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Kelowna  

Paddling for 1200 days straight


He says as long as he stays healthy he’ll keep going.

It’s been 1,200 days straight that Bob Purdy has strapped on his standup paddle board (SUP) braved the elements, rain or shine, all for the betterment of the planet.

Last year Castanet sat down with Purdy to talk about his project ‘Paddle for the Planet’, where he invited paddlers around the world to ‘pick a change they wanted to see in the world, and paddle for that change.’

At that time he had just completed 900 days of paddling and was eager to continue his fight on the waters of the Okanagan, Tofino and even Florida.

“It’s been every emotion you could possibly think of, it has been every condition you can possibly think of. The cold record for ‘Paddle for the Planet’ is minus 28,” explains Purdy. “I’ve crawled across ice to get to open water. I’ve been in blizzards, rain, heat, you name it we’ve been in it.”

Regardless of the challenges Purdy faces on the water, it’s the challenges our lakes and rivers face that pushes this Kelowna resident to paddle on.

Paddling everyday since Jan 1, 2011, this SUP rider says he was a little bit discouraged about the actual change that was taking place to help clean the waters of the world.

“I felt we were taking steps backwards on the planet, but since the end of that first year I feel we are making some headway. You can feel it, it is beginning to happen where people are starting to look at what they are doing, what they are buying, what they are consuming.”

Although the progress is minimal, Purdy says he isn’t giving up,he will push on but wonders how much longer he will have to continue paddling before people change the way they live on the planet.

Seeing the efforts Purdy has exhausted over the years, local film producer Carey Missler approached the paddler about making a movie that would raise awareness about the condition of the world’s water systems.

Missler, who recently received two film distribution deals for ‘The Canadian Surfer Movie’ says this production will be more of an adventure, information and action style documentary.

“Our entire film crew is from the Okanagan, which is awesome. The storyline still has elements of surfing as it has to do with water and we have been doing a lot of different interviews, “ Missler says.

DCD productions has interviewed water conscious advocates such as artist, Roy Henry Vickers, pro-surfer Catherine Bruhwiler and John Ford from the Tofino whale centre.

The film ‘Paddler Movie 2014’ is due out later this year, but won’t be complete until Purdy hits the waters of Tofino on Sept 13 for ‘World Paddle for the Planet Day’.

“We looked at several different locations and decided Tofino was the place for this year’s event, with all the oil talk that is going on, at our coast and talking about protecting our coast we felt Tofino would be the best place for to showcase World Paddle for the Planet Day.”

For more information please check out  www.paddlefortheplanet.ca

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