All the info for kite-boarding / kite-surfing, windsurfing & Standup Paddle Boarding (SUP) around Christchurch and Canterbury, New Zealand.

Sumner

View from Sumner looking north up the coast towards New Brighton.

 

Quick Overview of Local Kiteboard & Windsurf Locations. Marker_KiteboardKiteboard Accessability Marker_WindsurfWindsurf Accessability Tide Wind Direction
Estuary Easy Easy Full/Half NE-E-SE
Lyttelton Harbour (Naval Point & Charteris Bay). Difficult Easy sailing -Tricky launch Any NE-E-SE-SW
Brighton Beaches (Sth Shore to Nth Beach) Easy-Low Tide Tricky-High Tide Tricky Any N – NE – E – SE
Waikuku Beach Easy Easy Any NW-N-NE-E-SE-S-SW
Waikuku Estuary Easy Easy Full Any
Ellesmere (Lakeside Domain) Easy Easy No Tide Any
Sumner Tricky Tricky Any NW-N-NE-E-SE
Lake Coleridge (Ryton Bay & The Intake) Ryton-Easy Intake-Difficult Ryton-Easy Intake-Difficult No Tide Any
Lake Clearwater Tricky Easy No Tide Any

Usefull links for weather, tides & wind info :

 Lyttelton wind – LPC Weather station
Wunderground – Weather stations around Canterbury
Metservice – Recreational Marine Forecast
Windguru – Accurate weather forecasts
Tides – Tidal data for Lyttelton & Sumner

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spots: -43.489806, 172.111467


Estuary

(Humphries Dr): Ideal for learning, intermediates & advance. The heart of kite boarding & windsurfing in Christchurch. Great spot to learn when the famous Christchurch Easterly (NE to SE) is working (i.e. summer). The water is waist deep in most places, although there is a deeper channel on the Sumner side. The wind here tends to be a few knots stronger than at the beach. Only has water 2 hours before and 3 hours after high tide (but don’t let that stop you).
Marker_WindsurfWind directions:  All wind directions
Tide: 3 to 4 hours each tide.
Windsurfers beware – of kiters, know who has right of way . Keep clear of people learning , especially off kite point .
It can get crowded, know who has right of way.
Marker_KiteboardWind directions:  North East to South East.
Tide: 5 to 6 hours each tide.
Kiters beware -grass launch, be careful of the slippery ramp to get to the water. If you’re still learning, walk up wind to the point for safe down winders.

Dangers:
STAY away from the road , Humphreys drive
Avoid show ponying in front of car park –bones have been broken.
Booties are advisable , especially at car park end – broken glass , shells etc.
It can get crowded, know who has right of way.

-Live wind data – Lyttelton wind      Wunderground.
– Up to date forecast –  Metservice     Windguru
– Tide details –  Tides –

 

Estuary

 
 

Lyttelton Harbour & Charteris Bay

Lyttelton Harbour Great bump & jump windsurfing with outgoing tide. The wind is normally 4-5 knots stronger than the Estuary. Intermediates (waterstarting ) to advanced sailing. Launch from the windsurf ramp next to Public Boat Ramp , along from Naval Point Yacht Club .
Charteris Bay Beginners to Advanced windsurfers , go round to Charteris Bay. Flatter

Marker_Windsurf Wind directions:  North East to South East. ( Southerly if you are desperate.)
Tide: Any tide.

Lyttelton harbour

 


Sumner

Ideal for Intermediates to Advanced. Very busy beach with the public ,BE CONSIDERATE ON & OFF THE WATER . It works in Northerly , Easterlies (NE to SE) and North Westerlies. NE to SE (onshore) & incoming tide – Okay for beginners , great for intermediates & advanced kiters & windsurfers. Wind has to be 15knts plus for maximum fun. North West – Experienced only (cross offshore) . Can get good down the line wave riding. Strong tidal current due to the Estuary which can either help or hinder depending on the wind direction (ie in a North East you want the tide coming out against the wind). You can also head around to South Shore (Rocking Horse Rd) and launch from the Brighton side.

