Kelowna native Bob Purdy to end paddling streak at 2,100 days

Known as the Paddler, Purdby's one-man quest spawned a movie and a world-wide movement to help the planet

  • Sep. 14, 2016 10:00 a.m.

Bob Purdy will end an incredible stretch of consecutive days paddling Sept. 30

The Paddler Movie from DCD Productions on Vimeo.

In the end, Bob Purdy will have made it onto the water every day for nearly six years straight.

It began as a movement to change the way we live on the planet and it sparked similar events around the world, a feature documentary and put the spotlight on the environment, our use of plastics and the way we treat the planet we live on.

But as he approaches 2,100 days straight of Stand Up Paddle boarding, Purdy will be forced to take a break as of Sept. 30 this year as the paddler will be forced off the water and into surgery to deal with a hernia that is getting worse instead of better.

“I have been paddling with a hernia for awhile and after a lot of consultation and deliberation, the decision has been made to have surgery,” said Purdy from Tofino, where he moved to in the fall of last year. “This has been a very difficult decision. I have paddled every day for a very long time to promote better care for our planet. It just doesn’t make sense to risk my health to keep the tally running.”

A long-time Kelowna resident, Purdy began his one-man odyssey to bring public awareness to the world’s environmental problems on New Year’s Day 2011. His goal was to paddle every day for 1,000 days in an effort to bring awareness. And so rain or shine and in good conditions and bad, Purdy dusted off his Stand Up Paddle board every day and hit the water, mostly in Okanagan Lake but also in a variety of other places, depending where he was.

When he passed the 1,000 day milestone there was no stopping him.

“Back on day 1,000 when asked how long I would continue to paddle everyday, I said ‘as long as my health holds or until we actually change the way we live on the planet,'” Purdy said. “The hernia has entered the danger zone and it is time for me to take care of my health.”

During his incredible paddling streak, a movement began called Paddle for the Planet, where a series of simultaneous paddles take place around the world, uniting paddlers in an environmental movement. Events have been organized around the world since 2011 with countries joining in for World Paddle for the Planet Day.

Purdy says he has been pushing his body through the pain, but it’s time to get surgery and heal before he can begin paddling again.

“The tipping point was the realization that I have been asking people to help take better car of the planet so that we can send a healthy and vibrant world to future generations,” said Purdy. “My first reaction was to try and keep the streak going but the risk to my health in attempting to paddle the day after the surgery are very high. I will continue to paddle again, just not daily and the tally will start again after I recover.”

For more on World Paddle for the Planet Day, go to

Just Posted

Outbreak at Okanagan hospital

Gastrointestinal illness reported at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Kelowna public menorah lit tonight to celebrate Hanukkah

The menorah will be lit tonight after celebrations at 5 p.m. in Stuart Park

Big Band supports children with disabilities in Lake Country

Proceeds from the Okanagan Big Band performance in Vernon supports local kids

Were your hockey cards stolen?

The Kelowna RCMP are looking to reunite a hockey fan with their cards

RCMP look to reunite owner with stolen tools

Kelowna police seek to identify the owner of tablet and tools seized by RCMP

VIDEO: New series takes in-depth look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Black Press takes a hard look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Warriors ground Rockets in Moose Jaw

Moose Jaw scores five in the third period to down Kelowna in Rockets’ third game of prairie road trip

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

Dedicated volunteers look for clues

Police appreciate work of those who provide extra eyes for missing women investigations.

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

Horgan on Site C: ‘dammed’ if did, ‘dammed’ if he didn’t

B.C. premier didn’t like keeping massive hydro damn project going, but felt he had to

Strong economy fuels housing sales in B.C.: report

Economist says demand for houses is being supported by a large number of millennials entering the market

Most Read