Author Archives Kevin Van Vliet

What A Year!

February 03, 2018

What a year! In 2017 at Lakestyle, we were busy getting the business up and running after a successful time at the Edmonton and Calgary boat shows. It was fun to plan what our booth was going to look like, think about the logistics of getting the dock sections, bumpers, ladders and hardware all in and out. We met some great people with tons of ideas. We saw a lot of smiling faces as people walked away with one of our sandal key chains. Our social media presence continues to grow as do product sales. I met some great guys out in Sylvan Lake, Buffalo Lake, Gull Lake and beyond. It is hard to believe that a full year is now behind us and to imagine that Lakestyle was only in its infancy a short time ago.

Lakestyle - Sunset on the lake

I’ve learned so many things. I’ve learned that you have to be dedicated and persistent, that you have to dare to dream and believe in what you do. I’ve learned that there are many ups and downs (even to this day!) and that you cannot take anything for granted.  There are so many supportive people who help bring an idea to reality. And you can’t forget about your family. They are truly my cheerleaders through and through, helping out wherever possible, and being there emotionally when the times are tough and celebrating when the times are good!

 

We had a lot of fun exploring different ideas for using our docks. From portable decks to duck blinds, to tundra or bog boardwalks to fly-in fishing camps. And lets not forget about the traditional dock at the lake! We continue to look at the many ways that Tommy Docks products can be used to support recreational adventures.

Lakestyle - blue sky and canola fields

All the while, we were able to have some fun at the lake, enjoying time with friends and family. It was a time of many firsts. We got to see friends getting up on skis for the very first time, kids challenging and successfully completing a full 360 on the kneeboard, others daring to slalom ski after a 20 year hiatus. There is nothing quite like hearing and feeling the excitement, as a group of kids (young and old) goes for a ride on the tube, hoping that they almost get bumped off! Great times reminiscing about the stars in the hot tub at night or sitting around the campfire sharing stories, all the while knowing that the next day has even more in store.

We loved playing yard games, tag, hide and seek or chilling out in the hammock. We spent so much time going for walks in the garden, picking Saskatoon berries, raspberries, cherries, apples or rhubarb secretly hoping that Mom or Grandma would make us yet another pie. Mmmm. Pie and ice cream on a hot summer day – can’t be beat!

Lakestyle - Lighthouse on lake

As we watch yet another sun set in these cold wintery days, we have to stop and think about how blessed we are to be able to build, create, share, and enjoy all of these wonderful lake things. I’d like to thank all of those that have stayed with us on this journey so far and look forward to another great season in the coming year!

All the best,

Kevin

 

Lakestyle is a company founded on a desire to help people fulfill their lake lifestyle dreams. By utilizing easy to maintain dock systemsand accessories, people are able to spend less time working and more time having fun!  Check us out at www.lakestyle.ca, follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter @LakestyleCA!

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Ice Fishing Safety Tips

January 05, 2018

Many of Lakestyle’s favourite winter activities take place near or on the ice. Ice usually appears on our Alberta lakes in mid to late fall and can remain well into the spring. As much as we love to skate, toboggan, and go ice fishing on the lake during the winter months, it’s important to stay safe.

Ice Fishing - Lakestyle - Winter Lake Toys Here are some great safety tips to keep in mind when playing near or on the ice:

  • Obey posted signs on when and where ice surface is acceptable for activities.
  • Avoid traveling on any ice in non-daylight hours.
  • Know the fishing regulations for the lake your fishing on.
  • Never walk on ice that is less than 15 cm thick and do not drive on ice that is less than 30 cm thick.
  • Beware of ice near the entrance and exits of streams and rivers. Ice can vary in thickness and strength from area to area because of temperature, water current, springs, snow cover, and time of year.
  • Fish with a buddy, for increased safety. Make sure to discuss a rescue plan before one is needed.
  • If your pet falls through the ice, call for help. Resist the temptation to go out onto the ice after them, the ice is likely not going to hold your weight either.
  • If you are driving a vehicle on frozen water, do not drive fast, do not follow closely behind or park near another vehicle on the ice. Ice can bend and crack under the weight of people, vehicles or heavy snow.
  • Keep an eye on ice and snow conditions ahead of you while driving, as the ice conditions can change rapidly from one area to another.
  • Always check the forecast, you don’t want to get caught out on the ice in a storm.
  • When travelling in a vehicle on lake ice, keep your seat belts off, open your window a crack, and half unlatch your door so it can be opened quickly.
  • Always carry a shovel and tow rope in your vehicle.
  • Wear a flotation device and cold protection suit, even if you’re fishing from shore or on thick ice.
  • Always carry waterproof matches and nails or spikes in your pocket to help you get out of the water.

