Kiteboarding at Expression Session Winnipeg, Manitoba - Saturday Downwinder
Every year Boost, our good kiteboard friends from Winnipeg, Manitoba, put on an event called the Expression Session in the fall. This has been a staple in the Winnipeg kite community over the last 5-10 years and always delivers a good time. This year shaped up to be the same with kiteable winds in the forecasts. Shred Kiteboarding went back to its old stomping grounds to enjoy this classic kiteboarding event in Manitoba and fly our RRD Kiteboarding kites, boards and harnesses in Winnipeg.
While Friday evening was reserved for visiting family, Saturday and Sunday would be dedicated to kiteboarding. The wind forecast seemed suggested a great day to kiteboard in Manitoba. The wind came from the east meaning that kite spots on the western shores of Lake Winnipeg (Gimli, Winnipeg Beach, Husavik, Willow Island) would have good kiteboarding conditions.
The day started with kiters arriving at Winnipeg Beach to leave vehicles for a 15 km downwinder from Gimli to Winnipeg Beach. Once in Gimli, kites could be found strewn across the beach for a few hundred metres as 30+ kites and lines were being set up. Kiters from Regina, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, the Interlake region and anywhere else in Manitoba (and even one kiteboarder from Calgary, Alberta...that's me) were in attendance. Kites ranged from 11-17 m with the larger kites being best for the downwinder. I pesonally rode the RRD Kiteboarding Obsession 12 m, with the RRD Global V8 5-line bar, RRD Poison 136 cm kiteboard and the Shield Carbon harness. The setup was nice and confortable for the downwinder allowing for adequate power and some freestyle/wakestyle tricks here and there when the wind allowed it.
There is a moment near the start of the downwinder where we were concerned that a drop of a few knots might cause 30+ kiters to be stuck on the water/shores across the 15 km planned downwinder. Luckily the wind stayed relatively steady with all kiters making it to Winnipeg Beach intact. A few kites were a bit wet but every one was accounted for. At the end of the downwinder riders enjoyed the slightly stronger winds near the Winnipeg Beach Harbour.
Following a great day of kiting, the group headed to Selkirk for a party at Mark's house. A huge bonfire and good times were had all around.
Tomorrow (Sunday) looks like another kiteable day! Looking at 2 for 2 this weekend in Manitoba!
(Picture credit D. Koenig)