Location.

Nitinaht Lake Campsite, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Nitinaht lake has been naturally geoengineered to get windy! Being located right next to the cool pacific ocean with the central and eastern Island heating up during the summer creates the perfect temperature gradient. The mountains accelerate the wind as it funnels through the valley and the brackish lake warms up to over 20C by mid-summer. This is the best spot to kiteboard in all of British Columbia(if not all of Canada) and we have it right in our back yard!

We operate out of La Ventana, Baja California Sur, Mexico from November until April

Nitinaht Lake is a very special place rich in history and culture situated on the west coast of Vancouver Island, B.C. Partly fresh and part salty, Nitinat is one of the few tidal lakes in the world. It offers some of the steadiest thermal winds you can find and from May 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.

Where to Stay:

Campground: Situated right at the kiteboarding beach. It is recommended to prebook your site online as the campsite gets very busy, Basic amenities include running water and outhouses and pay wifi. RV hookups are now available. Camping is $35 per night for 2 people.

Click here for the campground website

What to Bring:

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

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

How to read the weather:
The wind at Nitinat Lake is a 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.

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!