Ice Fishing - Lakestyle - 5 Days Fishing

If you fall through the ice and into the freezing lake water:

  • Go to the ice edge and break your way to ice that can hold your weight.
  • Crawl on your belly up on the ice, spreading your weight as far as possible. Use nails or spikes for added traction.
  • Crawl on your belly, keeping weight distributed until you reach solid ground. Standing up prematurely may mean that you fall through the ice again.
  • Immediately seek a warm place to remove wet clothes. Hypothermia can set in quickly if you do not take proper steps to get dry and warm.

 

Ice Fishing - Lakestyle - Teamwork

Consider bringing along a Safety Kit for Ice Fishing.  You will need:

  • Ice picks, rope, cell phone (in a waterproof container) and a first aid kit. Other safety equipment to be considered includes: flashlight, waterproof matches/lighter, tool kit, candles and survival blanket.

 

Lakestyle is a company founded on a desire to help people fulfill their lake lifestyle dreams. By utilizing easy to maintain dock systems and accessories, people are able to spend less time working and more time having fun!  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LakestyleCA!

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Cabin Fever

December 11, 2017

Cabin Fever.  For anyone who spends any sort of time at a cabin in Alberta, or Canada for that matter, there are bound to be days full of blustery, rainy, snowy, or chilly weather.  Often, these many hours or days spent inside, looking outside, can cause something commonly referred to as cabin fever.

Cabin Fever - Lakestyle Inc.

Wikipedia describes cabin fever as “an idiomatic term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group ends up in an isolated or solitary location, or stuck indoors in confined quarters for an extended period. Cabin fever describes the extreme irritability and restlessness a person may feel in these situations.”

Cabin Fever - Lakestyle Inc.

While undeniably, our Lakestyle family has experienced this cabin fever phenomenon on occasion, we have had many more memorable indoor cabin memories that far outweigh the cabin fever days.

Cabin Fever - Lakestyle Inc.

When we are at our cabin, it seems that the pace of life slows down and more time opens up to enjoy some of the activities that we wish we got to more often.  At our cabin, we don’t have TV or WiFi, so our chilly days are spent much differently than they are at home.  On any given cabin fever kind of day, we can be found snuggling on the couch under blankets with a roaring fire, reading our favourite books, completing crafts and colouring at the kitchen table, or cooking tasty treats and drinks in our cozy cabin kitchen.

Cabin Fever - Lakestyle

We also shouldn’t forget those cabin board game battles, as a memorable way to combat cabin fever.  A Chinese proverb wisely says “Just one game they said and started to play – that was yesterday.”  What a lovely way to make a day disappear, but in the challenge found in a board game with family and friends!

Cabin Fever - Lakestyle Inc.

Sometimes, these games become a story of their own, remembered as the ‘Epic Uno Game’ or the ‘Never Ending Monopoly Marathon’, while other tales are told because of the mere level of competition.  I’m sure we have all played with someone at some point who jokes that if you’re not willing to lose all your friends over a board game, then you must not be playing hard enough.

On these less than perfect weather days, I don’t think we realize that we are making memories, we just think we are having fun, spending time embracing cabin fever!

 

While there’s no doubt, our favourite activity at the cabin is to be out on the water on a fabulous dock, we wouldn’t trade these days. What will you get up to when cabin fever threatens to strike in your neck of the woods?

 

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LakestyleCA for more tips about fun times at the cabin.

 

Lakestyle is a company founded on a desire to help people fulfill their lake lifestyle dreams. By utilizing easy to maintain dock systems and accessories, people are able to spend less time working and more time having fun!  Check us out at www.lakestyle.ca, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LakestyleCA!

