Kite boarding – sometimes called kite surfing – is a surface watersport that harnesses the power of the wind to propel the surfer across the water on a small board. Victoria and the Southern Vancouver Island region is a kite boarder’s paradise. A meteorologist could explain WHY it can get pretty windy around here, but watersport enthusiasts who rely on wind don’t care and are just happy that it does.
In addition to the many great locations in Greater Victoria, one of the premier kite boarding destinations in North America is located just 150 km northwest of Victoria at Nitinaht Lake (perfect for Kiteboarding vacations).
Kitesurfing at Nitinaht Lake is not recommended for beginners without lessons due to strong winds and narrow, rocky driftwood-covered beach. Consider using one of the local skilled instructors (Strong Kiteboarding or Elevation Kite School) for a safe and enjoyable experience.
Regardless of where you enjoy water adventure activities, always be aware of the location-specific hazards such as reefs, sand bars, drifting logs, floating debris, beach logs, cliffs, trees and other people.
Check out LocalKiteSpots for relevant information related to wind speeds and temperatures for kiting spots across the province.
Your needs will vary depending on the time of year and the location you choose and will range from shorts and a t-shirt to full wet or dry suit (although most likely the latter around here). If you opt for lessons, be sure to check with your instructor regarding appropriate clothing for your activity. Check out Ocean Rodeo Sports Inc for watersport drywear and accessories. (contact info located in our adventure tours travel guide).
Two local companies for kiting instruction both operate from Nitinaht Lake. A word of caution that access to the Nitinaht River Provincial Park and Nitinaht Lake is by active logging roads. It is highly likely you will encounter a loaded logging truck en route. Logging trucks have the right of way and drivers should use caution and yield to logging trucks. Contact info is located in our adventure tours travel guide.
You will need a kite and board (you probably already guessed that, didn't you!). Seek expertise from people in the industry before purchasing any equipment to ensure you get products that suit your kiting abilities and goals.
Ideal weather for kiters is when there is a consistent wind of between 10 and 30 knots with rider weight and kite size factoring in as well. Beginners should aim for wind between 7 and 20 knots. The air temperature should be warm enough to be on the water but not too warm that you overheat. Other factors are the water temperature, tides and currents, wind direction, precipitation, lightning and fog.
Victoria experiences very little in the way of lightning and thunder but it is important to get off the water as quickly as possible if you see lightning.
Avid Vancouver Island kiters take to the waters all year long but the best time is May through September, weather permitting.
As a beginner, you’re going to see a whole lot of water and sky :). There will be so much to learn when you first start out, you won’t actually see much of the marine life that surrounds you. But the more time you spend on the water and develop your skills, the more time you will have to enjoy sightings of:
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