Completely Board!

6 08 2009
Launching at Lake Nitinat BC

Launching at Lake Nitinat BC

I made it back from an awesome road trip to Squamish British Columbia and to Lake Nitinat on Vancouver Island. First I spent 4 days taking lessons at the Squamish Spit from Tom at the Vancouver Kiteboarding School.  I have to admit I was getting a bit frustrated with how long it was taking me to nail my water starts and get up riding.  This is definitely one of the harder sports I’ve learned.  Eventually all that time in the water paid off and I could actually get on with learning how to ride the board and fly the kite as I moved around.

Kurt up and riding at Lake Nitinat

Kurt up and riding at Lake Nitinat

Since Kurt’s brother Sean was at Lake Nitinat and we had heard good things about the kiteboarding there we made the trek into the depths Vancouver Island to see for ourselves.  Happily it was pretty much the kiteboarding paradise we’d expected.  A beautiful campground amongst some giant trees, friendly kiteboarders and windsurfers, consistent wind daily that wasn’t gusty and water that was on the warmer side of things.

Our first day at Nitinat we paid Elevation Kiteboarding to help us get started and follow us in the water using their jet boat.  We ended up at the bottom of the lake eventually at which point they gave us a lift back to the launch.  Although we didn’t stay upwind we were able to make some ground back up the lake.  The next day we scheduled the same downwind service with Elevation, but we were stoked to be able to ride back upwind ourselves so we didn’t need a pick up.

The rest of the week we spent riding on the water everyday working on our skills.  We are still total beginners, but at least we are now beginners riding our boards and getting better each day.

I had my Surly Pugsely with me on this trip, but unlike Hood River everyday we were in BC the wind was great and we were able to kiteboard.  We did get some bike riding in, but just cruising around visiting other camp sites, ferrying our gear up the beach or running to the store to get supplies.

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3 responses

9 08 2009
Jimboblay

Vik:

Awesome! That looks like an amazing amount of fun! How do kiteboards compare with windsurfing set-ups – look more complicated to control, but I guess the ability to generate occasional “up” force to get air is a big plus for kiteboarding.

I hear good things about San Francisco Bay (home of Squid Labs – apparently makers of some high end kiting gear). We had a kite boarder overtake our touristo boat under the Golden Gate and do jumps off our wake (in heavy fog…) before heading back to shore. Guy knew his stuff. Apparently a lot of Silicon Valley types are very into it. Hope you continue to enjoy!! What’s next, paragliding??

Best,

Jim

10 08 2009
thelazyrando

Hi Jim,

I don’t windsurf, but I just spent a week camped with windsurfers so I had lots of opportunities to chat with them about their gear/sport.

Kiteboarding is considerably easier to learn and ride than windsurfing and is less gear intensive.

I can’t say one is better or worse. Both are a ton of fun and I think if you are willing to invest the time to develop your windsurfing skills you will get paid back with a very rewarding experience.

Since I don’t live right next to a great windsport destination it’s taken me a lot of traveling and a good chunk of my summer holidays to get up and kiteboarding. I’m not sure I’d have the time to dedicate to windsurfing nor the desire/ability to lug all the gear around.

I’ve been a paraglider pilot for a number of years in the 90’s, but where I live isn’t a great spot to paraglide and none of my friends have an interest in paragliding. At least with kiteboarding my friend Kurt is happy to come along and it’s not hard to convince my GF she wants to spend a holiday somewhere warm and beachy in the winter!

cheers,

Vik

11 08 2009
Bow Cycle | Vik’s Picks » “Whoa those tires are huge!”…

[...] and wasn’t sure how much I’d use it.  My Surly Pugsely was already in my truck from a kiteboarding trip to Lake Nitinat on Vancouver Island.  So I thought what the heck lets take it to [...]

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