IKO Kiteboarding Lessons Woodbine Beach Ashbridges Bay, Toronto
WOODBINE BEACH/ASHBRIDGES BAY is another favorite location for advanced kiteboarders and foilboarders in downtown Toronto, Ontario. Located in Toronto’s East end, Woodbine Beach offers kitesurfing waves, waves, waves!
Surfing is also popular at this spot, though surfers tend to stay closer to the rocks on the westside of the beach. Depending on the power of the wind, the waves can get very big and gnarly.
Woodbine Beach is massively spacious, making this spot appear to be perfect for beginners. And, this is true for land-based IKO Level 1 lessons about theory, safety and your first flight with a trainer kite.
Kiteboarding at Woodbine Beach is not as easy – many challenges must be clearly recognized, and the margin for error is, in some cases, non-negotiable. On summer days, Woodbine Beach is VERY popular with tons of sunbathers – seniors, parents and children. Only very experienced kiteboarders should be flying power kites on this beach when it is full of people.
On busy summer days this is no place for beginner mistakes: back-stalling, out of control, sweeping, crashing power kites. One negative incident – an official report or video shared on social media – could have kitesurfing at Woodbine Beach banned for all of us.
How to use the Billy Bishop Toronto Island Airport real-time wind report to assess kiteboarding at Woodbine Beach/Ashbridges Bay.
The Billy Bishop Island Airport real-time wind report is here:
Bookmark this link, and refer to it for all daily downtown Toronto kiteboarding sessions.
The real-time wind report looks like this.
And if we overlay that real-time wind report on a Google Map of Woodbine Beach, we get the following information.
One of the Billy Bishop Toronto Island Airport runways is (more or less) the same angle/direction as Woodbine Beach. From that we can easily determine the real-time wind direction and speed at Woodbine Beach! Massive!
The Challenges of Kiteboarding at Woodbine Beach/Ashbridges Bay:
- This launch spot is very popular with everyone – teenagers, seniors, parents, children. Power kite control is essential at all times! Don’t crash your kite on anyone!
- Big waves can break on the shore making entry and exit a challenge.
- The lake is immediately very deep.
- There are buoys in the water, lifeguard stations, and metal poles near the shoreline. These are various objects around which a tangled kite presents an immediate danger for the kiter and everyone on the beach.
- The westend of Woodbine beach is lined with a wall of massive boulders. With an East wind, any rider that fails, for any reason, to exit using the beach will end up getting pulled into the boulders. The significance of this danger can not be understated. There is one not-very-good exit (see map). If you get stuck in this situation, you need to self-rescue, then maybe abandon your kite and board while being very careful climbing the rocks. Do yourself a favor and walk around the boulders, look at the emergency exit for yourself.
- Being one of the favourite kite spots of downtown Toronto, when the wind is blowing there can be a lot of kiteboarders on the beach, on the water, and up in the air!
A significant degree of kiteboarding proficiency is required – staying upwind is essential to a successful session.
Once a student has achieved the proficiency required, the accessible opportunity of Woodbine Beach will multiply the number of kite sessions per season, and therefore the speed of progression as well. However, given the advanced challenges listed above Woodbine Beach is for students who have already completed levels 1 & 2 and are now receiving IKO level 3 instruction.
The drive to Woodbine Beach from anywhere in the Toronto downtown core takes from 5 to 25 minutes, depending on traffic.
Ideal wind directions: E, SE