least.  With Covid, we had no idea how the season would turn out or what the demand for getting on the water would be.  We found that demand for getting on the water and staying active was at an all time high for locals and visitors to the area.  SUP is an active outlet that can be done at an appropriate social distance, which was likely the reason we saw so many people on the water.  There were many challenges this summer for us and all, but also many positives and highlights that we are so stoked about. This makes us optimistic for the future of SUP in our community, Alberta, Canada, and around the world.  


For the past three summers we have hosted our downriver SUP race, the Bow Valley Logjam.  With Covid, and group activities on pause, we decided to put the Logjam on hold for the year.  However, we still wanted to offer our community a way to compete and participate in a fun event.  We came up with our version of a social distance SUP race at the Rundle Forebay in Canmore.  The race was a 2.7km flatwater race that competitors could take part in at a social distance and at any time they wished before July 31.  The race was not intended to have a winner.  It was intended to get people out on the water, stay active and relieve some stress from the year.  Anyone who competed in the race was entered to win a new 2020 Sustain SUP from Kootenay PDL  At the conclusion of the race we randomly picked three names from a hat, with one name to be drawn for the SUP prize.  Emily Tompkins, was the lucky person to have her name drawn and walk away with a brand new board.  She was beyond excited and we can’t wait to see her ripping the water next summer.  Even though the race had all the intentions of getting as many people on the water as possible, friendly competition did arise.  Strava became the tool used to time and beat the next fastest time.  Dan Miller had the top time for men and Brandy Beveridge had the fastest women’s time.  Congrats to both for the mind boggling times they posted.  


We were also proud to support and partner for the first ever women’s only SUP race in the area called Queen of the Valley.  Queen of the Valley was hosted and driven by Julia Barnes from Honubelle , Dan Miller from Pure Paddle, Mallory Chapman, us at BVSUP and a handful of amazing sponsors.  The race featured a slalom race and a long distance event with the overall winner gaining points in each race to determine an overall winner.  The effort and determination of all the competitors was next level and it certainly made us proud and stoked for our community of women paddlers.  Emily Louise walked away with the Queen of the Valley crown, evading fierce competitors trying to track her down.  The event sold out, and we can’t wait to see how the women’s paddle community progresses and evolves from here.

On the gear side of things, inventory of all sporting equipment was hard hit in 2020.  Manufacturers did not know how much new demand there would be, and retailers were stuck in a hard place trying to meet the demand .  There was a major imbalance of too much want and not enough stock.  At Bow Valley SUP, and many retailers across Canada, we were sold out of new SUPs in mid June.  Next season looks like there will be more increased demand across the board.  If your’e looking to get a new SUP or other gear, be sure to check our website as we are already 60% sold out of our initial pre-order.

Our top highlight from this year was that we won SUP Shop of the Year as voted by the SUP community!  This was  a huge honour that we are so proud of.  We have worked very hard in the 8 years of Bow Valley SUP, and to be voted as SHOP of the Year by our peers, was the culmination and assurance that we are on the right path.  We love SUP, the community that has been created and the events have emerged.  SUP is truly an amazing way to get together with others, make friends and stay active.  Keep getting out, pushing your boundaries and enjoying the magnetic connection to the water.  A huge thanks to everyone who voted for us, spread the word and showed your support for Bow Valley SUP.  

Next year we look forward to more community events, in whatever form they hold, growing our community and seeing everyone on the water.  Stay stoked and see you in the Spring of 2021.  



Summer 2020: 

The Rundle Forebay in Canmore has been closed to all commercial activity for the duration of 2020.  This news came quickly and without warning.  We will not be able to station there daily and we now be servicing all of our rental bookings from the Coast Hotel Canmore.  We will station our mobile SUP van in the south east corner of the Coast parking lot.  Our rental inventory will be limited for the rest of the summer unfortunately.  Thank you for the support and we hope to be back at full capacity for 2021!

