(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

COVID-19. (Courtesy of CDC).
Interior Health reports 12 additional COVID-19 cases

The total number of cases in the region is now at 644

The house is located near two schools. Photo: Connor Trembley
Dog attack seriously injures young boy in Castlegar

Despite investigating the incident, city staff aren’t confirming if the dog has been put down

sign
Expect traffic delays Thursday as city works on smoothing Columbia Avenue railroad crossing

The Columbia Ave. and 17th Street railroad crossing has frustrated drivers for quite some time

Kootenay West Candidates (L to R) Glen Byle (Conservative), Katrine Conroy (NDP), Andrew Duncan (Green), Corbin Kelley (Liberal), Fletcher Quince (Independent, Ed Varney (Independent).
Q&A with Kootenay West candidates: Affordable housing

Eighth in a series of Q&As with the candidates.

The temporary access road to the parking lot will be located along Highway 3B. Photo: City of Rossland
Red Mountain to open temporary parking lot near Topping Chair this season

The parking lot will aim to reduce congestion at base of resort and mitigate threat of COVID-19

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

Most Read