We Chat with Rene from Sitka

Surfing, Travelling and West Coast Living


First off, please can you describe Sitka to those in the UK who might not have heard of the company before?

We make 'everyday outdoor' products. We produce these products mostly in Canada and a little bit in the USA. The company started in 2002 when my co-founder and I started making surfboards for the local community on Vancouver Island. 


What inspired you to set up Sitka, was it a particular story or place that gave you the idea?

The Sitka spruce tree grows on the coast from Alaska down to Northern California. It loves being close to the ocean. This tree was everywhere that my business partner and I surfed and when we decided to start shaping boards it was an easy name choice. 


How’re you feeling about Sitka coming to the UK? We’re pretty stoked over here!

I'd say we're honored about it. Let us know if you want us to send some sitka seedlings your way. 


Sitka gear focusses on camping, surfing and hiking, what’re your favourite activities to do?

For us those 3 things go hand in hand. The west coast of Canada is quite a remote area. Many of the spots we surf are boat or float plane access only. Others require long hikes. And if you're going to put that sort of effort in to surf...you'd might as well camp out for a while. 


Here at Rise we’re all about adventures in the UK but also love travelling abroad, do you have a favourite travel destination or story to inspire us?

Where do you even start with this question. There's so many fantastic destinations around the world that I'd love to visit again...and there's still plenty of spots in our own back yard that need visiting....so we'll focus on those for now. Love finding new at home. 


We’re also interested to hear about community and sustainability at Sitka, because ethics and sustainability are really important to us. It looks like you’ve got some interesting initiatives, can you tell us a bit more about those? 

A portion of every purchase goes into environmental conservation efforts. An example of one of our initiatives is to complete a boardwalk trail through an old growth forest on Vancouver Island. We're working with Ancient Forest Alliance to make this a reality. The boardwalk enables people to discover the beauty and importance of forests like this one. To the point that people give more value to them standing then cut down.