Ottawa Kiting

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Mark shows the perfect form on his 2nd day kitesnowboarding (Feb 2004).

This page provides information to kiting in the Ottawa region. We try to be as brief and precise as possible (all necessary information in 1 page) by providing links whenever possible instead of duplicating information from other sites.

 

What is Kiting?

Kiting is a new group of related sports: kitesurfing (on water), kitesnowboarding / kiteskiing (on snow) and kitelandboarding / buggying (on land) that uses a kite as the main sailing "engine" to propel a "vehicle" (kiteboard on water, snowboard or skis on snow and landboard or buggy on land). Two of the main fun factors of kiting are that it is a 3-D sailing sport (allowing the rider to occasionally "escape" the limitation of the water/snow surface) and it can be done year-round (there aren't many exciting sports that can be done year-round in Ottawa).  More information about those kiting sports can be found at http://www.kitesurfingschool.org

 

History

One of the earliest kiters in Ottawa is Eric Brackenbury.  Eric kiteskied and buggied in Ottawa since the 80's / 90's.  Hung Vu became the first kitesurfer in Ottawa when he started learning kitesurfing at Britannia Bay in October 1998 using Wipika Classic kites and FOne board he bought during a trip to Paris.  Peter Williamson became the second kitesurfer in Ottawa when he came back to Ottawa from Vancouver in 2000.  This trio and several other early supporters have, in one form or another, helped to grow the Ottawa Kiting community to its present day.  

Subject: Re: Magnificent Men and their Sailing Machines
From: an492@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Steven Slaby)
Date: 12 Oct 1999 15:31:12 GMT
Newsgroups: ott.rec.sailing

John W. Bienko (as312@FreeNet.Carleton.CA) writes:

>> The sailing was spectacular this weekend ... great winds and
>> warm temperatures. The anemometer showed wind speeds in the
>> 20-30 k range and the windsurf sailors were enjoying the best
>> of times. I spotted a strange moon shaped kite in the sky
>> that seemed to be moving over the water. I followed the
>> tether line and saw a human on a water ski on the other end.
>> He maneuvered the ski expertly and surfed along the Ontario 
>> shore, being dunked occasionally by a wave or wind change.
>> IT was quite a sight.

Its called a Kitesurfer; Hung is the first person here in Ottawa to take
up the sport.

Its a relatively new sport which really lends itself to low-wind days which
are difficult at best for windsurfing.

For some pictures, you can check out my Ottawa Windsurfing website
(www.magma.ca/~slaby/wind) or Hung's website
(www.netcom.ca/~hungvu/kitesurfing.htm)

Steve.

 

Safety

Kiting, especially kiting in the summer is a dangerous sport to both the kiters and the bystanders (too many people and hard objects nearby), please make sure you have read and understood http://www.kitesurfingschool.org/safety.htm before attempting to get into kiting (there is also an accident statistics table in the same page showing the most common types of accident categories)

Also, read the "Summer Safety" section below regarding the safety issues specific to our local spots in the summer.

 

Discussion Group

Some local riders from left to right: Paul, Steve Slaby, Josh, Claude, Jim (Feb 2004)

There is a very active group of kiters in Ottawa and most of them is on the OttawaKiting group.  More information about the group can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OttawaKiting/.  It's best to subscribe to this group (by sending an email to ottawakiting-subscribe@yahoogroups.com) as there are several links on this page requiring access to the information contained in the group. 

 

Kiting Spots

Kiting is a wonderful 4 season sport for Ottawa.  Depending on the season, suitable kiting spots can vary.

Kitesurfing at Britannia Bay (late summer 2000), Photo by Bill Pratt

Summer Spots

 

All popular summer kiting spots in Ottawa are on the Ottawa River.  Summer season normally starts from May 1 to Nov 1 (6 months season).  Following is the map of the most popular kiting spots in Ottawa (also view http://nsc.ca/wind/planner.asp  and http://www.magma.ca/~slaby/wind/sites.htm for a similar map):

 

Lac des Chenes. Map generated by Ottawa's Interactive Mapping (City of Ottawa)

Britannia Bay Launch Map generated by Ottawa's Interactive Mapping (City of Ottawa)

Shirley Bay Launch Map generated by Ottawa's Interactive Mapping (City of Ottawa)

Constance Bay Area (Click on the picture for a larger map)

Map posted by Peter on the OttawaKiting group

 

For more description of the above spots and others around Ottawa, please view http://www.magma.ca/~slaby/wind/sites.htm.

