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You can tack
and jibe all over the island, gliding on tranquil freshwater lakes
or jumping pounding breakers along the coast. Nitinat Lake will
satisfy speed freaks, while novices can ride onshore winds in Cadboro
Bay. Wherever you choose to boardsail, picturesque surroundings
will provide the perfect setting for a memorable day in the sun.
aims for the cobble beach below Dallas Road in Victoria
shorelines and good weather allow windsurfers to take advantage
of all wind directions.
Try Cadboro Bay Beach, a prime location for intermediate
shortboarders, or Willows Beach in Oak
Bay if you enjoy the ocean breeze - a couple of hard upwind
tacks will bring you to Cattle Point.
sailors can launch at the bottom of Cook Street near downtown
Victoria - hazards here include
strong winds, tidal currents and floating logs. From Dallas Road,
a walkway drops down to an open cobble beach with many driftwood
logs everywhere - a popular site for sailboarding.
offers good sailing for beginners, and Elk
Lake, located about twenty minutes north of Victoria on Highway
17, is also a popular windsurfing destination for beginners.
Lake also provides a takeoff point for excellent windsurfing.
find a stiff breeze offshore at Pipers Lagoon Regional Park
Regional Park in Comox
is one of the best windsurfing locations on the central coast. A
long neck of sand curves out into Comox Harbour, where a strong
wind rises most afternoons as winds funnel off the Strait of Georgia
and up the flanks of Forbidden Plateau. To find the park, head south
of Comox on Comox Road, then turn left on Pritchard Road and right
on Balmoral to Lazo Road, beyond which Balmoral becomes Hawkins
Road and leads out to the spit.
You'll also find good windsurfing in the protected waters of Deep
Bay, beside Highway 19, directly west of the south end of Denman
of the finest windsurfing
in North America
on Highway 14 is Jordan River,
where surfers ride the swells of the Pacific Ocean year-round.
Stiff winds funnel through the Alberni Inlet and make China Creek
Park a hot place to be for serious windsurfers. The only problem
is the numerous boaters who also flock to the park in fishing season
Because of its wide expanse and western exposure, Long
Beach in Pacific Rim National Park
is the beach of choice for freewheeling, Maui-style windsurfing
when the ocean gets riled.
In Tofino you'll find a
small but dedicated group of aficionados who live here year-round,
while another coterie safaris over as often as possible, particularly
in winter months when storm season produces the best peeling surf.
The ocean temperature here hovers at a constant and chilly 6 to
7 Degrees Celcius year round. It hardly matters what month it is:
it's the waves that count. Tofino does boast the highest annual
mean temperature in Canada (coincidentally, the same as the water
temperature), which will help remove some of the sting if you think
about it hard enough while you're paddling out to catch one more
Some of the
finest windsurfing in North America draws devotees to Nitinat
Lake from around the globe. You have to be dedicated to make
the long journey to the west side of Vancouver Island, and you have
to be good to handle the constant thermal winds that sweep across
the lake at speeds of up to 50 kph. Don't wait until you get to
the lake to begin building upper-body strength. You're going to
need all the buff you can bring with you.
flock to long and blustery Nimpkish Lake just south of Port
McNeill. From spring through fall reliable "thermals" create
winds of up to 30 knots during the day.