Kitesurfing takes off - Metro US

Kitesurfing takes off

Harness the power of wind on Nitinaht Lake

Dave Norona comes off the water with an ear-to-ear grin.

The sun sits high in the sky and lights up the lush green mountainside as I fly across Nitinaht Lake under the power of the wind. The grin on my face gets bigger as I dive my kite, edge my board and feel the 30 knots of wind trying to blow me off the water. Upon reaching the far shore I carve a turn and careen off in the opposite direction for another fix.

Nitinaht Lake is an inland lake on the outer coast of Vancouver Island, just 50 kilometres past Lake Cowichan. This little gem in the middle of nowhere offers windsurfers and kitesurfers a true paradise where the wind howls every sunny day. The water is clean, the camping is nestled amongst giant trees, and the people are awesome!

My girlfriend Kim Duess and I started kitesurfing last year and since then Nitinaht Lake has become one of our favourite places to be. We were a little worried at the beginning of the year when the area was hit with epic winter storms that brought down half of the area’s giant trees.

Although it blows most days, each day is slightly different with changing weather patterns. There are few words to describe what it feels like to harness the power of the wind in a kite that sits far up in the sky and pulls you like a ski boat. Because of its location you can often find yourself out on the lake with only a handful of other riders sharing the serenity of this amazing place.

Elevation Kite Boarding School run by Marie-Christine Leclerc is right at Nitinaht Lake all summer and the perfect place to learn how to kitesurf. Marie is an International Kite Organization Instructor with tons of competition and teaching experience. In just a few lessons she will have you dialed on all the safety, launching and riding skills so that you with have a blast out on the water. Elevation Kite Boarding can be reached online at www.elevationkiteboarding.comor at 604-848-5197.

After taking lessons you will know the type of kites and board you will want. A 4/3 mm wetsuit is ideal for most locations in B.C. and don’t forget a helmet and slam vest to save your body from the inevitable wipeouts that will happen.

North Shore Ski and Board is an ideal place to find all you will need to have a safe and exciting time, see ya on the water!

gear guide

Dakine Fusion Harness

Description: Dakine’s Fusion harness is comfortable, provides awesome back support and the fully integrated double power belt system provides a snug fit. The adjustable spreader bar, eight-point load dispersion system and stainless steel leash attachments make this harness a top choice among kite surfers.


Where to find it:

Xcel’s Infiniti Long Sleeve Spring Suit

Description: The ultimate suit for the warm months of summer kitesurfing on Nitinaht Lake. This item is super flexible thanks to 300 per cent Plus stretch Ultraspan Superlite neoprene and the Quadruple glued seams and Xcel’s patented Fusion bonding make it super tough.


Where to find it:

Slingshot Link Kite

Description: The new Slingshot Link is a hybrid-style kite that offers great stability, awesome wind range and instantaneous de-power. It is simple to launch from land or the water and is available as a four or five line set up.


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Pro-Tec Ace Wake Helmet

Description: Protect your noggin while you’re out on the water with Pro-Tec’s Ace Wake helmet. High-density injection moulded shell; surround interior fit system and removable ear guards to protect you from those epic crashes.


Where to find it:

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