KiteClash is a kiteboarding competition that takes place at Squamish Spit which is about an hour’s drive from Vancouver. In 2018 it was on July 6-8.
If you enjoy kiteboarding, or at least like to watch it, then you’ll love KiteClash!
KiteClash Kiteboard Competition
KiteClash is a full-weekend event that includes the Canadian Freestyle Championships, Open International Freestyle Competition 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.
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.
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.
KiteClash in 2018
The last couple of years KiteClash has taken place in late August. In 2018, however, it was on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of July 6th to 8th, so the weekend after the Canada Day Weekend.
The Canadian Freestyle Championships happened on the Friday, the Open International Freestyle and Kite Cross competitions were on the Saturday, and the Big Air Challenge finals were on the Sunday.
At the Canadian Freestyle Championships, which takes place on the first day, male, female, and junior champions are crowned.
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 runs between Backcountry Brewing (at 405-1201 Commercial Way) and Squamish Spit all day every half hour on the Friday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. The shuttle also runs on the Saturday, but only once every hour instead of every 30 minutes.
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.)
A second shuttle service is the Vista Vehicle which does 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 are asked to park their vehicles north of the final yellow gate.
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.
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, 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.
See the KiteClash Facebook page for more information on the event.
Other events you might be interested in include the following:
- Metro Vancouver Canada Day Events (which take place the weekend before).
- Squamish Farmers Market – a weekly market in downtown Squamish on Saturdays.
- Squamish Wind Festival – an arts festival at the end of July.
- Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival – a Lumber Jack-themed community event on the first weekend in August.
- Carnaval del Sol – a large Latin Festival on the second weekend in July in Vancouver.