COVID-19 Update

Due to Covid-19, our shop that has been located at 621 Main Street, Canmore for the past 6 summers will not be opening this summer.  However... we are now running rentals and lessons via mobile service, serving Canmore, Banff and area.  For SUP and kayak rentals the easiest place to pickup and drop off gear is at the Rundle Forebay, in Canmore across from the Canmore Nordic Center turn off.  Look for our big red SUP van!  Equipment can be used right at the Forebay or can be transported to your lake of choice.  We include all the needed equipment to transport your gear and all rentals include life jacket, paddle, leash, pump, roof straps, etc.  We believe we have the protocols in place to keep our staff and community safe.  Please refer to our rentals page for more info on our Covid-19 prevention rental protocols.  Thanks for your support and we can't wait to see you on the water.  Stay safe and healthy.  

Please call or text 403-707-7202 for more info. 


Our Physical Distance Social Media SUP race is open to anyone and everyone until July 31. The race is from the bench at the Rundle Forebay in Canmore, out to the broken dock, and back. 2.93km. Anyone who completes the course, regardless of time, and sends us a DM through Instagram about their completion and unofficial time, will be entered to win a @kootenaypdl Sustain SUP!. We also have prizing from @badfishsupand @suptraineryyc confirmed. This race is not about times and winning, it is about reconnecting with ourselves, getting outside and having fun. Hope everyone enjoys.  For the serious racers, there is a Strava segment called “Bench to Dock”

Check out our Instagram page, @bowvalleysup, for more details!

March 1/2020:  Summer 2020 is almost here and we can't wait to get back on the water!  There are some great events, new tours and races coming up this summer.  So grab you paddle, board and leash, then mark your calendar and get excited for hot weather, mountain air and turquoise lakes.   

High quality SUP rentals will once again be available starting in early May 2020 from our shop, located at 621 Main Street, Canmore  All rentals include board, paddle, leash, pump or roof racks/straps, expert knowledge on where to SUP and help with loading or how to inflate your board.  

Friday evening Sunset SUP tours supported by Fjall Raven Banff, Two Jack Lake SUP Tours, Canmore Reservoir SUP Tours, Intro to Flatwater and River SUP lessons, Full Moon Tours and SUP yoga all summer 2020. More info here:

May 20 - Kootenay SUP Free Demo night.  Come try out the new lineup of 2020 Kootenay SUP boards in Canmore.  Location TBD. Cancelled

May 22 Weekend - Alberta SUP Championships.  Cancelled

May 30 Weekend - 5th Annual Banff Yoga Fest- We are stoked to be a SUP host and guide at the Banff Yoga Festival. to sign up for SUP tours of Two Jack Lake in Banff. Cancelled

June 19- Badfish SUP Demo night.  For 7 years we have been in partnership with Badfish.  They make some of the best boards on the market and we can't wait to host them for a free demo night.  Come out and try some great boards for free!  Sign up details coming soon. Cancelled

July 5- SUP Cup.  We are stoked to be supporting the SUP Cup in Canmore yet again.  Fun event open to all ages and skill levels.  Grizzly Mountain Events hosts a great event.  Sign up at: Cancelled

July 25-  Alberta River Surf Championships.  3rd Annual River surf championships in Kananaskis Alberta.  More info to come.  Cancelled

Aug 15-  Travel Alberta/Moosetrail/Reta SUPs/ BVSUP River exploration weekend!  Please check back at for more info on an exciting over night SUP camping trip/river surf weekend.  

Sept 12- Logjam downriver SUP Race in Canmore, AB.  Join us for a fun yet competitive day with great prizes and after party.  More details and sign up info coming soon.  


Our Third Annual Downriver SUP Race is Back! 

To sign up:


Summer 2019 News and Events

We have some great events coming up this summer.  Here is a run down:


May 11: Canmore Reservoir Board Demo Day.  11am-2pm.  Come try the 2019 lineup of all your favorite SUP brands.  Free demos, info, and fun!


May 24-26:  We are pleased to be a part of the Banff Yoga Fest.  If you would like to come out and try SUP and Yoga, this is the place.  Great event put on by beautiful people.


Friday Evenings: Every Friday we offer a Sunset SUP Tour at Two Jack Lake in Banff Alberta.  This is a great chance to discover one of Canada's most pristine lakes on a SUP.  Fjall Raven Banff generously donates a Kanken Backpack to giveaway every week.  Don't miss out!


