Vancouver Island Kiteboarding -
The Best of West Coast Kitesurfing

It is difficult to summarize Vancouver Island kiteboarding spots and conditions, with Nitinat probably as the most consistent and well known summer spot, and Tofino as your best winter and wave kitesurfing option. But there are many to choose from that it is a place where you can live in a city like Victoria or any number of small towns and find some of the best kiteboarding spots Canada and BC have to offer. For mainlanders, making the trip to the Island can be quite trying getting ferries during the summer holidays and will require some patience. For locals, the quality of life here is unsurpassed with so few people accessing the many year-round outdoor activities.

There are a number of Vancouver Island kiteboarding locations in or near Victoria and a bunch that are within a 2 hour drive of the city.

Kiteboarding Victoria In or near Victoria:

Cook St./Dallas Rd. - a popular spot fairly central in Victoria. Some people call this kite beach. This spot is the best in summer and for intermediate to advanced kiters only.
Island View Beach - located in Saanich which is a suburb of Victoria. Its good with SE & NE winds. A better option for newer kiters because of the light onshore winds.
Willows Beach - located in Oak Bay, a Victoria suburb.
Clover Point - a good place to get out that trainer kite for a practice session.

In a nearby town:

Gordon's Beach (Muir Creek) - this location is past Sooke (near Shirley) and works best in Westerly wind. Sooke is located a half hour drive west of Victoria and is another great summer spot. Check out this locals vid.

Jordan River -this infamously good surf spot is half way between Sooke and Port Refrew approximately 60 km from Victoria.
Cowichan Lake - another good spot about an hour drive from Victoria.
Columbia Beach - located in Parksville at Oar Road & works in SE wind more prevalent in the winter.

There are webcams for a number of these places to check out live conditions located online at

Further locations around Vancouver Island.

Kiteboarding Tofino , the well known coastal surf town, is generally a fall and winter exercise as this is when the waves and cold front westerly winds come through. Cox bay in Tofino is the beach to hit to find hardcore riders chasing these winds and swells. Reading forcasts and local knowledge is the best way to get Tofino good but you can be lucky.

Nitinat kiteboarding is a great summer weekend trip - click here to scroll for more on Nitinat.

Goose Spit in Comox has its local riders but with its butter flat water as the wind blows over the spit from the ocean, its a great kiteboarding spot.

Kiteboarding Nimpkish is another option. Nimpkish lake is situated in the north of Vancouver Island, south of Port McNeill and has been a long time favourite for windsurfers. The rugged park here also offers great hiking and protected areas of old growth Hemlock forests. Nimpkish works on similar types of summer thermals winds to Nitinat. June, July and August being the best months to kite here.

Nitinat Lake (also spelled Nitinaht) is the jewel of Vancouver Island kiteboarding. Nitinat is 2.5 hours, with at least 1 hour of the journey taking place on a rough logging road, from Victoria. The journey is long and the camping is rustic but its a lot of fun.

The View down Nitinat lake out toward the Vancouver Island west coast and where a small inlet connects Nitinat to the Pacific ocean.

Nitinat Lake is a good place for beginners to learn, probably the best of Vancouver island kiteboarding. The wind picks up around 11am - 12 noon. Like Squamish , thermals from sun build up throughout the day starting around midday. In the summer months (May through Sept - July and Aug being the best) you'll find consistent thermal winds. A normal day would find the wind in the perfect 18-20knot range, slowly dying in the evening cool. It generally blows when it's sunny, and blows harder if there is fog along the coast pushing into the 25knot+ range.

The evenings temperatures during the summer can vary alot. Sometimes it can seem like you are in a tropical bliss and other times its cold enough to you wish you had brought your winter sleeping bag and you really appreciate the big bonfire on the beach.

Generally we use full wetsuits, but the lake water does warm up quite quickly during the summer and a shorty wetsuit is enough.
Kiters camp at the Nitinat Lake Recreation Site located right on the lake. The launch is fairly well spread out along the rocky beach with the kiters launching upwind from the windsurfers.

My experience of kiteboarding Nitinat has only been one of meeting, kiting and hanging out with really great people - some are first timers there, but many have been making the pilgrimage to Nitinat for years coming up from Victoria and all parts of BC.

The beach setup

Nitinat hosts the long weekend, and extremely popular Windfest each year in early August and is definitely the most well known kiting event in the Vancouver Island kiteboarding calendar. This event attracts kiters from the USA and more recently all over the world - the campsite bursts at the seams! Not mention that its arguably the best party weekend on Vancouver island! Oh, and there is some kiting competition action too ;)

Windfest race day.

The small 'Nitinaht' First Nations settlement is about 1km up the road from the campsite. There is a gas station and shop which sells basic food supplies and does well to cater to our crazy kiter hunger needs. Dale a local Nitinat kiter and well known in Vancouver Island kiteboarding circles, also carries kiting gear in the shop if you are in need of anything. And don't forget to buy your Windfest T-shirt from him or come in for a great cooked breakfast when the thought of cranking up the fire in the morning is to much!

During the summer, Vancouver Island Kiteboarding is this campsite!

Check out the Big Wave Dave forum an active place for both Vancouver Island kiteboarding and windsurfing. At present time there aren't any comprehensive summaries of kiting in the area for newcomers. You will have to fish around a bit and ask a lot of questions. Or just show up on a windy day and chat with the locals. They are a friendly bunch!

What else is there to do when the wind is not on?

Surfing is a growing sport in the cooler Pacific regions. There are many spots on Vancouver Island and the Victoria area. The competition can be pretty high for Victoria waves. The best place for newer surfers is Long Beach in Tofino.

Excellent mountain biking, hiking, fishing, skiing make Vancouver Island one of the best outdoor lifestyle places in the world. But, shhhh!, don't tell too many people.

Reviews, Comments

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Jerry Brown 
Thanks for the great resource!

Canucks in Aussie 
Currently living & kiting in Perth Australia (great wind), great info if I ever move back to Canada. Cheers,

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