Home Vancouver’s Sea to Sky Region Town and Region of Squamish Squamish’s KiteClash Kiteboarding Championships

Squamish’s KiteClash Kiteboarding Championships

Kite Clash Kiteboarding Competition

KiteClash is a kiteboarding competition that takes place in either July or August at Squamish Spit which is about an hour’s drive from Vancouver.

If you enjoy kiteboarding, or at least like to watch it, then you’ll love KiteClash!


COMPETITION CANCELLED FOR 2020

Note: Due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, KiteClash won’t be taking place this year. We look forward to it happening again in 2021! Until then, stay healthy. Stay safe!

For a list of other events impacted by the virus, click COVID-19 and Vancouver Event Cancellations.


KiteClash Kiteboard Competition

KiteClash is a full-weekend event that includes the Canadian Freestyle Championships, Open International Freestyle Competition, Kitercross and Big Air Challenge.

At the event expect to see beautiful views of the Sea to Sky region, colourful kiteboard sails, and watersport athletes flying across the water and high into the air.

KiteClash is the country’s biggest and most important competition of its kind and attracts top kiteboarders from around the world.

The dates for KiteClash are dependent on tidal conditions and they consequently vary each year. The event usually happens on a weekend in either July or August, and in 2020 it was going to run from the Thursday to Sunday of August 27th to 30th. 2021 dates are to be determined.

Kiteboarder and Stawamus Chief
A Kiteboarder and the Stawamus Chief

About KiteClash

KiteClash is the Canadian Freestyle Kiteboarding Championships. It’s a big event, but, surprisingly, not a huge one. In our opinion, it’s actually one of the Lower Mainland’s least well-known yet most spectacular events to watch.

The kiteboarding competition attracts over 70 top athletes and around 1000 spectators. The event is free for spectators, full of action, at a stunning location and highly recommended!

Kiteboarding is the sport where athletes stand on a board, hold onto a giant parachute-like kite and get pulled by the wind. Expert kiteboarders travel across the water at incredible speeds and can soar high into the air when they want to fly.

Event Venue

KiteClash takes place at Squamish Spit which is a strip of land 15-minutes southwest of the town of Squamish which is about an hour’s drive from Vancouver up the Sea to Sky Highway.

Squamish Spit is one of Canada’s top venues for kiteboarding, which makes this an especially impressive event.

Directions to Squamish Spit

Heading up from Vancouver, from the Sea to Sky Highway, turn left onto Cleveland Avenue towards downtown Squamish. Then turn right onto Bailey Street (and keep right). After a kilometre or so Bailey becomes Government Road.

Continue on Government Road until Spit Road and then turn right and then left. At the end of Spit Road, which can also be called Squamish River Dyke Road in parts, is Squamish Spit.

From the McDonald’s restaurant at 38451 Cleveland Avenue (at the corner of Cleveland and the highway), Squamish Spit is about 7 km or a 15-minute drive away.

Kite Clash Spectators
Spectators at Squamish Spit

KiteClash

In 2020 KiteClash was scheduled to take place from August 27th until August 30th. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, however, it was cancelled.

Below was the schedule of events in 2019. The 2021 schedule will likely be similar. (Note: Times and other details are subject to change and are weather and wind dependent.)

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Amateur and Junior Events

  • Competition categories include Men’s and Women’s.

Friday, August 23rd, 2019

7th Annual Canadian Freestyle Championships

  • Competition categories include Men’s, Women’s, Masters’ (ages 35+) and Juniors (ages 17 and under). 11:30 am is the approximate start time.

Twin Tip Slalom Cross (Preliminary Eliminations)

  • Open Men’s and Open Women’s categories. 3:00 pm is the approximate start time.

Saturday, August 24th, 2019

Open International Freestyle

  • Categories include Men’s, Women’s and Juniors’ (ages 17 and under). 11:30 am is the approximate start time.

Big Airstyle Competition

  • Categories include Men’s and Women’s. 3:00 pm is the approximate start time (weather and wind conditions permitting).

Sunday, August 25th, 2019

Big Airstyle Competition (Finals)

  • Categories include Men’s and Women’s. 11:30 am is the approximate start time.

Twin Tip Slalom Cross Finals

  • Open Men’s and Open Women’s categories. 3:00 pm is the approximate start time.

Parking and Shuttle Service

Squamish Spit is not a big place and 1000 people is a lot for the area. Consequently, to help minimize congestion, a shuttle service is provided to and from the venue.

The Backcountry shuttle usually runs between Backcountry Brewing (at 405-1201 Commercial Way) and Squamish Spit all day every half hour from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Kiteboarding participants and spectators are both encouraged to park at Backcountry Brewing and use this service. Kiteboarding equipment is permitted on board. (Note: to get to Backcountry Brewing, turn off the highway at Commercial Way instead of at Cleveland.)

In previous years a second shuttle service was the Vista Vehicle which did hitch-hike-style pick-ups every 15 minutes or so along Spit Road on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 10:00 am and 7:00 pm. Users of this service were asked to park their vehicles north of the final yellow gate. 2021 details are to be confirmed.

KiteClash Video

To give you an idea of what to expect at KiteClash check out this video which was filmed at the event a few years ago. As you’ll see, the kiteboarders can fly pretty impressively high!

Tips and Advice

Below are some tips, suggestions and extra information to help you make the most out of your KiteClash experience.

TIP #1: Spit Road is a gravel road. Don’t wash your car just before going to KiteClash if planning to drive close to the venue.

TIP #2: Use the shuttle service from Backyard Brewing if you can – it’ll save you getting lots of dust on your vehicle from the dirt road at Squamish Spit. It will also be easier to find parking.

TIP #3: If staying until the very end, have patience! Hundreds of other people will be lining up for the shuttle bus along with you!

TIP #4: If you don’t want to rely on the shuttle service, and if you have bikes that you can strap onto your vehicle, consider driving to Spit Road, parking there, and, instead of waiting for the Vista Vehicle to pick you up (assuming it’s being offered in 2020), ride your bike to the venue. It’s not too far and it’s flat all the way.

TIP #5: If you like trains, consider dropping by the West Coast Railway Heritage Park. It’s located at 39645 Government Road which is just a 10-minute or 5-km drive from Squamish Spit. You’ll pass it on your right along the way.

TIP #6: Especially if it’s a hot sunny day, don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses and a water bottle. You’ll probably also want a hat, although not one that’ll likely blow away in the wind.

TIP #7: Don’t forget to take your camera, especially if you have friends who’ll be competing. Spectators are right by the action, so photo shots and video results can be excellent.

TIP #8: Food is available for purchase at the venue, as are “adult” beverages. If you look under 30 years of age, don’t forget to take ID.

TIP #9: There are interesting places to visit between Vancouver and Squamish including waterfalls, a mining museum and a gondola. Click Sea to Sky Region for ideas on where to stop and what to do while in the area. One of our favourite places is the Britannia Mine Museum which, as of 2019, has a fantastic new BOOM! exhibit.

KiteClash Sponsors

KiteClash is made possible by the support of a number of sponsors including Solterra and CORE. Vancouver’s Best Places is also proud to be a sponsor of the event.

Solterra is the competition’s biggest sponsor and it’s a Vancouver-based developer. The other main sponsor is CORE which is a sporting goods company specializing in kites and boards.

KiteClash Sponsors Banner

Other Information

See the KiteClash Facebook page or KiteClash website for more information on the event.

Other events you might be interested in include the following:

For a list of other events throughout the Lower Mainland, check out our July Calendar of Events or Festivals & Events Calendar.