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PO Box 1480, STN Main, Squamish, BC, V8B 0B1

2023 Board of Directors

Mike Palenthorpe


I learned to windsurf as a kid in the 80's at Jericho Beach. My dream was to learn to surf living on the beaches of SoCal. But life happened, and I moved to Squamish in 2006 to follow my love for rock climbing. After watching the kites flipping around Howe Sound from the walls of the Chief, I finally drove out to the Spit to look for myself. I was blown away to discover a world class surf culture right here in Squamish! One look at the stoked people, the gear, the stunning location, and the tunes blasting from the sea can, and I knew I would become a kite surfer. I took my lessons locally with VKS and Aerial in 2014 and have been kiting ever since.

Olivier Corbeil

Vice President

I am a Squamish resident and I will be beginning my 4th season at the Spit this year. I believe I could be a great fit for this role as I consider myself wearing multiple hats in the current Spit removal project: I absolutely love kiteboarding at the Spit and having raced sailboats around the world since the age of 10, I can certainly confirm that the Spit is an exceptional location for wind sports in Summer. On the other hand, I also enjoy fishing in Squamish and I follow closely the conservation efforts to save our fish stocks. That being said, I am all about preserving access to the Spit for the entire community, as it is one of the very few public access to our waterfront.

I am a remote sales manager for a large building material corporation and I work closely with most of the large developers in Vancouver. I have great communication skills and I am very interested in local politics. I have also been on the board of the University of Montreal Rowing Club as the VP of Finance in 2014-2015. I would like to get more involved in the relationship between the SWS and the various communities/stakeholders around Squamish, like the Municipal Council, the native communities, the local residents, the developers, and so on.

Squamish is in a pivotal moment with its fast growth and I believe that a great relationship between the local communities and the wind sports enthusiasm will allow the SWS to thrive for years to come, but now is the time to act and highlight the importance of preserving safe water access to the multiple Squamish stakeholders.

Sean Millington

Past President

I started kiting in 2017 and although it took me longer than most to get up and riding, once I did I was hooked. The feeling of being pulled along the water is exhilarating and that pales in comparison to launching myself high in the air and floating above it all. Every new season I feel the same thrill of anticipation and look forward to another summer of fun on the water. Athletics has always been a way of life for me and most notably I spent over a decade playing football in the CFL. If I didn't know it before, playing as a professional taught me the value of teamwork and the importance of everyone doing their job and staying in their lane.

I am interested in joining the SWS board because I am hopeful that the skills I have acquired over the years can be put to good use in helping all of us to continue to enjoy the sport we all love. As a kiting community, we face some very big challenges this year and it is my hope that I can be of assistance in creating a positive outcome. Leadership is always demanding and should I be selected to serve in that capacity I will utilize everything I have learned over the years to ensure a successful kiting season in 2022.

Will Schwenger


Coming from a competitive sailing background, I started kiting in 2012, taking my first few lessons with Daniel Medysky (Sam's dad) while attending university in Ontario. I became a member of SWS in 2014 after moving to Vancouver and falling in love with Howe Sound.

What I enjoy the most about kiting is the feeling of flying that so many of us chase. I can most often be found upwind chasing river bumps and wind chop strapless or on a foil. Recently I have given into the dark side and spent most of last season wing-dinging.

Day to day I am a project manager for a commercial truck manufacturer, overseeing the production of utility equipment, dump trucks, snowploughs, & cranes. A large part of my job is working with all stakeholders to understand the requirements and devise a solution that best fits the customer’s needs. I specialize in the continuous improvement and the adaptation of new technologies to meet ever-changing industry standards.

I am interested in joining the SWS board because I think it is important to maintain access to Howe Sound (for all - not just wind sport enthusiasts) and believe that we should continue working with the various stakeholders to prove that we are committed to the environmental stewardship of the waters we enjoy playing on. As Secretary, I'd prepare the agenda for all meetings by messaging the board beforehand to obtain agenda items, send the agenda out prior to meetings, take minutes, distribute said minutes afterwards, and fulfil SWS's other obligations under the Societies Act.

Sandy Heidebrecht


New to kiting, I started in the summer of 2021. After that summer I travelled to Brazil and locked in what I had learned. I’m enjoying the waves mostly there. My favourite thing—so far—is a downwind wave session on my 8m in Barre Grande. Not in a rush to learn, I’m savouring every moment spent at the spit and am excited to be part of our community vision moving forward. I have a background buying for and decorating film sets, and a passion for filming and editing. In doing this work, I have seen the seemingly impossible become real and with all of the challenges we have experienced so far, I am inspired to help write the next chapter of this story. The best is yet to come.

David Bowden


David has been on the Board since the 2019 season. He is from Atlanta by way of Toronto. David moved to BC in 2018, after talking with people in Mexico about the reliable thermal system that kicks in during the Summer months in Squamish. He is also a lawyer, although typically he does not lead with that fact in personal introductions.

