Our Story

Hey there! Thanks for hanging out with us here at Ottawa Valley Air Paddle!

We're Scott Fawcett & Lana Cole, the dynamic duo behind this adventure-packed business. Our journey began in 2018 when we bought our first inflatable paddleboard, a Ten Toes Weekender (now Retrospec), off of Amazon. We were hooked from the start! Renting out that board quickly paid for itself, leading us to expand our fleet to five boards in no time.

Our customers loved these awesome paddleboards so much that they wanted to buy them. We took a leap of faith and struck a deal with Retrospec, ordering a full pallet of SUPs to be delivered to our home in Arnprior. Seeing 40 paddleboards stacked on our doorstep made our hearts race with excitement and a touch of nervousness. Would they sell? Could we make this work?

To our surprise and delight, the boards flew off the shelves faster than we could have ever imagined. As our community struggled with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we found ourselves in a unique position to offer a safe escape. Everyone was trying to find a safe way to get out of their homes, and we were there to provide an uplifting escape from reality.

Its been truly heartwarming to see so many individuals, families, and friends discover the joys of the outdoors and the serenity of gliding across peaceful waterways. The opportunity to guide people to the wonders of paddling is a privilege that continually fuels our passion for our work.

Over the years, we have built partnerships with top-quality brands, offering top of the line inflatable paddleboards, foldable kayaks, life jackets, fishing gear, accessories, and so much more. We even ship our products all the way across Canada!

Both of us have always been water enthusiasts. Scott grew up wakeboarding on the Rideau River, while I (Lana) explored the Trent Severn Waterway. Our love for water and the outdoors has led us here, and we're thrilled to share our passion with others!

Scott

Scott's entrepreneurial spirit has been visible since childhood. He grew up in the small community of Osgoode, ON, where his family ran several small businesses. Most of his summers were spent on the water mastering kayaking at Camp Mishewah, wakeboarding on the Rideau River, or spending time at his grandparents' trailer on Lake Dore. As a lifelong enthusiast of watersports and outdoor activities, he had always hoped to own a kayak. As a young adult, living in an apartment made owning a full-sized boat both impractical and unattainable.

A pivotal moment came when Scott discovered inflatable paddleboards. He loved the idea of owning a full-sized board that he could store in a small closet or a corner of his apartment. He purchased one online and seized every opportunity to use it. Around the same time, Scott's friends at Ruckify were launching their peer-to-peer rental platform. Scott decided to list his iSUP for rent on the app, and it quickly became a hit.

Today, his enthusiasm for paddling has only deepened, along with his passion for helping others explore local waterways. He knows that not everyone has the space, strength or desire to transport a traditional kayak. Because of this, OVAP specializes in portable SUPs and kayaks. Our shop also provides a broad selection of hard kayaks, and fishing kayaks to accommodate all types of paddlers.

Lana

Lana also comes from an entrepreneurial background. Her parents were the owners of a quaint convenience store in the beautiful cottage country of Haliburton Highlands, ON. Growing up, Lana loved vacationing at her family cottage in Muskoka. Most of her childhood was spent by the water, whether it was swimming or exploring lakes and rivers on boats and Sea-Doo's.

Though Lana loves speed and power when boating, she has found a distinct pleasure in the tranquility of kayaking. She enjoys having the ability to venture into the narrower creeks and bays that are harder to access with motorized boats.

With a background in graphic design and photography, Lana brings a creative touch to our branding and social media.¬†She's known¬†by her photography followers as ‚ÄúElcyphotos.‚ÄĚ As a partner in OVAP, she applies her creative skills to branding, advertising, and¬†email design.¬†She also plays an essential role in managing social media,¬†organizing¬†events, and¬†building partnerships with other businesses and tourism associations.

Our Newest Addition

In 2022, we welcomed our daughter Avalee into the world. Our little adventurer was born into a family with a deep appreciation for nature. Avalee has already shown quite an interest in the outdoors! At the tender age of 2, she can identify a variety of birds and she loves to kayak with us and even holds the paddle all by herself.

Avalee's presence has enriched our family life, as well as expanded our business perspective. We have now experienced the joy and the logistics of paddling with children. We now carry top-quality children's products and even have a place on our site dedicated to kids. We also have lots of great resources to ensure kids' safety and enjoyment on the water.

In 2024, we opened our first retail store in Arnprior, ON. Physical retail presented its own set of hurdles and learning curves, but it equally paved the way for significant growth and development within our team. The store has become a vibrant hub where customers can see our products firsthand. We also offer demo sessions on the weekend where customers can try our products on the water. We also organize engaging events and activities for our community of outdoor enthusiasts. Kaleidoscope Kayaking is one of our top events and it has become an annual highlight every August, drawing paddlers from near and far.

Don't miss out on exclusive content and updates from our team. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to discover great places to paddle, learn how to get the most out of your gear, be the first to know about new product launches, and receive tons of other exciting news! Join our community of outdoor enthusiasts and stay connected with Ottawa Valley Air Paddle!