Level Six had its modest beginnings back in 1997 during an eight month surfing trip from Vancouver, British Columbia to San Jose, Costa Rica. Our founders and current directors Stig Larsson and Tyler Lawlor took some time to train, surf and paddle in Costa Rica during the winter to prepare for Slalom National Team Trials. While there, an idea to create a line of apparel for paddlers was born.
Level Six start up was small. In their first year they produced only one piece of technical paddling gear -The Chubb- a lycra/rubber/neoprene combination rash guard/paddling top as well as a few choice board shorts for girls and guys. Acting as designers, sewers, salesmen and even models, the boys employed their extensive paddling experience to ensure the product was the best it could be and defied the skeptics who thought that a little Canadian company could not compete with the big industry names. But this is exactly what the industry needed – a core paddling company with no ties to the corporate world.
Over the eleven years of business the small company had its challenges. Frequent trips to Montreal fabric warehouses, finding willing seamstresses, searching for materials and creating designs from scratch was just part of the fun. With no designing background, designs and materials were a little off the norm, but that is what made Level Six different. Stig and Tyler designed what they wanted to wear on and off the water, and it just worked.
While paddling full time on the Canadian Slalom Team, Stig and Tyler survived by selling Level Six gear to other World Cup Circuit paddlers and friends, often through classic “out of the back of their truck” selling at races and rodeos.
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Gear (Functional Paddle Wear)
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