A beautiful area blessed with an abundance of strong westerly and south-westerly winds that flow from the Rocky Mountains, the Old Man Dam Reservoir (OMD) is a great spot for kiteboarding with a few good launch areas. The area itself has many amenities that make it great for weekend stays – see information about this provincial park area’s amenities here: http://www.albertaparks.ca/oldman-dam/information-facilities.aspx
The dominant wind directions at this spot are W, WSW, and SW and the winds can blow very strong which is why many frequent this spot. The water is usually quite cold throughout the year as this reservoir is so close the Rockies as is full of cold melt water.
A couple of good launch spots there are Windy Point and Kitebeach. Windy Point is located on the SE corner of the reservoir and has a day use area with wind shelters and picnic tables. The launch area there is rocky (~smooth round rocks) and at an incline up from the water to the picnic area. The launch is in a wind shadow of the upwind point which is a treed hill causing disturbed wind at the launch site – so be cautious while launching.
Kitebeach is located on the north side, on the west part of the Old Man Dam reservoir. This spot has a nice semi-flat grassy launch area with anchors for self-launching and a picnic table. To access it, you must drive west on hwy 510 on the north side of the reservoir and turn south on RR302A (which is just a few meters west of the large gravel piles). Drive south on RR302A until you reach a gate and park accordingly on the side of the road there.
Kitebeach is a great area to kite from as it has excellent wind exposure for all the W, WSW, SW winds. Windy Point on the other hand, is a great spot, but begins to have poor wind exposure the more S direction the wind becomes. This is due to the hilly upwind topography from Windy Point – if the wind has a southern component to it. *The launch area at Windy Point becomes even more wonky in SW wind too. In a westerly…Windy Point is great – otherwise Kitebeach has better wind exposure (~smoother winds).
See the map below for further viewing and directions. Questions? Have you kited here? Liked it? Do you have some extra details you’d like to share? Please comment below!