 

Summer Safety

Most summer spots is pretty small and normally has a launch area just large enough for launching and landing a single kite.  In additions, there are a many other users (windsurfers, beach-goers, sun-bathers, swimmers, etc.) sharing the same area.  Kiting is therefore more dangerous during the summer season and the following precautions should be taken by all to ensure the safety of everyone:

Spring/Fall Spots

 

While some rider can go out in extremely cold water in April,  November and early December (2.5 months - Steve Slaby is one of those riders that I know of ;-), some may want to do kitelandboarding during these periods instead.  Kitelandboarding spots are normally not very big so it's wise to use shorter lines (20m or under)

Winter Spots

 

Most summer spots can be used for winter kiting activities as soon as the water freezes (normally from December 15 to March 31 - roughly 3.5 months season).  In early and late season (mid December and second half of March), please make sure that the ice is at least 10 cm thick before kiting (just dig a hole in the ice and measure it thickness before going out, also take a look at Shirley Bay to see whether there is any fishing hut on the river).

 

Furthermore, One can use any snow covered field for winter kiting activities.  The most popular fields are the Experimental Farm fields near Base Line and Fisher (Steve Slaby have asked for the permission to use them from Agriculture Canada  "as long as there is enough snow on the ground").  Click here for a map of the area (good for W, SW and NE, E wind).

 

Kiting in the winter is somewhat safer than kiting in the summer as there are lots of spaces for launching, landing and there is virtually no bystander to make it as dangerous.

 

Spot Selector Table

 

Wind Direction Kitesurfing Kitesnowboarding/Kiteskiing Kitelandboarding
S Aylmer, "Kite Point", Britannia Aylmer, Britannia Parc Jacques-Cartier
SW Britannia, Aylmer, Petrie Islands Britannia, Aylmer, Experimental Farm Aylmer, Terry Fox Dr.
W Britannia, Aylmer, "Kite Beach" Britannia, Aylmer, Experimental Farm Terry Fox Drive
NW Britannia, Aylmer, Jay St., Constance Bay  Britannia, Aylmer, Constance Bay Britannia, Terry Fox Dr.
N Shirley Bay, Britannia, Jay St., Constance Bay Shirley Bar, Britannia, Constance Bay  
NE Shirley Bay, Parc Jacques-Cartier, Constance Bay, Petrie Islands Shirley Bay, Petrie Islands  
E Shirley Bay, Constance Bay Shirley Bay Parc Jacques-Cartier
SE Constance Bay, Aylmer Constance Bay Parc Jacques-Cartier

 

 

Winter Kiting at Britannia

Part of a photo posted by Peter on the OttawaKiting group

 

Steve tried to jump higher than Jamie's kite at Britannia.

Photo posted by Claude on the OttawaKiting group (Feb 2004)

 

 

 

 

Weather

 

Current Weather Condition

 

Weather Forecast

More weather info can be found at http://nsc.ca/nsc_weather.htm or http://www.magma.ca/~slaby/wind/forecast.htm

 

 

Photos and Videos

Ottawa kiting action photos can be found at the Photos section of the OttawaKiting group http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/OttawaKiting/lst. and videos can be found at the Files section of the group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OttawaKiting/files/

Eric's going fast (Feb 2004)

Claude in mid-air

Photo posted by Claude on the OttawaKiting group (Feb 2004)

Kiting Lesson

You can take kiting lesson year-round with VL Kites http://www.kitesurfingschool.org/ottawaschool.htm.

 

Equipment

Since the kiter population in Ottawa is still very small, there is no specific kite store in Ottawa yet.  Due to popular demand from the students, the kite school VL Kites (292-9818) normally stock a number of kites, boards and accessories such as: lines, bars, pads and straps at a discounted rate for students and friends.  Other windsurfing or wakeboarding shops in Ottawa such as Surfside (726-7873, on Carling) and Rider Village (in Centrum Kanata) also have some kiting equipment. 

You can attempt to sell or buy used kiting equipment by posting them on the OttawaKiting group.

 

Repair

You can repair minor tears on your kite by using sail repair tape (regular and heavy duty sail tapes in variety of colors can be purchased at the Chandlery marine store on Pouline near Richmond, 820-7642).  For more serious tears (more than 3" or at stressful locations), they should be repaired by a professional.

If you have problem with your wetsuit, harness or board straps, Steve Slaby, 225-6834 (Steve is also on the OttawaKiting group), may be able to fix them for you.

 

Links

 


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