There are a few different kite spots in Vancouver including Jericho Beach, Ambleside Beach, Boundary Bay and Spanish Banks. These spots are great to score an after work session, though it is not often that there is enough wind in the city to kite. When there is wind, it is light and big kites are necessary. There are no schools that offer kiteboarding lessons in Vancouver.
The closest and best place to take kiteboarding lessons near Vancouver is Squamish. Squamish is located 45 mins north of the city and offers some of the best kiteboarding conditions in the world. Over the summer months the wind picks up around 10am and will blow through the entire day with the strongest wind peaking around 2pm. The wind blows at a constant 20-25 knots on average.
Squamish is a more advanced kite spot as the wind blows offshore from the spit (the launch and landing zone). This means that in order to ride here it is important to be a fully independent rider. You must be able to:
- Ride up wind (there are lots of downwind obstacles and the offshore wind makes it necessary to ride upwind to make it back to the spit)
- Perform a self rescue (there is a rescue service in case you get in trouble, though they can’t pick you up unless you have wrapped your lines in the water)
- Retrieve your board when you lose it
These skills are important to know at every kite spot though places where the wind blows onshore makes the consequences less severe.
Taking Kiteboarding Lessons in Squamish
As mentioned before, the wind is not reliable enough to offer kiteboarding lessons in Vancouver. Taking kiteboarding lessons in Squamish is a unique experience as all lessons are done from boats. This gives the students open space to practice and eliminates the fear of being dragged along the beach. Once students are competent at flying the kite from the boat, body dragging in the water and riding on the board, they will head to the beach or to the spit and learn all the land theory and practices such as kite set up, launching and landing as well has how to safely enter and exit the water.
After completing their lessons, students will be prepared and feel confident to kite from the spit alone.