Squamish Wind Sports Society – How they achieve a safe kiteboarding location
The Squamish Spit is one of the most famous kiteboarding spots in the world due to its beautiful location nestled in the mountains and its consistent summer seasonal wind. With kiteboarding’s growing popularity and the discovery of Squamish, riders at the spot has increased significantly.
The Spit is right next to a protected estuary, to safeguard the habitat, local government implemented an organization, run by kiteboarders to keep the spot safe for riders and wildlife.
The Squamish Wind Sports Society (SWS), a non-profit society was set up in 1988, to provide safe access to the Squamish River training dyke for recreational windsurfers. Today the spot has developed into one of the most famous kiteboarding spots in the UK.
From May to September, the SWS employs up to three employees to run a Jet Ski rescue service and maintain the mats and porta potties.
Squamish windsports Society Membership fee.
- Single Membership – $165
- Family Membership – $275
- Student Membership – $82 (valid student ID card)
If you are only visiting, a day pass is $20.
Why do you have to pay SWS a fee:
Felt mat rigging areas (the Spit is covered in stones, without the mats you would be looking at many more leading edge repairs!)
Retrieval services by trained staff on Sea-Doos (everyone has been rescued, even the pro’s. At the end of the day, the wind can disappear.)
- Compressed air for quick kite inflation
- Clinics presented by pro-riders
- Gear demo days from various brands
- Toilets & Change rooms
- Orientation, Assistance & First Aid from on-duty staff
Follow a few rules to keep kiteboarding safe
Squamish Windsports Society require all members to follow a few rules. This ensures a safe kiting environment for everyone at the Spit.
If you need to come in for a quick break, land your kite out of the active are, otherwise it will be deflated. There are signs to show you the different areas.
Windsurfers have priority over kites on the beach. Windsurfers got there first so give them the respect they deserve.
Also have respect for your fellow kiters and don’t rig your lines over someone else’s. If everyone wraps their lines when they are not using their kite, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Make sure that your gear is weighted down with sandbags. At 30 knots your kite isn’t going to stay where it is without a little help.
Do not sail in the estuary, which is the grass, marshland to the left of the Spit. It is full of wildlife, including endangered birds. Interrupting their natural habitat could mean a permanent ban for wind sports at the Spit. If you head towards this area and can’t get back out, self-rescue and wait for the retrieval service.
Get your kite launched and landed from a friend or SWS staff member. There will be many spectators along the Spit and although we encourage interest in the sport, no one wants a damaged kite, from an incorrect launch.
Ensure that you know how to properly self-rescue so that staff can safely retrieve you. If you don’t you may be asked to take a lesson to learn this important safety feature.
Road Access and Parking
The dyke road that leads to the Spit is an old logging road, no one wants a chip in their windscreen or a cloud of dust that makes the road disappear. Drive carefully and at a sensible speed, follow the speed signs.
Parking is allowed along the dyke road If you have a lot of gear you can drop it off by the SWS sea can but be quick, it’s only a five-minute unloading limit. Please park at an angle along the dyke road, to allow room for everyone.
Sea To Sky Kiteboarding
Sea To Sky Kiteboarding works in partnership with Squamish Windsports Society to ensure lessons are of the highest quality and your safety is our top priority. We want you to be able to launch and land safely from the Spit so you can keep coming back, once you are a competent rider. We teach you this as well as well as how to ride once you are out in the bay.
Visit the SWS website for more information Squamish Windsports Society