When the wind is blowing in Vancouver, the wetsuits come out. Windsurfers, kiteboarders, and other wind-propelled sports all rely on a gusty day to take to the ocean and practice their sport.
Kiteboarding (also known as kitesurfing) was previously prohibited on the beaches of Vancouver, but the sport is gaining popularity and has won itself a year-long pilot project to see whether the kiteboarding zone should remain on Spanish Banks.
Kiteboarding combines aspects of wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. Essentially, you strap yourself to a large kite, propel yourself into the cold, wavy ocean, and launch yourself high into the air to do twists and turns and other gnarly things. It’s not for the faint of heart!
Kiteboarding may be a difficult sport to get into, but it’s an excellent sport to watch from the warm sand on the beach. Other local kiteboarding spots include Boundary Bay and Squamish, and with the introduction of a summer launch zone in Vancouver it’s no longer a lengthy drive for kiteboarding enthusiasts.
Typically, the conditions in Vancouver are right for kiteboarding only 8 to 10 times per summer. So when the wind hits, there can be dozens of colourful kites attached to surfers spinning around near the shore.
If you’re strolling along Spanish Banks and happen to see kites darting back and forth along the ocean, take some time to marvel at the athletes and their daring moves! Or, if you’re interested in taking part, kiteboarding lessons in Vancouver are offered in Squamish, a short drive away. For around $250 you can learn how to handle the waves like a pro.
The kiteboarding zone in Vancouver is located at the very West end of Spanish Banks. Look for the signs and for the colourful kites near the water’s edge!