Sure, camping, hiking and fishing are more popular than ever. But new-generation sports equipment for summer 2022 might just mean you need a bigger shed or garage. Check out these must-haves.
By Lucas Aykroyd
Mobility, freedom, escape: we all crave these things as summer gets closer—this year, more than ever. After spending months at home, it’s time to explore with world-class outdoor sports products in 2022, many made here in Canada. Whether you’re tackling a new sports challenge or mastering an old favourite, here are the goods you need. Always check ahead for travel restrictions and regional health and safety rules before planning your next B.C. adventure.
Global electric bike sales spiked a whopping 145 per cent in 2020. As environmentally friendly as they are easy on the thighs, e-bikes are an ideal way to explore local roads and forest trails.
MUST-HAVE GEAR: The 2022 Boar Explorer from award-winning Vancouver-based Surface604 ($3,599) delivers a smooth ride with torque-sensing pedal assist, a 500W hub motor and a range of up to 105 kilometres. With a Velo ergonomic saddle and a state-of-the-art colour LCD display, your physical and mental comfort is assured.
DESTINATION OF CHOICE: Kimberley debuts 36 kilometres of e-bike trails this year, featuring solar charging stations in the 840-hectare Kimberley Nature Park.
Along with hoverboards and electric unicycles, electric scooters are having a moment. Why drive to the beach or the farmers’ market when you can scoot to your destination, with the wind flowing through your hair and zero emissions?
MUST-HAVE GEAR: Designed by Vancouver’s Urban Machina, the VSETT 10+ Dual Motor ($3,499) tops out at 80-kilometres an hour in sport mode. Max single-charge range is still 100 kilometres! This badass foldable scooter provides great stability with dual hydraulic disc brakes and shock absorbers.
DESTINATION OF CHOICE: Vernon, nestled between Silver Star Mountain Resort and Okanagan Lake, is one of six B.C. municipalities that sanctions electric scooters on local roads (pilot project to 2024).
You can get your cowabunga thrills, even as a novice, on an electric surfboard. No waves required! The tech has come a long way since Bloomingdale’s 1965 launch of the first commercially available motorized surfboard.
MUST-HAVE GEAR: EWave‘s elite V2-6000 (USD $11, 699) offers precision-control cables on a sleek carbon-fibre board with a 10K Watt zero=emission electric motor. Find your watery bliss at 56 km/h!
DESTINATION OF CHOICE: Cultus Lake is a popular watersports paradise in Chilliwack, an hour and a half from Vancouver.
Whether you’re roasting marshmallows over a campfire or gazing over a tranquil like with cedar and spruce trees behind you, there’s nothing like a camping trip. With massive demand for campsites all over B.C. and Alberta, book well in advance this season.
MUST-HAVE GEAR: The Thule Low-Pro 2-Person Rooftop Tent ($2,100) bills itself as the “penthouse of car camping,” and with an almost three-square-metre floor area and ultra-waterproof polyester fabric.
DESTINATION OF CHOICE: Just north of Sechelt, Porpoise Bay Provincial Park stands out among the dozens of spectacular Sunshine Coast camping spots. Canoeing and hiking opportunities abound.
If you’re not ready to circumnavigate the globe in a 100-foot clipper like Sir Francis Drake, but still crave maritime adventure, an inflatable sailboat is calling your name. Portability, easy storage and affordability are among the advantages.
MUST-HAVE GEAR: Smartkat ($5,995) is an inflatable catamaran market leader. It is made for air travel and fits into two bags, weighing less than 23 kilograms (50 pounds) each. It takes less than half an hour to set up.
DESTINATION OF CHOICE: Shawnigan Lake, in Vancouver Island’s scenic Cowichan Valley, has three boat launches for public use.
From Dame Juliana Berners to Ernest Hemingway, there’s a long history of great writers who loved fishing. And when you’re trying to author your own epic fishing tale, it’s easy to lose track of time as you wait to reel in that big steelhead or cutthroat trout. You need a good watch.
MUST-HAVE GEAR: No matter where you’re fishing, Nixon‘s Regulus Expedition Watch ($325) keeps you on track with an altimeter, barometer and compass. Housed in a rugged case, it’s geared for the stormiest seas and longest hikes.
DESTINATION OF CHOICE: Paul Lake, half an hour from Kamloops, is a South Thompson mecca for rainbow trout fishing.
If you crave innovation, a wing foil just might be your thing. This new sport is considered easier than windsurfing, as you grip an inflatable wing, riding a surfboard–above the water atop a foil–with minimal drag.
MUST-HAVE GEAR: Retailer the Boardroom (locations in Vancouver and North Vancouver) offers foils, boards and wings from Liquid Force, Sling Shot, Armstrong and Lift. A full set-up could start at about $4,000; chat with store staff about many custom options.
DESTINATION OF CHOICE: Head out on dazzling Anderson Lake one hour north of Whistler, where pros like watersports sensation Chris Rasman struts his stuff.