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Lakestyle’s Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Lake Enthusiasts!

November 06, 2017

Lakestyle has made a list, checked it twice, and we are excited to present our Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas for every Lake Enthusiast on your list. These are the perfect lake themed presents for everyone on your list this holiday season.

  1. The Ion Plunge Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker [$99.99] from Canadian Tire is a waterproof, fully submersible Bluetooth speaker that provides hours of continuous use thanks to the rechargeable battery.  Perfect for lazy long days on the dock. Waterproof speaker
  2. Trucker Hats [$13.50] from My Custom Party Store (Edmonton, AB) has a wide selection of lake worthy hats, with clever sayings such as “Lake Hair Don’t Care” and “Boat Hair Don’t Care”.  These are perfect for those long, hot days on the water. Lake Hats
  3. The custom bracelets from ClairAshley (Waldheim, SK) on Etsy are lightweight and made from food safe aluminum.  A perfect accessory for someone’s who’s heart belongs at the lake. Lake Bracelet
  4. The Solar Stud Lights [$39.99] from Lakestyle Inc. (Calgary & Sylvan Lake, AB) are a fantastic way to light  up any deck, dock, driveway, patio, or outdoor stairs at the cabin or cottage.  Designed with a solid cast aluminum body, that is sealed to resist weather and moisture, these lights will light your lake activities, long into the night. Dock Lights
  5. The Custom Lake Silhouette Print [$40.00] from Ramble on Supply Co (Ontario, CA) is a sweet addition to any lake decor. Display the love you have for your favorite lake with pride with this custom lake silhouette print. Lake Art
  6. The Floating Island Pad [$799.00] from Lakestyle Inc. (Calgary & Sylvan Lake, AB) will keep an entire group of children (or adults) entertained on the water all weekend.  Say goodbye to buying inflatable lake toys every season, this huge floating island is practically indestructible and will never spring a leak. Floating Island Pad
  7. The Rocky Mountain Toque [$40.00] from Flannel Foxes is a stylish way to stay toasty at the cabin this winter, as well as those chilly mornings on the dock in the warmer months. Canadian Toques
  8. These Hard Working at the Lake Socks [$18.00] from BlacknotFarm (Petersfield, MB) are perfect for kicking back at the lake, whether you are boating, or sitting on your dock.  Your toes are sure to stay warm in a pair of these beauties. Lake Socks
  9. A new Dock Ladder [starting at $244.00] from Lakestyle Inc.(Calgary & Sylvan Lake, AB) , will freshen up the look of your entire dock.  These ladders are compatible with any dock system and their aluminum construction means zero maintenance required. Dock ladder
  10. Rustic Painted Oars [$58.13] from CastawaysHall (Langley, BC) are a beautiful addition to your cabin or cottage. They offer a variety of colours, to suit every style of decor at the lake. Oar Art

We hope you enjoyed our Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas for lake enthusiasts. Do you have an idea that’s not up here? We’d love to hear about it, share it with us in the comments.

Lakestyle is a company founded on a desire to help people fulfill their lake lifestyle dreams. By utilizing easy to maintain dock systems and accessories, people are able to spend less time working and more time having fun!  Check us out at www.lakestyle.ca, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LakestyleCA!

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Wishin’ I Was Fishin’ – Lakestyle Reels In

September 18, 2017

Fishing…. an activity can be as simple as a stick, a string and a hook or something much more complex. Regardless of your style, the time spent fishing is nothing but quality time. Philosopher Thoreau was known to say that “men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after”. At Lakestyle, we would wholeheartedly agree.

Fishing in Alberta is an amazing way to spend quality time outside, either with your families, your buddies or even by yourself. Know the rules about fishing Alberta before heading out. A complete guide to all fishing regulations in Alberta can be found here.

While fishermen are typically tight lipped on where their favourite spots are to catch “the big ones”, the Alberta Government has a map of the province with all of the stocked lakes here. It is a fantastic tool, to check out your regular fishing holes or to explore and discover new ones.

If fishing has become more of a competitive activity and you are looking for a challenge, all the fishing derby info from around Canada can be found here. Many unique fishing derbies with great prizes can be found all over Canada, check them out!

