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P.E.I. kiteboarders bring home hardware from B.C. competition

Lucas Arsenault of P.E.I. captures some big air during the 2019 Kite Clash competition in Squamish, B.C. Arsenault, 22, placed second in the Canadian championship and first in the freestyle competition. Rick Meloff photo
Lucas Arsenault of P.E.I. captures some big air during the 2019 Kite Clash competition in Squamish, B.C. Arsenault, 22, placed second in the Canadian championship and first in the freestyle competition. Rick Meloff photo - Contributed

Island kiters Lucas Arsenault and Nic Farrar do well at 2019 Kite Clash in Squamish, B.C.

While kiteboarder Lucas Arsenault has competed in the annual Kite Clash competition a handful of times, every year brings something different. 

"We had a really great turnout. The weather was great, the event was bigger than last year. It lets you try out tricks and get into the sport," said Arsenault, 22. 

Nic Farrar, right, placed second in the International Junior Freestyle group at the 2019 Kite Clash in Squamish, B.C. Rick Meloff photo
Nic Farrar, right, placed second in the International Junior Freestyle group at the 2019 Kite Clash in Squamish, B.C. Rick Meloff photo

The 2019 installment of the tournament, which is based in Squamish, B.C., was the fifth time Arsenault competed at the event. Arsenault placed second in the national championship and claimed the title in the Big Air competition.

He said one of the reasons he returns to the event is that it establishes national rankings. 

"But it's also a proper freestyle event. They judge kiteboarding in a way that's very progressive for the sport. It's realistic to how the sport should progress." 

Of his performance, Arsenault said it was solid. 

"Although I didn't win both, I feel like I rode the best I ever have. I'm happy with how solid I did. No complaints." 

Islander Nic Farrar also competed in Kite Clash. 

The teen claimed the second-place title in the International Junior Freestyle group. 

"He's still younger than I was when I went to the competition. In the next few years, he'll climb up the men's category. He's crushing the junior category now," said Arsenault. 

Now Arsenault is back on the Island for the annual P.E.I. Throwdown. 

Held each year over the Labour Day weekend, kiteboarders gather in the waters off Malpeque to compete, have fun and join in the camaraderie. 

"It feels good to be home. September is the best month to kiteboard on P.E.I. It's a great event. A lot of people you don't see all year come to the tournament."

But Arsenault won't be home for long. He's gearing up for a bittersweet departure for a competition in Brazil. 

Although he is disappointed to be missing the September season on P.E.I., he is excited to be competing in the Kite Mansion Open. 

"It's the third stop of the Kite Park League. I've been doing a little bit of different stuff. To compare, it's like snowboarding where you're riding rails and ramps and then the freestyle is like the air tricks." 

James Manning, an Island kiteboarder, instructor and one of the operators of the Paddle Shack in Summerside, said it's exciting to see the way the sport has grown on the Island. 

"The growth of kiteboarding on the Island has exploded over the last two years. We have seen our student growth double over the last three years.

"And with local names among not only the top in the country but also around the world, P.E.I. is beginning to become a well-known kitesurfing industry." 


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