DangersDON’T SAIL BETWEEN THE SURF  LIFESAVING FLAGS.
Outgoing tide can suck you very quickly.
Be very aware of other beach & water users
.

Marker_WindsurfWind directions:  North West, Northerly, North East to South East.
Tide: 5 to 6 hours each tide. (low tides most fun & safest).
Marker_KiteboardWind directions:  North West, Northerly, North East to South East.
Tide: 5 to 6 hours each tide. (low tides most fun & safest).
Kiters beware – NW is gusty , can gust up very quickly so always leave yourself plenty of room downwind , can also drop off very quickly – don’t go miles off shore !

Sumner

 

Brighton Beaches

Good for intermediate kiters in tidal flats and great for the more experienced when there is some swell. Good windsurfing , especially if wind is East to South East . If the wind is off to the North try North Brighton.
Dangers: Be careful of swimmers and DON”T SAIL BETWEEN THE SURF  LIFESAVING FLAGS.
Marker_WindsurfWind directions:  North to South Easterlies and Northerlies.
Tide: Any tide.
Marker_KiteboardWind directions:   North to South Easterlies and Northerlies.
Tide: Any tide but the beach is very narrow at high tide. Launching & landing kites is difficult at high tide.
KITERS BEWARE –  Please don’t launch kites directly in front of Surf clubs or leave kite line all over the beach.
– Either use the car park to the North or walk along the beach a bit.
– Brighton is an extremely popular beach for people to walk on so for the sake of continued access we need to be mindful of how we use the beach.

Brighton Beaches


Northern Beaches – Pegasus/Waikuku

Waikuku Beach & estuary – Worth checking for all kiteboarders & windsurfing wave junkies.  Ideal for Intermediates to Advanced .

How to get there – Turn off State Highway 1 to Waikuku Beach. Go Northern end of the settlement – Estuary is right there, beach is walking access.
Estuary works in all wind directions. Beware of debris in the water & the odd “rock bar”.
Best wave riding is up by the river mouth for waves & the estuary.

 Marker_WindsurfBest conditions

Estuary
 Tidal , good 1 1/2 hr either side of Hi Tide
All winds & strengths.
Beach
 Easy launch when surf is small , but can get tricky with bigger surf .Has strong currents when the wind is up or surf is running. But waves by the river mouth can be worth the trip.
Westerly sucks…. dead off shore

Wind directions:
NW – cross off,
Northerly– side shore,
Easterly- onshore ,
Southerly- sideshore

Tide:
Good with incoming tide,  Can be heavy shore break on outgoing tide.
Hi tide can produce wind shadow & strong side shore current.

Marker_KiteboardWaikuku Estuary – All winds & strengths.
Kiters Beware – Don’t kite 2 hours either side of Low tide due to bird life….
Beach – Easy launch when surf is small , but can get tricky with bigger surf .Has strong currents when the wind is up or surf is running. But waves by the estuary mouth can be worth the trip.
Westerly sucks…. dead off shore

Wind directions:

N W – cross off,
Northerly– side shore,
Easterly- onshore ,
Southerly- sideshore
Dangers WESTERLY – DEAD OFFSHORE – 
– Any westerly wind (nw,w,sw) can strengthen rapidly or die just as quick, be aware of the conditions, & never kite alone

Tide:
Good with incoming tide,  Can be heavy shore break on outgoing tide.
Hi tide can produce wind shadow & strong side shore current.

– Live wind data –      Wunderground.
– Up to date forecast –  Metservice     Windguru
– Tide details –  Tides –

 
 

Northern Beaches


Northern Beaches

Woodend, Waimak Bar, Pegasus, Ashworths 

Northerly– side shore, Easterly- onshore, Southerly- sideshore
Usually in Easterly (NE to SE) wind. Well known by wind surfers but seldom used by kiteboarders, the beaches north of Christchurch offer some interesting wave riding opportunities.

Northern Beaches


Lake Ellemere

Best spot for windsurfing & kiting is Lakeside Domain, Timber Yard Point.
To get there go to Leeston ,then follow signs posted to Lakeside domain.

