Water Sports

The Alberni Valley is A Water Enthusiast’s Paradise

It’s all about location! For those who love spending time on the water, find the best of both ‘water’ worlds in the Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island. Situated on the shore of the Alberni Inlet, Port Alberni has long been known for its picturesque waterfront location and ocean access. Only minutes drive away, fresh water Sproat Lake offers over 300km of beautifully forested shoreline, and the perfect playground for all of your favourite water sports. There are water activities for every level of adventure. Looking for relaxing and playful or family friendly? Try stand up paddle boarding (SUP), kayaking, fishing, and swimming. For those wanting more extreme sport, test your skill and find adrenaline pumping thrills with water skiing, wakeboarding, kiteboarding and windsurfing.


Paddle Board SUP and Kayaking

Paddle boarding is a favourite water sports activity on Sproat Lake, Port Alberni, Alberni Valley

Exploring Pristine Sproat Lake

Sproat Lake, one of the largest freshwater lakes on Vancouver Island, beckons kayakers and paddle boarders with its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking surroundings. The calm and expansive lake surface provides an ideal setting for a leisurely paddle or an invigorating SUP workout. Sproat Lake offers plenty of calm waters for paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing. Paddling by the Petroglyphs at Sproat Lake Provincial Park is a fantastic way to view the hundreds (possibly thousand) year old stone carvings of the Lake.

With minimal motorized boat traffic, visitors can enjoy a peaceful and unspoiled experience, surrounded by lush forests and the scenic beauty of the surrounding mountains.

Paddle the Somass River

For those seeking more dynamic waters, the Somass River offers an exhilarating kayaking experience. With sections ranging from mild to challenging rapids, paddlers can navigate through diverse landscapes, from dense forests to open stretches with stunning mountain views. Stand-up paddleboarders also find their stride on the slower-moving sections, combining the excitement of river exploration with the balance and tranquility of SUP.

Travel the Coastal Currents

Venture further west, and the Alberni Inlet opens up opportunities for saltwater kayaking and paddleboarding. Explore sheltered coves, watch marine life, and feel the ocean breeze as you paddle along the stunning coastline. The inlet’s diverse ecosystems and occasional encounters with seals, eagles, and other wildlife enhance the experience, providing a unique connection to nature. Want to see more wildlife? Check out our blog post “Alberni Valley is Bear Country” for more!


Paddling boarding at China Creek Campground, Port Alberni

Paddling boarding at China Creek Campground, Port Alberni

Waterski and Wakeboarding

If you’re looking for a more athletic and challenging way to enjoy the water, water skiing and wakeboarding are perfect for you. Our valley’s unique topography contributes to the ideal conditions for waterskiing and wakeboarding at Sproat Lake. Shielded from strong coastal winds, the lake ensures a more predictable and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re a beginner looking for calm waters to learn or an advanced rider seeking a perfect spot for tricks, Sproat Lake provides a diverse range of conditions suitable for all levels.


Those who love water sports are often found waterskiing and wakeboarding in the Alberni Valley, a thrilling aquatic playground nestled amidst picturesque landscapes.

Sproat Lake, with its crystal-clear waters and mountainous backdrop, provides an idyllic setting for riders of all levels. It’s here that beginners find their rhythm and seasoned riders revel in the calm, creating a serene waterskiing and wakeboarding experience unique to our slice of paradise.

Sproat Lake often holds competitions for water skiing and wakeboarding, bringing in athletes from all over the world. While the entire lake is available for whatever water activities you enjoy, most water sports take place on the south western section of the lake known as Sterling Arm.

Wakeboarding takes place on a wakeboard, similar to a snowboard but smaller, attached to the back of a motorboat. Wakeboarders are known for catching the wake and doing aerial tricks like flips and jumps, while speeding along behind a boat.

Windsurfing and Kiteboarding

The Alberni Valley is quickly becoming known as a paradise for wind riders. While the weather can get cold and damp in Tofino and Long Beach, the temperature in Port Alberni is typically much drier and warmer. These unique weather conditions cause predictable afternoon winds, especially in the summertime, blowing up the Alberni Inlet, resulting in some of the best conditions for kitesurfing and windsurfing on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Kite surfers can be seen catching gusts off the launch by the Maritime Discovery Centre lighthouse and racing up and down the Alberni Inlet in front of Harbour Quay. Canal Beach is another popular place for kiteboarding and windsurfing.

The Alberni Valley Advantage

Natural geographic advantages make the Alberni Valley a wind sport haven, nestled between coastal mountains and bordered by the open ocean. The unique geography generates consistent winds, creating an ideal setting for windsurfing and kiteboarding. The valley’s topography channels coastal breezes, providing a reliable and diverse environment for riders of all levels. With favorable weather patterns, the Alberni Valley is an ideal environment for windsurfers and kite boarders to enjoy their sport. Embrace the natural elements, ride the winds, and indulge in the exhilarating experiences our valley uniquely offers.


Windsurfing Bliss at Sproat Lake

Find your adventure at Sproat Lake, a windsurfers paradise. The Alberni Valley’s unique setting creates reliable winds at Sproat Lake, making it perfect for riders of all levels. The wide-open waters and stunning surroundings turn Sproat Lake into a haven for windsurfing. Whether you’re a beginner or a speed enthusiast, the consistent winds and scenic beauty make Sproat Lake an unforgettable destination.

Kiteboarding Adventure on the Alberni Inlet

For kiteboarding enthusiasts, the Alberni Inlet offers dynamic coastal experiences. Spots like China Creek and the Harbour Quay Marina draw riders with open waters and consistent winds. The Alberni Inlet becomes a playground for those who seek to catch the wind, glide across open waters, and experience the adrenaline rush of flying high. This popular destination offers the perfect backdrop for kiteboarders to master their skills and indulge in the sheer joy of this airborne adventure.


Kiteboarding Lessons

For those looking to master the art of kiteboarding, Wind Rider Kiteboarding offers expert lessons in the heart of the Alberni Valley. With their skilled instructors and prime location at China Creek, enthusiasts can embark on a thrilling learning journey against the stunning backdrop of the Alberni Inlet. Whether you’re a beginner eager to catch your first wind or seeking to refine advanced techniques, Wind Rider Kiteboarding provides tailored lessons, ensuring a safe and exhilarating experience on the waves.



More Water Sports Adventures...

Water Sports Gear, Rentals, Lessons and Tours

Whichever sport you fancy, we can help connect you with the resources to make it happen. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a novice looking to try kayaking or SUP, the Alberni Valley offers convenient access to rentals and guided tours. Local outfitters provide equipment suitable for all skill levels, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the water. Joining a guided tour not only enhances your paddling skills but also provides insights into the rich natural history and cultural significance of the region.