Loren Parfitt


Loren has been kiteboarding for 9 years. He learned to kite in Nitinat but was intimidated by kiting at the Spit in the early days. The scene has changed a lot since then and is much more welcoming. Since 2015 he might be there more than anyone on windy days. Living and working in Squamish he takes full advantage of the wind and If it's really cranking he will take a "long" lunch at work... He has spent a lot of time working with the current and past spit managers on the SWS systems in the sea can.

Allie Duncan


I have been kiting in squamish for 4 years now. I have kited in a few places around the world and Squamish remains my favorite and it’s my home to boot! The wind is good, the water is chilly (refreshing some might say?) and the people are great. I love the community that we have at the spit; it is really the people that has kept me coming back year after year. A lot has changed with the Spit in the last year, but the community of kiters and the family we are doesn’t.

I want to build the community for kiters that welcomes new kiters to our community and plan events that everyone can enjoy—something fun, sometimes exciting, and consistent.

My goals are to plan a weekly, or bi-weekly event; something that brings the community of kiters together to have a good time, socialize, meet new people, and maybe even a bit of friendly competition. We all love the sport, and no one likes talking gear more than kiters. So let's get together every once in a while, make our community stronger and have a good time together. The more we can show Squamish that kiteboarding is a huge part of the community the more likely we are to receive community grants and other donations. Our goal should be to become known for our positive culture and support for the Squamish community, and I intend to provide my time such that Kiteboarding in Squamish is a fun time on and off the water.

Sam Medysky


Sam is stoked to bring events back to the Spit next summer. With a lifetime of experience riding and competing at the sports highest levels Sam is a wealth of knowledge. Sam’s passion for wind sports is evident in everything he does and he brings the same energy to the SWS Operations team.

Jennifer Luu


I learned to windsurf with the Toronto Windsurfing Club in 2016. A few years later, I took up kiteboarding. I learned to ride in Oliphant, along Lake Erie, and in Squamish, where I took lessons with Squamish Watersports.

Living in Squamish allows me to enjoy kiteboarding weekly during the season, along with climbing, sailing, skiing and snowboarding. I’m a web developer with experience as a tech manager and vice president of sales.

James Hoffele

Director at Large

James Hoffele is an environmental management specialist with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. He lives in Squamish and so gets outside as much as possible. James is new to kiteboarding, having started learning in 2018. He's now got the kiteboarding bug and wants to bring his knowledge of environmental issues and skills in stakeholder engagement to the Board to help ensure continued access to our local world-class kiteboarding destination.

Jeremy Lockwood-Mendard

Director at Large

I have been kiting since 2012 after learning while on a working holiday in Australia and have been a member of the SWS since 2018 after moving from Quebec to BC. I have kited in Aus, Indonesia, Lake Ontario, the Madeleine islands, Hatteras amongst other places and can honestly say the Spit has been my favorite spot to date. It's a special place for my partner and I. We moved to Squamish to be closer to the kiting community here.

I have been in construction and project management for 10 years. In my roles I have been coordinating with stakeholders, contractors and consultants for many construction projects and renovations. I believe I have skills and contacts that can help the SWS in this new landscape. I would just like to do what I can to keep access to this place.

Michael Dobell

Director at Large

I've been involved in the kiting community since 2004, a few years after moving to the great-lakes from my home province of BC (I needed a new activity to replace shredding Whistler!). What a wild ride it's been as the sport has grown while becoming safer, more accessible, and diverse. With that growth in we in Ontario ran into the inevitable conflicts with other beach users and local communities. Because of those challenge I became a founding board member of the Ontario Kiteboarding Association. The Association sought to bring the provincial kiting community together and advocate alongside local beach representatives on issues such as beach access, parking, events and safety.

I'm keenly interested in working with the other board members and local community to improve the natural treasure that is the Squamish Spit Island and its wind. Of particular interest to me is youth community engagement and the improvement and beautification of the spit island itself. I think we have a tremendous moment right now to plan a sustainable future for our truly world class venue and produce the best kiters in the world.

Scott Degelman

Director at Large

I would call myself a designer. I studied architecture at the University of Manitoba, Pratt University and industrial design at Carleton University. From there it has a been a long career from an advertising agency, to graphic design to designing products from chairs to hitches. I ran our Research and Department, and in-house marketing/advertising for nearly 30 years for our family company - Degelman Industries.

I chose Squamish as a retirement destination largely because of kiteboarding and the myriad of other adrenaline sports. It is an incredible town. I am blessed with a son, Anthony (Tony) and a daughter Grace that get just as excited when the wind blows.

Patricia Kost

Director at Large

I have been windsurfing on Howe Sound since 90. “I remember when it was either free or 10$ to park, and of course there was no such thing as a rescue”. I don’t know where else you can live that allows you to ski a world class ski resort and have access to the ocean and consistent wind. Squamish is very unique, and is for sure the outdoor capital. I learnt to kite in order to do the same sport as my son and I wanted him to learn the sport of our town. I wanted him to be able to go on the water and kite after school. I have joined the team in order to do my part in trying to help save the access for the next generations and so that everyone can go on the island and sit and enjoy the fabulous and unique view. I work as a realtor and specialize in the Squamish area selling what I believe in. Thank you for having me.