Switching gears in the (FL)atlantic

Kitesurfing at Conrad's Beach, Nova Scotia.

Kitesurfing at Conrad's Beach, Nova Scotia.

Summer rolls by and the (Fl)atlantic has few quality bumps far between. We go a little crazy. Our grades get better. We’re never late for work. Some of us become functioning alcoholics. Those lucky enough to score a bump have to compete tooth and nail with the summer surfers.

Don’t we all love summer surfers?

You know how I’m talking about. We’ve all seen them piling five guys into a car, rocking up with surf-techs, wearing ridiculous board shorts on-top of their wetsuits.

And let’s not forget about them in the line-up. (What line-up?) They scratch around, get in our way, bump into each other. Thank God for all the surf schools pumping these morons out. Thank you surf brands. Thank you Hollywood. Good bye etiquette, hello stink eye.

Winter purges the water of all those who didn’t belong there in the first place. In the meantime, I suggest you switch gears.

Something funny happens at 2 p.m. on a hot summer day in Nova Scotia. The wind actually turns on. It can go from dead-calm to 12-14 knots in five minutes. You don’t have to be a good forecaster, or lucky. You just have to be at the beach at 2 p.m. and you will score perfect wind conditions. It’s not rocket appliances…frig (thanks Ricky).

You might have seen the kiteboarders at Conrad’s Beach. We have fun. That’s what this is all about right? Fun? If anyone tells you NS isn’t good for kiteboarding, agree with them. It isn’t good, it’s perfect. To compare, it’s like having a perfect 6-foot, 12-second wave every day in your back yard. Well, almost.

The neat thing about kiting is that crowds don’t matter, age doesn’t matter (oldest kiter in NS is 66), strength doesn’t matter. It reminds me a bit of what lures people to surf. Anybody can show up with all their gear, get out and be on the water for two hours and feel like a rockstar.

There’s a catch. This sh*t ain’t cheap. You need about 1,500 clams to get into kiting. Then you need lessons. (Yes, you definitely need lessons.) And then you have general danger associated with being strapped to a 14m kite. Go and YouTube ‘kite accident’.

Need some motivation? Check out the pics below. You’d be crying if you showed up to the beach today without a kite. None of use are very good. All of us are super-stoked (66-year-old and all).

Getting started:

  • Lessons: MyKiteBeach.ca
  • Gear: Ocean Rodeo is a Canadian kiteboard company that makes arguably the best kites out there.
  • You want a 14m kite if you weigh over 150lbs
  • You want a nice big board. The ocean rodeo mako 150 is ideal.


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