Intro to SUP: every other day all summer!  We have taught more people than we can count how to SUP and SUP properly.  Wheteher you are a beginner or seasonsed vet, thei course gives you the basics you need to suceed.


Intro to River SUP: Sundays 1pm Canmore AB.  Take your skill to the next level.  Our Intro to River SUP course is how to make the most of the river and improve your skills.


July 14: KCPO SUP CUP Quarry Lake, Canmore AB.


Sept 7:

Bow Valley Logjam.  Our 3rd Annual River SUP Race in Canmore sponsored by Badfish SUP, Red Paddle CO, Kootenay SUP, Moosetrail Overland, Rebound Cycle, and Canmore Brew CO.  Regsitraion details coming soon, but mark your calendar! 




July 3/18

Summer is here and we have some great events coming up.  Be sure to check back here often as we will be updating throughout the summer.  


The 5th annual flatwater SUP race at Quarry Lake is a fun, all inclsuive event.  Be sure to come out and watch or race.  Sign up and more info here:


Every Sunday at 1pm in Canmore we will be hosting our Intro to River SUP course.  This is the next step in your SUP skills progression.  Paddle Canada certified guides, with extensive knowledge of the Bow River, will instruct you on paddle technique, safety, properly preparing for a river trip and river SUP skills.  More info and sign up here:


Every Friday from 3-6pm at Fjall Raven outdoor store in Banff we will be setup with information, merchandise and SUP rentals.  Afterwards, join us at Two Jack Lake in Banff for our Sunset SUP Tour.  Explore one of Canada's most picturesque lakes.  More info and sign up here:

2nd Annual Bow Valley Logjam

Mark your calendars!  September 8 is the second annual Bow Valley downriver SUP race.  More info coming after the SUP CUP.




June 12/16

Get your bucket list checked this summer

The Bow Valley has some incredible lakes to explore this summer.  Whether you want to be immersed in the beauty of the mountains while standing on a calm lake or getting a little adventurous and doing some Hike and SUPs or rivers, the time is now!  Summer is short and making the most of it is challenging.  To help, make a list of some paddling spots you want to hit this summer and make it a weekly goal to start checking them off.  Our personal list is lenghty and finding time is a challenge with a busy schedule.  However, as summer has progressed, and with our goals set, we are slowly ticking off all the boxes.  See you on the water!


Our personal SUP Goals List:

- Explore the Bow River from Exhsaw to Seebe ** Check**

- Upper Kan River from Upper Kan Lake to Barrier Lake

- Galatea Lake Hike and SUP

- Midnight Paddle on Two Jack Lake ** Check**

- Morraine Lake (list is a must do every year!)


New Team Riders/Ambassadors

We are beyond stoked to announce the addition of our first two team riders and ambassadors to Bow Valley SUP.  


Micheal Kearns

When local legends first started acceding peaks of mountains and scaling death defying rock slabs they were setting in motion a new beginning for sport in the Bow Valley. Mountaineering and rock climbing in the Bow Valley is now commonplace because of past legends that staged the framework for future generations of sport. For these legends we all owe a debt of gratitude. The same can be said about new legends and a local paddler named Mike Kearns. SUP is still in its infancy, just as rock climbing and mountaineering was many moons ago. But Mike is on a mission to change that. Last summer Mike paddled from Banff (leaving at 1am on the summer solstice with little light) to Calgary. A 150km mission to commemorate the Canada 150 celebrations. Mike is constantly seeking out new terrain to paddle and pushing the boundaries in white water and river SUP exploration. Mike is also a great friend, who always has your back, an outgoing father, fire fighter and founder of his new company Moose Trail Overland. He reps Badfish SUP and Level Six paddling products.  We are so excited to have Mike on board this summer donning the Bow Valley cap, competing in local races and setting new standards in SUP. Welcome Mike!



