Ice is Nice: Snowkiting in Northern Ontario

Guest blog by Darren McChristie.

One of the benefits of living in Thunder Bay is that winter arrives earlier than it does in more southerly locations. This does not always equate to early snow, but it most definitely equates to early ice and, as a snowkiter, I’ve come to learn which lakes freeze first to maximize the kiting season.

Snowkiting is the winter version of kiteboarding—a sport that uses a kite to harness the power of the wind, much in the same manner as sailing. Depending on the ice and snow conditions, snowkiters use skis, a snowboard and, occasionally, skates. In some years, ice forms early, but snow comes late, which amounts to beautiful, smooth ice, perfect for snowkiting with skates. In years when ice and snow come together, skis and snowboards, along with a kite, enable explorations of frozen lakes and secluded bays on Lake Superior. Black Bay, just east of Thunder Bay, is a long and shallow bay that is the first to freeze on Lake Superior—it is a kiting paradise.

As the temperature drops, some people find comfort in planning trips to tropical beaches, but I take comfort in knowing that soon I’ll be snowkiting and exploring frozen shorelines, long-since deserted by paddlers and hikers.

For exciting Snow Adventures, please visit ontariooutoor.com

Darren McChristieGuest blogger Darren McChristie loves winter. He loves the cold, crisp air and how it alerts his senses and makes him feel alive. Living just outside of Thunder Bay, Darren has ample opportunity to enjoy the highlights of winter and, as a photojournalist and publisher of Superior Outdoors magazine, he’s keen to document his pursuits and share them with others in hopes they too will appreciate the experiences of winter in Ontario.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Anita Mac says:

    I see people out snowkiting in Ottawa – loads of people take advantage of the open spaces at the Experimental Farm to get out for a spin.

  2. Graham Ketcheson says:

    I can’t wait until lakes around Kingston including eastern arm of Lake Ontario or Bay of Quinte freeze over for just this reason. I’ve been snowkiting for about 10 years… awesome sport when you can’t get to the hill.

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