The things that we may learn from fishing:
1. There is no such thing as too much equipment.
2. When in doubt, exaggerate.
3. Even the best lines get weak after they have been used a few times.
4. Sometimes you really have to squirm to get off the hook.
5. The fishing is always better on the other side of the lake.
6. Good things come to those who bait.

Lakestyle wishes you a fishing season full of great catches and tall tales! Hope to see you out on the lake!

Lakestyle is a company founded on a desire to help people fulfill their lake lifestyle dreams. By utilizing easy to maintain dock systems and accessories, people are able to spend less time working and more time having fun! Check us out at www.lakestyle.ca, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LakestyleCA!

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Cucumber Lemonade – National Lemonade Day

August 20, 2017

Cucumber Lemonade

Squeeze the Day! August 20th is known as National Lemonade Day, and here at Lakestyle, Lemonade is a welcome guest at our cabin! Over the years, we have experimented with many different flavour combinations, and have come up with a signature lemonade to serve at the cabin to our friends and family. We simply call it ‘Cucumber Lemonade’ and while it may sound slightly unusual, we dare you to try it! If you are crunched for time or don’t want to make this recipe from scratch, check out the cheat ideas at the end of the recipe. Entertaining adults? We’ve got a few suggestions to make this cucumber lemonade into a delightful adult cocktail.  This cucumber flavoured lemonade is easy peasy lemon squeezy …. but will be a hit on your dock with all your cabin guests.

Recipe for 1 Pitcher of Cucumber Lemonade (8 cups)

1 cup white sugar

2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 12 lemons)

6 cups cold water

1 English cucumber, sliced

1 lemon, sliced

2 cups ice cubes

Step 1: Combine white sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.

Step 2: In a pitcher, combine cooled syrup solution, lemon juice, cucumber and lemon slices, ice and remaining 5 cups of water. Stir immediately or refrigerate for 30 minutes for a more intense cumcumber flavour. If refrigerating, omit ice until ready to serve.

Cabin Cheat: For a time-saver at the cabin, you can use frozen concentrated Lemonade (Minute Maid or Country Time), just make it according to the directions and add in your cucumbers!

Grown-Up Twist: If there are adults at the cabin, we will often add a splash of vodka (Three Point Vodka, made by Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley, AB) or citrus gin (RAW Citrus Gin, made by RAW Distillery in Canmore, AB).

Keep cool this lake season and drink cucumber lemonade!

Lakestyle is a company founded on a desire to help people fulfill their lake lifestyle dreams. By utilizing easy to maintain dock systems and accessories, people are able to spend less time working and more time having fun! Check us out at www.lakestyle.ca, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LakestyleCA!

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Sailing in Alberta

August 17, 2017

Explore something new. Tackle another adventure. Keep learning, always keep learning. That’s how we do things around here. That spirit of curiosity and boundless limits are alive and well in our family.

“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.” @OfficialJimRohn  Here @LakestyleCA, we couldn’t agree more!

So, one day a few summers ago, Grandma and Grandpa bought a sailboat.  Her name is Miss Adventure (Missy for short) and she is a well loved beauty.  Their dream of learning to sail became a reality in the spring of 2014 at the Kelowna Yacht Club in British Columbia, when they set eyes on the green and white 1984 Catalina 22.  They quickly became her 4th owner and they could feel that she was up for many more adventures just off the shores of Sylvan Lake in Alberta, her new home.  When not sailing, Miss Adventure sits proudly in her lift by the dock, watching all the lake life and cabin life, anticipating her next sail.

Now what’s truly amazing is that there are so many people in land-locked Alberta that are also interested in sailing.  The Alberta Sailing Association website is a treasure trove of information about sailing, and has a Sailing Club Directory with over 20 different sailing clubs and associations.  It appears that in all corners of our province, opportunities exist to sail our beautiful waters.

Not sure if the weather conditions are favourable for a sail? Instantly find the wind and weather forecast for your location on the Windfinder website, an excellent source of information for kitesurfers, windsurfers, sup paddlers, kayaker, fishermen, boaters and sailors alike!  Whether it’s windy or not, getting out on your sailboat is time well spent.  If it’s breezy, get those sails up and catch some wind.  If the winds are calm, kick back and relax, cast a line or go for a dip off your port or starboard side.