Sue Shih

Sue is one of Stand Up Paddlebaording's greatest ambassadors in the Bow Valley and beyond. She is a long time Banff local and is eager to spread her love of SUP to everyone in the area. Sue is also an ambassador for Boardworks SUP. She believes in promoting an active lifestyle, eating right, being healthy and just getting out there. If you mention Sue's name to someone who lives in Banff, chances are they have heard of her. She is an avid snowboarder who spends more than 100 days a year on the slopes. In the summer she spends just as much time on the water, exploring local lakes that no one else has ever paddled, and spreading her stoke to as many people as possible. Sue is a professional chef, devoted friend, and all around awesome person. We are beyond excited that Sue will be hitting the water with us this summer and sharing her passion with you all!




March 20th marks the first day of spring, and with it, SUP season right around the corner. Like us, chances are,  you are eagerly getting ready for the start of paddle season. We have been scouring our lakes and rivers daily, looking for ice-free water to get our boards into. Although, most lakes and rivers are not ice free as of yet, it doesn't mean we can't start anticipating the coming season and start planning accordingly. We have some great events and paddle days planned for the season and we hope you come out this summer to join us.

To all our valued customers we are currently offering 10% discount on all lessons, rentals and tours by using the promo code: springsale.


Here is a brief rundown of some events coming up this summer:


Our downtown Canmore shop will re-open May 18.  As always, we will be offering information, rentals, merchandise sales and more.


Daily Intro to SUP Lessons- 10am at The Canmore Reservoir or Two Jack Lake, Banff.


Every Sunday at 1pm- Intro to River SUP lessons in Canmore, AB on the Bow River.


FOX FRIDAYS- Every Friday, all summer, we will be stationed at the Fjall Raven store in Banff offering SUP information and in-store discounts. Fjall Raven is the premier outlet for quality outdoor gear. Check them out at:


Friday Sunset Paddles- Every Friday, all summer, at 7:30pm Two Jack Lake, Banff.  Take advantage of our long summer evenings and explore one of Canadas most beautiful lakes.  Sunset is the perfect time to discover this majestic lake in Banff National Park.


Bow Valley Logjam - Mark your calendars! September 8th is the return of Canada's best downriver SUP race. Last year we saw a huge turnout. This season we have incredible prizes, multiple board categories, champagne celebrations and some of the best SUPers Canada has to offer. All abilities and ages welcome. More details about where to sign up coming soon.


Red Paddle CO. Demo Day- June 15 Canmore Reservoir. Red Paddle CO continues their cross-country tour with a stop in Canmore to demo all their amazing SUPs. If you are interested in Red boards this is your chance to try what they have to offer. Their knowledgeable staff will answer all of your questions, and of course, get you out on one of their incredible boards.


Stay tuned... more to come. SUP season is almost here!



My name is Brandon Olsthoorn, owner of Bow Valley SUP ( Bow Valley Surf (  SUP and Surf is my passion.  Everytime I hit the water with my board I am genuinely excited and happy.  My goal is, and always will be, to get as many people onto the water as possible and spread the stoke! 

Getting onto the water starts with a board and the right gear.  Which is why I am so excited to launch our new Online SUP/Surf shop!

There are millions of SUP and Surf brands out there and finding the right board for your needs can be a daunting task.  This is why we only carry a handful of premium brands that stand above the rest.   Every product in the shop are products that I have personally tested in every condition the Bow Valley can throw at me. I have charged rivers, suntanned with friends, river surfed waves and hiked my board to mountain lakes.  So I know that every product is going to stand up to anything you can throw at it! Take a peak at the shop, browse around and make sure you keep coming back.  2018 is going to be a HUGE year for amazing new products from @redpaddleco, @boardworkssup, @kootenaypdl, @libtechsurf, @softech and @badfishsup.  Feel free to message, email or text me about any questions about any product.  I want your experince with your new board to be excitng and long lasting.  And FREE SHIPPING across Canada for all our proucts.

Come and talk to us or try any board as a demo before you make your purchase.  

EMAIL or PHONE 403-707-7202 for more information on all of our boards. _R6A1417.jpg

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We’d love to hear from you! Please ensure your email is correct or so we have no trouble contacting you. Thank you.

We are now closed for the Summer 2020 season. See you in Spring 2021. Please call or text for info and help. 403-707-7202


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