 Ideal for Intermediates to Advanced. Good for beginners if accompanied by more experienced sailors/kiters.
Great for Flat water freeride / freestyle / speed .
Marker_WindsurfWind directions:  All wind directions, best in Southerly or North to North East for beginners.
Tide:  No tide – Water is shallow, can be waist deep long way out.
Marker_KiteboardWind directions:  All wind directions, best in Southerly or North to North East for beginners.
Tide:  No tide – Waist deep in most places you’d kiteboard.
Kiters beware – Hidden posts & sticks all along edge of lake , so don’t show pony close too the shore.
– Stay up wind of the islands for safety if you’re worried about staying upwind.
DANGERS – Big lake, kites have been lost here. Go with mates , don’t go solo , it is isolated.

-Live wind data – Lyttelton wind      Wunderground.
– Up to date forecast –  Metservice     Windguru
– Tide details –  Tides –

 

Lake Ellesmere

 
  

Lake Clearwater

Lake Clearwater – How to get there- Go south out of Christchurch towards Ashburton. Turn off at Rakaia (40min), follow sign posts to Mt Somers (50 min) , then follow signs to Lake Clearwater (20 mins). ( last 10 Kms is gravel road) simple….
Windsurfing –
Suitable for all levels – Great for learning when light, also amazing for high wind junkies. Great for speed sailing,slalom blasting , freestyle & hi-wind bump & jump
Kiting –
Best for intermediate to advanced kiters. Launching is tricky & conditions can get extreme very rapidly.

What to take to Lake Clearwater –
WATER – All your own water, lake is fresh water, but take your own drinking water…(beer etc)) – Nearest shop is 20 mins away..
TOYS – hi-wind gear, light wind gear / fishing rod+ License( lake has good stocks of trout ) /mountain bike, lots of good terrain / tramping boots / boat, Lake camp is good for wake boarding,waterskiing etc / plus any other out door toy.
CLOTHING – Shorts , t-shirts & bikinis Plus polar wear. Can be nice & warm , ALSO can be very damn cold. Has snowed many times in mid summer, be prepared………….
What not to do – 
Lake Clearwater is a wild life reserve – READ the Signs
Dogs – no dogs allowed !!!!!!!  Lake Rules……….
– No power boats on Lake Clearwater
– No kiting or sailing before 10am, this is fishing time……..
– Keep off the island And stay away from the roped off areas.
– Launch kites & windsurfers by the boat ramp, Stay away from the trees as this is a nesting ground.
Marker_WindsurfWind directions:  All wind directions.
North Westerly – Best hi wind conditions. Can be gusty and wind can easily get up to 35knts … often 50Knts + in summer. Nw can build very rapidly, always be aware of conditions.
Easterlies – Great flat water sailing at southern end of lake. Easterly can be very smooth, often in the 20 to 3oknt range.
Southerly – Similar to easterlies.
Westerly – Is gusty & offshore at camp site.
Northerly – Gusty, also gives some of the best jumping conditions.

Tide:  No tide – fresh water, lake levels can vary over summer, lake is often frozen in winter.

Marker_Kiteboard

Wind directions:  All wind directions.
North Westerly – Best hi wind conditions. Can be gusty and wind can easily get up to 35knts +… often 50Knts + in summer. Nw can build very rapidly, always be aware of conditions.
Easterlies – Great flat water sailing at southern end of lake. Easterly can be very smooth, often in the 20 to 3oknt range.
Southerly – Similar to easterlies.
Westerly – Is gusty & offshore at camp site. NOT suitable for Kiteboarding
Northerly – Gusty, can produce great speed kiting conditions on northern bank.

Tide:  No tide – fresh water, lake levels can vary over summer, lake is often frozen in winter

DANGERS
 –  The wind can change in an instance. It gets very windy here , very big gusts can happen unexpectedly . experience is required. Go with mates , don’t go solo , it is isolated.
– Lake is surrounded by matagouri  (thorn bushes), many a kite has been dealt to by these pricks.

KITERS BEWARE  – Stay away from the island,
(it is the Bermuda Triangle of islands)- It is a nature reserve & does strange things with the wind  

– Up to date forecast –  Metservice     Windguru
– Tide details –  Tides –

 

 

Lake Clearwater