The 10th annual Kalamalka Classic Paddleboard Festival kicks off Friday, Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. with a Spirit Paddle by the Society for the Protection of Kalamalka Lake. (Photo provided)

Paddleboard festival coming soon to Kalamalka Lake

Wildfire smoke got in the way of last year’s event, but conditions look better this summer

The Kalamalka Classic Paddleboard Festival is fast approaching, and it’s looking like it won’t be stifled by smoke this year.

The 10th annual festival takes place Aug. 22 to 25 on Kalamalka Lake. Hosted by the Kalavida Surf Shop, there are a number of events for all ages and ability levels.

Wildfire smoke got in the way of last year’s event, but organizers are optimistic that this year’s relatively milder fire season will make for great conditions on the lake.

“August is holding up pretty good with having not as dry conditions. The air quality is way better than last year’s so people are pretty stoked to have the race this year,” said Perez Vermeulen, who works at the Kalavida Surf Shop.

The festival kicks off Friday, Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. with a Spirit Paddle by the Society for the Protection of Kalamalka Lake, which invites all human-powered watercrafts to join paddleboarders out on the lake. Participants will congregate on the beach at 5:30 p.m.

The Saturday events include the Rail Trail Recreational Challenge – a four-kilometre casual race for new paddlers to get their feet wet – an adult race around a buoy-riddled course and another race for kids 13 and under. There will also be a Mystery Relay event, where teams will form to compete in a relay that will test their beach and paddle skills.

Read More: Vernon paddleboarder cleaning up Kalamalka Lake

Read More: Air quality sinks Coldstream paddleboard classic

The final day will feature the festival’s marquee event: the Kalamalka crossing. It’s a 17 kilometre trek across the full length of the lake, from Oyama to Kal Beach. Participants can race to beat the clock (finishing times range from one hour 45 minutes to three and a half hours) or simply do it for the exercise.

“It has a competitive element with the crowning of the King and Queen of Kalamalka, but it’s more about getting everyone in the family involved to celebrate summer and the spirit of the sport,” said Kevin O’Brien, the Crossing event’s race director.

“Usually we’ll have about 200 people crossing the whole lake,” said Vermeulen.

More than $7,000 in cash and prizes will be up for grabs at the festival.

Partial proceeds from the event will be donated to efforts to protect the lake from the threat of Zebra and Quagga Mussels in an effort to Keep Kal Lake Blue. Kalavida has raised more than $9,000 through the festival.

The festivities are supported by Tourism Vernon, Hilltop Subaru Vernon, Underground Beverages, Rail Trail Cafe, Original Joes Vernon, Blackfish Paddles and Twin Fish Board Co. with additional support from Vantage One Credit Union, Reef Sandals, Rip Curl and Dakine.

Check out the full festival details and register at www.kalamalkaclassic.com.


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NHL prospects returning to Penticton for Young Stars Classic

After a one-year absence the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Classic is returning… Continue reading

Summerland Steam earn two weekend wins

Junior B team defeats Osoyoos Coyotes and Kelowna Chiefs

Third South Okanagan show added for PAW Patrol Live!

A third show was announced for the PAW Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure show at the SOEC

Chilliwack on the map for Salmon Arm Roots and Blues

Canadian music legends confirmed for 28th annual music festival

Ministry investigating need for highway barriers between Summerland and Peachland

Petition to install barriers garners nearly 15,000 signatures in just days

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Tourism visits to the Thompson/Okanagan up 18 per cent year-over-year

In 2019, almost 11.4 million people spent at least one night visiting the region

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Kelowna International Airport to help ease people with autism into flying

The tour will take families through the entire pre-flight process

Dyer: What should you do with the climate action plan?

Kristy Dyer is a new columnist to Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Most Read