Meet the 2021 Board Members
February 23, 2021
Nikki Layton President
Nikki has been kiting for 5 years and has managed to check out a few different kiting areas, Maui, La Ventana, Isla Blanca, Tofino and Squamish. While the warm water is a plus Squamish is still her top site for kiting. Nikki has been working on her jumps and tricks but is also working on her foiling skills. When she isn't kiting she likes to get out climbing and hiking with her partner and dog. Nikki has successfully run and exited 2 businesses and now has more time to spend volunteering and enjoying her favourite activities.
Geoffrey "Chuck" Waterson Vice-President
Chuck has been kiteboarding for 18 years. He learnt to kite in New Zealand, where he is originally from but has travelled the world to find good kite spots. He and his wife, Alex, moved to Canada for business in 2014 and quickly settled in Squamish for the wind. Chuck has been on the SWS board for 6 years. In the summer you will usually find him on the water or sharing coaching tips from the beach. When he’s not kiting, Chuck is usually out enjoying the rest of the Squamish outdoor playground.
Joshua Viner Treasurer
Josh joined the board in 2015 after 5 summers of kiteboarding in Squamish. His first kite lessons took place near Wellington, NZ in 2009 and has been addicted ever since. Now living in Squamish, he spends most of his summer at the Spit when he isn’t travelling for work. His work in hospitality management has a strong correlation in keeping a close eye on the numbers.
Alan Linsley Secretary
Alan first kited at the Spit in 2001 but didn't get very far. Life kept him out of the sport for about 15 years, but he never got rid of his Wipika Kite and reel leash. He came back to the sport a few years ago and is slowly progressing. He joined the SWS Board 3 years ago. The old kites are still in the garage, but the reel leash comes in handy for towing his daughter up Mountain Highway on family bike rides.
Loren Parfitt Operations
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.
Alyssa Salloum Community Relations
Alyssa started kiteboarding after her friend showed her a video of a guy taking a lesson in extremely high wind where he flew very high out of the boat. She learned how to kite in South East Asia bringing her new upwind abilities back to Squamish. She has been kiting and mountain biking in Squamish for the last 8 years. Alyssa has been an SWS staff member and has been on the Board for the past 6 years. She now is a workaholic Realtor in Whistler and Squamish which takes over her kiting time but of course, never tells kiters that.
David Bowden Legal
David is a relatively recent kiter (2017) who relocated out west from Ontario in 2018 because trying to kite Lake Erie storm systems sucks. He has been on the SWS Board for 2 years. He is also a lawyer, although typically he does not lead with that fact in personal introductions.
Troy McNamara Communications
Troy is a sailor turned kiter for about 8 years now. Originally from Dublin, Ireland he is now a permanent resident of Canada. Though he lives in Vancouver he has family who settled in Squamish 30 years ago so is no stranger to the Spit and the other pleasures Squamish has to offer. He is Managing Director of a marketing and design agency and offers these skills and knowledge to the SWS when the wind is below 15 knots.
Steve Tulk Events
Steve started Kiteboarding in Squamish in 2009, getting one lesson on Bozo Beach from a now-defunct kite school. The lesson was terrible, but it was enough to make him buy some crappy gear and learn on his own. Many humbling sessions later, he’s still learning and getting out as much as possible with his 2 boys Jordan and Griffin, and his partner Sheila. Steve has been on the board for the past 8 years, and along with Sheila, puts on the annual KiteClash event drawing athletes and spectators from around the world.
Dominik Stoll Director at Large
For Dominik, the SPIT is one of his most favourite places. He wants to make sure that it remains easily accessible to kiteboarders and hence offers to give back to the community as a board member, with his time and skills, which include organizing and grant writing.
Izabella Shalygina Director at Large
Izabella's dad taught her how to kitesurf when she was a teenager so she has been kiting for 7 years and exploring the best destinations all around the world. This year she met amazing people that introduced her to kitesurfing in BC and so Squamish became one of her favourite spots. For work, Izabella is an accountant in Vancouver based publicly-traded company. Izabella shyly admits she is a bit of a data nerd, so endless excel tables and numbers are her favourite things after kiting.
Ned Atkins Director at Large
Ned grew up flying old-school power kites on the big flat beaches of southwest England, He moved to BC in 2004 and learned to kiteboard in la Ventana 2012. He now lives in Squamish with his young family and works as a civil engineer designing hydraulic structures. You are most likely to run into Ned on the spit on those windy summer days while he is frantically trying to get the most out of his lunch break. He joined the board in 2021.
Todd Learn Director at Large
Todd recently retired as a captain from the Red Deer Fire Department in Alberta and relocated to Squamish. He's been kiteboarding for 15 years and has travelled extensively searching for wind. He's happy to now live so close to a world-class kiting spot and look forward to being involved with and giving back to the windsport community here.
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.