It’s a double birthday bash. Canada is turning 150th and KiteClash…well we’re turning five. While celebrating its fifth year, this summer Canada’s largest kiteboarding event is teaming up with Canada Day action to help celebrate the northern nation’s 150 birthday.
“This year’s event is going to be bigger than ever. Holding KiteClash on Canada Day is taking KiteClash to the next level, introducing the event and kiteboarding to the broader public,” KiteClash founder Steve Tulk says. “We have partnered with the Squamish community to connect KiteClash with Canada Day festivities. We are really excited to be part of the community celebrations and we encourage the public to head out to the spit on the weekend to see what KiteClash is all about.”
The popular four-day competition is hosted in British Columbia at the Squamish Spit, a man-made dike that allows spectators to be an arms length from the action. KiteClash runs through the national holiday, with the Canadian Freestyle Championships and boarder cross kicking off the event on Friday, June 30.
On Canada Day – Saturday, July 1 – the KiteClash World Freestyle competitors hit the water, with free shuttles, operating courtesy of Star Limousine Service, to ensure crowds from the community celebrations can come check out the high-octane competition. All champions will be crowned in downtown Squamish, on the main stage at the Canada Day celebrations before the big day’s fireworks.
KiteClash always puts on a great show, former Canadian Freestyle champion and pro rider Sam Medysky says. Over his past 19 years on the water, Medysky says he’s watched the evolution of the sport. “Canada has some of the best spots in the world for not only kiteboarding but snow kiting as well. Although kiteboarding is still a small community in Canada we have some riders high up through the ranks, “ Medysky says. In 2005, he won his first Canadian nationals at the age of 15. Since then, Medysky lined up six more consecutive national titles. “The freestyle side of kiteboarding belongs to the youth, those riders in the teens and twenties. Freestyle kiteboarding is highly competitive and requires countless hours of training not only on the water but off water as well,” Medysyky says. “I’m proud to say that Canada has several riders rising to the call and pushing the limits of their kiteboarding and kiteboarding in Canada to the next level.”
Sunday, July 2, opens up with the popular Big Air competition and finishes with the boarder cross finals. Monday, July 3, will be a backup day in case the winds don’t cooperate. The day may also hold a strapless freestyle demo.
Every day at the Spit will see spectacular kiteboarding action on the water. Backcountry Brews will be served all afternoon and there will be an awesome DJ cranking out the tunes (family appropriate of course). CORE Kites Canada is backing the event this year, along with local business North Shore Ski and Board. Besides watching professionals from around the world, the event draws out local riders, North Shore Ski and Board owner Vince Allen says. “Squamish Winds are known around the world to be powerful and reliable. The Squamish Spit offers a viewing platform unique to any other location in the world,” he says. “Kiters can literally jump up and over the bleachers to amaze and get the crowd cheering. Truly an event not to be missed.” Also supporting the event will be local businesses and service providers such as Squamish’s own Valhalla Pure Outfitters, RDC Fine Homes, Star Limousine Service and Aerial Kiteboarding School.
Backcountry Brewing will be hosting KiteClash’s main after-party and serving beer at Squamish’s Canada Day Beer Garden and the KiteClash beer tent at the Spit. To add to the excitement, The Joinery – Squamish’s first winebar & eatery – is opening up just in time to sponsor another one of the KiteClash event gatherings.
Overall, this year’s KiteClash will be like none before, Tulk reiterates. He anticipates the event will top last year’s head count of 70 international rides. Tulk also predicts the event will see its largest spectator crowds ever. “It’s going to be a blast.”
Check out what happened last year at KiteClash: