Kiteboarding could take flight in Vancouver after parks board OKs study

Kiteboarding could take flight in Vancouver after parks board OKs study


Kiteboarders are hoping they’ll be able to pursue their passion legally in Vancouver this summer.

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation passed a motion Monday requesting staff look into the feasibility of creating a public area at Spanish Banks for kiteboarders to lawfully launch.

Stephen Codrington of the Squamish Wind Sports Society, which was pushing for access, is eager to work with staff to get a safe area open by this summer.

“I’m hoping this is a pretty quick thing,” Codrington said Tuesday.

“It’s excellent,” he said of the motion being passed.

Park board commissioner Niki Sharma, who submitted the motion for access, was happy with the unanimous support it received.

“Sport gets people moving and keeps them engaged with their community,” she said in an email. “Last night we saw a whole room full of engaged citizens and we were happy to support them.

“We are hoping that staff will be able to implement as soon as possible,” she said. “Hopefully as early as this summer.”

The Squamish society currently operates from a small spit of land in the Howe Sound community.

But many members of the society are from Vancouver and they would like to operate from a designated area in the city, much as is done in other centres such as Hawaii, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Kingston, Ont.

Codrington said summer winds at Spanish Banks are not generally brisk enough for kiteboarding, where users on a type of surfboard use a kite to tow themselves around.

But on those rare occasions when the winds are up, Codrington said kiteboarders would like to be able to legally and safely enjoy their hobby.

He said there would be no cost to taxpayers, except possibly for some signs marking the 50 to 100 metres of beach the kiteboarders would need to take off.

“I would buy them [the signs] myself,” said Codrington.

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