BY JOHN DONOVAN (Originally posted on the OttawaKiting Forum)
I have spent the past month in Sauble Beach and for those who have not made the trip it is definitely worth the 7-8 hour drive. When conditions are on it is the best place in Ontario to kiteboard. 10 minutes north of Sauble is the community of Oliphant and monday and tuesday this week offered up 12-20knots. It was amazing! Shallow, flat water perfect for learning or for those looking to do tricks with sandy beaches, no need for footware. The beaches are large with plenty of room for launching/landing. Most days that offered wind there were about 10-15 riders on each beach, there are 2 main beaches in Oli. If you are looking for waves Sauble Beach is the place to go. 10kms of white sandy beach with waves that can sometimes be head high.
This is my 3rd year kiteboarding and I feel this is the year everything is starting to come together for me on the water. I am riding up wind, transitioning nicely and tuning my gear to suit personal preference. It has been awesome. I also finally experienced riding a wave. I may or may not learn to do tricks, I am not sure if I want to put my body through the learning curve of tricks, but riding waves is what motivated me to start kiteboarding in the first place and this summer it happened. It was a total accident at first. I had just arrived in Sauble and the winds were gusty, weather was cloudy with drizzle and the water was extremely choppy but there were guys out riding so I rigged up. The chop was difficult to manage at first and I kept getting knocked off my board. I picked up some momentum and started to ride downwind a couple of kms avoiding the waves and chop by riding the troughs as best I could. I avoided one wave that definitely would have taken me out and found myself on a second head high wave. There was no time to bail so I depowered the kite and rode it out. It was incredible! The whole experience lasted just seconds but I have never experienced that sort of exhileration before. It has been a good summer.
If you are looking to take a kite vacation but stay fairly close to home I highly recommend Oliphant/Sauble Beach.