When thinking about dreamy kiteboarding destinations, Canada is more than likely not the first place that comes to mind. Perhaps this is why I was so surprised by Vinny’s emphatic, over-excited hand gestures about the potential and possibilities of photographing the Cabrinha team kiteboarding Prince Edward Island (PEI). I’ve crossed paths with Vincent Bergeron in far-flung places, but now, sitting across from me in a tiny pizza shack near the island’s provincial airport, the conversation is both familiar and comfortable as we quick-fire back and forth in French while presiding over the quintessential northeastern Canadian meal, poutine (French fries drowned in gravy and cheese) and the classic East Coast hot chicken sandwich (shredded chicken sandwiched between two buttered up slices of white bread, smothered with gravy and green peas). The Montreal-based photographer arrived two days early to scout some spots; straight off the plane, and despite his jet-lag, Vinny is frantically scrolling through satellite images on his phone, zooming in on every corner of the island. While he’s never shot kiteboarding on this island, he’s insistent about how good the lighting on Prince Edward Island is and has already drummed up a huge list of shooting locations, most of which I had never thought about, giving them makeshift names based on his interpretation of geography and photographic potential.
It has always been a dream of mine to bring a group of professional riders along with pro-caliber photographers to explore my home island. Having traveled extensively, I’ve always tried to explain PEI’s potential to other kiteboarders, yet I know that no matter what I say, the highly underrated wind and beaches of Prince Edward Island just don’t register. Tucked in the eastern armpit of Quebec’s land mass, PEI is cradled within the Maritime provinces and is often overshadowed by the kiteboarding popularity of the better known Magdalen Islands. PEI’s crescent shape is home to endless craggy bays and over 600 hundred miles of coastline, mostly varying from sandy beaches and dunes to large, red clay cliffs. With countless untouched spots and downwind opportunities, it’s possible to find a place to kite in every wind direction. Oftentimes choosing between flat water or waves, shallow or deep, it’s this endless exploration that makes this island special and unique. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have grown up kiteboarding on Prince Edward Island and from early on in my kitesurfing career, I knew this spot had tons of potential. Now as a member of the Cabrinha International Team, I finally had the right group of riders and photographers to showcase the island’s worth to the kiteboarding world.