Learning to sail has become a favourite activity at the lake.  Grandma and Grandpa have been teaching their grandkids, friends from near and far and even their big dog Charlie how to sail.  What fun to see the sparkle in someone’s eye when they pull the mainsail up and it billows with air or when they tack or jibe, successfully turning the sailboat in the desired direction.

It has been said that in sailing, as in life, it is not the destination, but rather the journey itself that truly matters.  Buy a sailboat, find a lake, learn to sail…. what a grand adventure!

Lakestyle is a company founded on a desire to help people fulfill their lake lifestyle dreams. By utilizing easy to maintain dock systems and accessories, people are able to spend less time working and more time having fun!  Check us out at www.lakestyle.ca, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LakestyleCA!

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Riding Waves

April 24, 2017

 

Recently, I was fortunate to be able to make another trip to the ocean. The weather was somewhat stormy when I first got there. Waves were what I considered to be big. I am sure they were nowhere near what others would consider even significant. As I gazed out off the pier I saw several people floating on their surfboards. I spent some time observing their actions and as I did so I realized there are so many parallels between what they were doing and what it was like to start a new company.

You need to have an idea and a passion for what you do. You must be willing to get up in the morning with a drive to improve and a willingness to try. Grab your surfboard, put your second skin on and brave the water’s cold embrace. Starting a business is ignited by a passion, a belief that something needs fixing, that there is a problem that you can help solve, and ultimately that others feel needs a solution, whether they know it at the time or not. You take the plunge.

Practice. I would wait and watch as wave after wave passed by. Then one really good wave would come, the surfer would paddle, jump on her board only to fall off within a mere second. But she never gave up. In starting a business, it takes a lot of practice. Whether it is your sales story, the way you simply converse with potential clients or the presentations you give, you must practice and in doing so, gain confidence. Sometimes, often a lot of times, you won’t succeed. But you keep practicing.

Along with practice is patience. Each wave reveals its true character, sometimes too early, sometimes too late. The key is to wait for the next chance at success. And when that time comes she jumps on her board and gives it 100% effort. Patience is key in any business, whether it is a new one or not. Hard work will lead to success, but you can’t expect success on the very first wave that comes. Being patient allows you to prepare, plan and focus so when the next big break comes, you are ready.

And then comes her chance. She paddles hard, flips on her board and rides the wave. It only lasts a short while, but she did it, and it was amazing. I wanted to clap as I knew just how much effort it took for that one moment of time. It was beautiful and I knew that it wouldn’t be the last. When you get that break in business, celebrate the opportunity, execute it well and know that what you’ve been able to do was worth the practice, patience and reward.

“Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.”  H. Jackson Brown Jr.

[email protected]

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Here we come Edmonton!

February 21, 2017

Lakestyle - Calgary Boat and Sportsmen's show 2017

After a fantastic kickoff at the Calgary Boat and Sportsmen’s show, Lakestyle is excited to continue our introduction tour at the Edmonton Boat and Sportsmen’s show March 16-19.

Come down to the Edmonton Expo Centre at Northlands Park and see what we have to offer.

This is an excellent opportunity to see the products up close, feel the high quality construction, and talk to one of our experts about all of your dock and accessory needs.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us at any time!

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Lakestyle on Location – YYC

January 29, 2017

Calgary Boat and Sportsmen's show logo

We are very excited to announce that Lakestyle Inc. will be at the Calgary Boat and Sportsmen’s show February 9-12, 2017.

We are bringing a sampling of our products for you to see, touch, and ask questions about. Come chat with us about your dock building plans and what you need to make those plans a reality. We will help you figure out what products will best suite your needs and perhaps help you discover other products that will make that plan even easier to achieve and maintain then you thought.

Have questions? Want to see the quality, kick the tires and check under the hood? Come down to the show and we’ll happily answer any questions and help you find what you’re looking for.

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    At Lakestyle, we are committed to bringing you innovative, quality products to increase the time you spend doing what you love and decreasing the time spent on maintenance at your lake property!