One of Sun Peaks Resort LLP’s (SPR) patrollers is using her spare time to upcycle old ski gear with beautiful mountainscapes. Spreading out her paints on an old sheet to protect the kitchen floor, Kate Boddington has been creating original artwork on snowboards, skis and helmets.
It all started when she upgraded her own snowboard and was reluctant to discard the old one.
“I wanted to find a way to keep my first one that I’d learned to ride on and had used for several years,” said Boddington. “I thought it would be fun to paint it with a mountain scene to hang above my bed as a memory.”
Originally from South Africa, Boddington has been living in Sun Peaks since 2019. This winter she originally intended to work as an instructor in Verbier, Switzerland.
“I had the job secured and the contract was signed to work December through April,” she said. “Following my work, the visa would allow me three months of travel, so I was planning to stay until July and potentially find a summer job to sponsor another working visa.”
But an anomaly over means of payment – salary rather than hourly – stymied the visa and, subsequently, the job.
“I was really disappointed,” Boddington said. “My employer and I were both expecting the visa to be a no-brainer. I’d started packing and sorting out accommodation and other things over in Switzerland. I didn’t even have a back-up plan because I thought it was just a given that I’d be spending the season in Switzerland.”
Adapting quickly to her new situation, Boddington snagged a last minute position as a SPR patroller, shelving her Swiss Alps dreams until next year. Being in Sun Peaks has given her time to explore her artistic flair, using the stunning scenery she sees every day as her inspiration.
“All my ideas so far are mountain-themed,” she said. “Usually I just sketch on the equipment whatever comes to mind and choose colours as I go.”
Gifting two snowboards to her parents, she was gratified to see them being used as decorative wall art and also as an innovative table accent.
“Their most recent use was as a raised serving platform and centrepiece on their dining room table,” said Boddington. “It was my mum’s idea to put it on stilts in the centre of the table and put all the food on top for everyone to self-serve.”
Running out of raw materials, Boddington posted photos of her first two snowboards in the local Facebook group, asking if anyone had old skis or snowboards to donate.
“The response I got blew me away,” she said. “I had several people reach out with interest in buying my art, as well as many donations of snowboards, downhill skis, cross-country skis and even [local] ostrich eggs!”
She is now accepting commissions and, as well as several pet portrait projects, has already painted a Sun Peaks themed snowboard for one lucky local. With no formal art training, she is channeling lessons learned from a “crafty mum” who always encouraged creative hobbies.
So far her work is intended for decorative indoor use only but, with plans to join the ArtZone community in Sun Peaks, she intends to research a way to make her designs weatherproof.
“I am hoping to still be in town for ArtZone’s next event so that I can showcase some of my work,”Boddington added.