IKO Kiteboarding Lessons Hanlan’s Point, Toronto Islands
Hanlan’s Point….15 minutes away, on a ferry or watertaxi ride, this spot is incredible, feeling like a distant land, and offering a beautiful background city skyline glowing against the sunset kite sessions.
*** July 3th Covid Update ***
Hanlan’s Point is open again. Here are a few critical details to consider if you are planning a kite trip to the island.
- Ferries must be booked in advance, both ways.
- Last returning Hanlan’s Ferry is 4:15pm.
- From Mon-Thurs, water taxis are operating until 10pm. From Fri-Sun until 11pm.
- The beach is kinda gnarly with lots of sticks.
- The beach had tons of sunbathers – that’s okay.
- On this evening, 25 boats anchored not far from the beach – making this an advanced rider spot!
- No flooding!
*** End of update ***
In recent years island flooding has reduced the size of the beach, making launching and landing more challenging. But, the flooding has also created butter-smooth glass flats which are a real joy to kite through. Kiting on the glass flats is not, however, for beginners – see the videos below.
The Challenges of Kiteboarding at Hanlan’s Point:
- Lake Ontario gets deep fast.
- A NW wind tends to be very gusty.
- On a NW wind, if for any reason you miss landing at the southend of the beach (point of no return) you will either come in on rocks and trees OR a 911 call to police marine services will be required to pick you up.
- In recent years, Hanlan’s Point is flooded in the early spring, and so ferries will only go to Center Island, and as a result bicycles are required to make the trip from Center Island to Hanlan’s Point.
- Flooding in recent years has reduced the size of the beach.
- Lake Ontario takes a long time to warm up in the summer, so wetsuits are usually required, at least until July/August.
- Respect the “No Kite Zone” at the North end of the beach, where Billy Bishop Airport is launching and landing airplanes all day, everyday.
- Hanlan’s Point is also a famous Toronto “Clothing Optional” beach so get ready to see naked bums all over the place – but usually these sunbathers congregate at the southend of the beach – while we usually kite from the northend.
- 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 Hanlan’s Point will multiply the number of kite sessions per season, and therefore the speed of progression as well. However, given the advanced challenges listed above Hanlan’s Point is for students who have already completed level 1 and are now receiving IKO level 2 instruction or IKO level 3 instruction.
The ferry or water taxi to Hanlan’s Point island dock takes about 15 minutes.
Ideal wind directions: SW, W, NW
BONUS! Most Toronto kiteboarders use the Billy Bishop real-time wind speed webpage found here: https://atm.navcanada.ca/atm/iwv/CYTZ
Hanlan’s Point beach runs in the same direction as the North-South runway – perfect for figuring out if the wind is just right to ride now!
*** STAY HEALTHY ***
Check E-Coli levels for Hanlan’s here:
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