(L to R) Chris, Kaleigh and their daughter inside the shop. Photo: Connor Trembley

(L to R) Chris, Kaleigh and their daughter inside the shop. Photo: Connor Trembley

Couple builds roots in Castlegar through skateboarding

Kaleigh Herald and Chris Lowe opened up a skateboarding shop in city this past summer

When 27-year-old Kaleigh Herald and 30-year-old Chris Lowe met in Nelson in 2015, they never could have imagined their passion for skateboarding would take them so far together.

Herald found her love for longboarding at the age of 18 in Vancouver. She quickly climbed the ranks, fine tuned her skills and became a professional in the sport.

“Between 2012 to 2015, I did downhill racing and I was sponsored by Landyachtz out of Vancouver,” said Herald.

“We travelled around in a team van and went to California, Oregon and across B.C. to do all kinds of sanctioned races.”

One of the most iconic races Herald remembers competing in is the Sullivan Challenge in Kimberley. Racers start at the local high school and travel up to 90 km/h on their skateboards to try to be the first one to cross the finish line down at a nearby pub.

“The race is so fun and technical. The guy who helps run it every July also operates a skateboard shop in Kimberley,” said Herald.

“He’s such a big influence on the entire downhill skateboarding scene in the region.”

Herald later moved to Nelson to have a simpler life and start a family.

Lowe, who immigrated to Nelson from Brisbane, Australia in 2015, said the social aspect of skateboarding was one thing that made him fall in love with the sport.

“I’ve always been an athletic and sporty kind of guy in school,” said Lowe.

“Skateboarding was one of those things that always gave me satisfaction and I kept getting encouragement in it from my peers. The skateboarding community is so awesome here and that’s kind of what drew me in.”

Lowe discovered his own niche in street skateboarding and picked it up more during his twenties in the Kootenays.

After Herald and Lowe had their first child and had lived in Nelson for a few years, they started looking for a new place to raise a family and build a business around skateboarding.

The couple soon discovered that Castlegar hit all the right buttons.

“After we had lived in Nelson for the longest time, we found it really hard living there and trying to stay on top,” said Lowe.

“We decided to move to Castlegar because we found it had lots of potential in terms of development, growth and a place that’s really open to new things.”

The couple wasted no effort getting established and opened up The Shop Skate and Snowboard Supply in downtown Castlegar this past summer. The retail shop offers a variety of skateboarding gear and will sell snowboards heading into the winter.

Adding to the excitement, the couple has plans to build a small ramp in the shop to allow people to skateboard inside during the winter months. Students at Stanley Humphries Secondary School in Castlegar have already committed to helping with the project.

“The school is donating some supplies to build the ramp and some of the students from a shop class, who are also avid skateboarders, will be donating their time to help build it,” said Herald.

“This project is something that they’re passionate about and it will teach them valuable life skills in construction. This is also a crazy and stressful time for students during the pandemic and hopefully this project will give them purpose and something to look forward to.”

The couple is also in talks with the staff from Mt. Sentinel Secondary School in the Slocan Valley to help convert one of their tennis courts into a skateboard plaza.

Lowe said skateboarding will help West Kootenay residents weather through the COVID-19 crisis.

“While it’s really easy to stay at home and get stuck in your own thoughts, skateboarding is something that has allowed us to get outside while follow social distancing protocols, make new friends and get those endorphins going. It’s a win-win situation,” said Lowe.

“We just want to keep pouring our passion into skateboarding so that the community can benefit from it.”

READ MORE: Gnar in the ‘gar – good time for all


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

skateboarding

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

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

Michelle Thorne of Fernie Distillers with some Griz-themed cocktails available for Griz Days 2021. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Griz Days comes to town

While mostly virtual, there’s Griz-themed food and drink around town

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. File photo
COMMON’S CORNER: Challenging the government on vaccine availability and more

The first of a quarterly column from Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison

(L-R) Shawna Klein, Elkford Branch Manager; Stephen Fairbairn, Director at EKC and also Secretary of the Elkford Housing Society; Kim Bauer, Vice President, Elkford Housing Society; Donita Orsten, Staff Representative of the Legacy Celebration Committee. (Image contributed by EKC)
EKC donates $10,000 to Elkford Housing Society

The society is working towards constructing 22 homes for seniors in Elkford

The Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre (VIAC) is gearing up for another season of providing avalanche safety information. Black Press file photo
Black Diamond, PIEPS issue recall for avalanche transceivers

PIEPS said that avalanche incidents in 2017 and 2020 had prompted the recall, but defended the product

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read