For an easy fix in Western Canada, Squamish is a great option. Despite the 1000+ km trip for me, I never get bored of the scenic drive through the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
The gypsy and sporty town of Squamish brings awesome non-kiting activities: mountain biking, climbing, hiking, sightseeing, breweries, and camping. In term of kiting, it’s a love/dislike story. The Spit in Squamish is the main and most popular kiting area. It is managed by The Squamish Windsports Society (SWS). There is a daily fee, or season membership, to kite there; the money goes to the maintenance of the spit, staff, webcam, and sea doos for rescue. Having the rescue option is great – but be aware that you need to be seen to get a boat rescue!
The wind shows up almost daily…unless it’s cloudy. Surrounded by the mountains, the view is breathtaking and the water has that great blue and green, almost “tropical” look. To add to the magic, the sea life is quite impressive: don’t be surprised to encounter some seals while doing your favorite trick on the water! Some days that you can get some yoga classes at the Spit before the wind picks up. Last year (2016), Sam Medysky and other pro-riders had the mandate to give tips in the water to people trying to achieve a specific goal…this is certainly a plus 😉
The season is officially from mid-May to mid-September. The water comes from the snowmelt in the mountains and it is cold even on warm and sunny days. An appropriate wetsuit is necessary all summer long! Also, the Spit can be quite crowded, there are some local egos and it can be challenging to find a buddy to launch/land your kite. For freestyle tricks, left foot forward is recommended near the spit. Finally, the entry point in the water is made of rocks. Booties are a plus! For those riding in boots, bring flip-flops.
The Canadian Freestyle Competition is hosted in Squamish in July. For spectators, it’s the right time to see some awesome freestyle and big air. You will find me there!
Where to stay: Airbnb OR bring your tent and crash in a friend’s backyard
Nearest airport: Vancouver International Airport (#YVR)
Kite Spot: The Spit
GPS Coordinates: 49.686814, -123,178387