Yesterday I headed up to Nitinat lake, for some of the best Kiteboarding around. Ashley and I had taken kiteboarding lessons in the Philippines during our December vacation and I’ve been hooked ever since. Unfortunately there isn’t a place to learn safely around Victoria during the winter months because it’s too windy, cold and dangerous. So I’ve been having this itch that I haven’t been able to scratch for quite some time.
Nitinat lake is on the west coast of Vancouver island. It’s a pretty amazing place. Rural, rugged and beautiful. A super long lake that gets a massive thermal wind every day. Essentially every sunny summer day, once the inland sections of Vancouver Island heat up, the wind rushes in from the ocean to replace it. At around 10 or 11 AM you start watching for some wind lines to show up on the end of the lake. Then, all of a sudden, you start hearing the tops of the trees rustle. Rustle is probably the wrong word. It’s more like a wind turbine starting up which then drops down from the top of the trees to lake level. This all happens within minutes. I arrived with the lake as a complete mirror and within 20 minutes we had a steady 20+ knots.
After about 4 hours of repeated crashes I finally got the hang of it. It’s actually a fairly relaxing sport once you get to a point of riding steadily and crashing less often. It’s the crashing that eats up a ton of energy. A kind soul snapped a few picks of me at the very end of the day.