June 17, 2015

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 2.30.53 PMNitinat Lake is a very special place situated on the west coast of Vancouver Island, B.C. Half salt water, half fresh water, Nitinat is one of the few tidal lakes in the world. It offers some of the steadiest thermal winds you can find. From June to September the wind is very reliable and mostly blows between 15 to 25 knots. Perfect for learning to kiteboard.

It is a little ways out in the boonies, but easy to get to.
Click here for detailed Nitinat Directions.


Campground: Situated right at the kiteboarding beach. You can camp on the beach or in the campground. Basic amenities include running water and outhouses.No hook-ups. Approximately $15/ $17 for tent camping and $23/night for RV camping. No reservations, first come first serve. No need to worry, there is always space.

Click here for the campsite website

Motel: About 5 minutes away from the beach. $60 to $80 /night. Wireless internet. Call to reserve your room at (250) 745-3844.


What to Bring:

For lessons: Wetsuit and booties/water shoes, water bottle, picnic lunch, sunscreen, hat. We supply the rest of the kiteboarding gear. Which includes: kites, bar & lines, board, life jacket, helmet.

Camping: Tenting gear,cooking gear, warm clothes, food, water and drinks. There is a gas station next to the motel where you can purchase very basic non perishable groceries, internet, and pay phone. Hot shower and laundry are available at the motel.


How to read the weather:
The wind at Nitinat Lake is a katabatic or thermal wind. The strength and direction of the wind will be determined by temperature and pressure differences known as the gradient. There are more factors that dictate the wind but, a good indicator of wind at Nitinat lake is the gradient between Tofino and Port Alberni. The fog can also play a wildcard in this equation. It can supercharge even small temperature gradients.

A 5C gradient usually gets the wind going, a 10C gradient can create some strong winds and a 15C+ gradient often makes for a forceful wind. The optimal setup is 30C+ in Port Alberni and 15C or less with fog in Tofino.

Around 15C with fog is a good sign (click on the image)

High 20s or more with clear skies is a good sign (click on the image)


Weather Links:

Bigwavedave – BWD is Vancouver Islands best source for wind and weather information!
Nitinat Forecast – Randy Kashino knows the Nitinat weather better than anybody else
Mobile Nitinat Forecast – A handy mobile app by Gkacy


Other Links:
Progression Kiteboaring VideosThe Progression Kiteboarding series is a fantastic tool for building knowledge before, during, and after lessons.
Flash Test Dummy – Some great local Kiteboarding photos from a fantastic local photographer!
Randy – More unreal Van Isl shots from another local!
West Coast Captures – Mike Nash – Again more top of the line local photos!