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Windsurfing in Montreal

Sometimes one needs to know where one can windsurf and opinions of these sites. This is a great link for places about Montréal: http://www.flipperdesign.com/Sites_planche/ Vous parlez francais n'est-ce pas :-) And the new version : http://www.sitesdeplanche.ca/doku.php?id=a_propos&idx=sites
Keeps moving around 😩
http://www.lucmarinier.com/flipperdesign/

Places I have been and how I rate them:

Clique on MAP to enlarge



Baie d'Urfé: There is plenty of parking and lots of grass to rig your sail. People bring their dogs and forget to clean up after themselves. There is a small wind shadow to get started, but the worst factor is, i have gone when the muck and water were disgusting. As such, I probably will NOT go back there. It is good for E or W winds. I have gone a number of times since and enjoyed it !!! Sailboarder who lives on West Island goes here often.
The arrow is at the bottom of the map. Go off 20 on Morgan Avenue and turn right going W.



Captain Morgan`s: This is NOT an official windsurf place and perhaps i should keep this place to myself :-) It is at the bottom of Morgan Avenue in Baie d`Urfé just behind the City Hall/Hotel de Ville. Sometimes hard to park here if the City Hall is open. There is plenty of grass to rig. Have to go down the hill to the "beach". It is a rocky entrance that requires booties. It gets deep fast, so , off you go. Issues here are : there are rocks in the middle of Lac St-Louis and sometimes difficult to get back to starting point unless you head upwind right off the start. Good for SW, S and E winds. You need booties to get in for the rocks. The arrow is at the bottom of the map. Go off 20 on Morgan Avenue straight down.The city hall put NO parking signs which make it difficult to go there...



Cartier/Pte-Claire: Usually no issue parking, but i believe there is a 3 hour limit. Just move your car after three(3) hours. Who windsurfs more than 3 hours anyway :-) Grass for rigging. Tricky (in terms of rocks)  or yucky to get in. Some people go down the boat ramp. The water here is usually a little more choppy. Good for SW and  S  West winds. You need booties here for the rocks. The arrow is at the bottom right of the map. Go on 20 and exit on Cartier all the way down to the "park". Feel this spot is for the people a little more advanced since wind, current and "wave" all bring you East. There is also a bay beside the church St-Joachim where I have NOT gone - kiters there often. Helmut and other windsurfers have gone in the kite bay.



L'anse à l'Orme/AAO:  In spring I have seen the water so high here that the parking lot was flooded out. In the summer I have seen the water so low, one had to walk far out to get started !! These issues are less critical in the three(3) afore-mentioned sites. Here you have to pay parking - about $7 or get a $40 seasons pass. On a good day, this place gets full... There is grass, but sometimes it feels like real estate.. Three(3) places to get in and good to practice water starts ie good shallow section. Good for W and NW winds - seems SW too. You need booties here for clams. The arrow is kinda in the middle of the map. Go on 40 and take the Ste-Marie exit. After that follow the windsurf signs to L'anse à l'Orme. Only place in Montreal with windsurf signs !! Franco Ittiandro does not like it when wind is from the NW making waves n wind is same direction. It is close to Cap St-Jacques which beach sometimes gets closed down due to bacteria counts :-(



 
Vaudreuils: Free parking in a small parking lot. Plenty of grass to rig. Difficult to get the rig down and up the stairs. It is also important to judge wind speed at water level. It often feels stronger at the top. A little mucky to get in, but acceptable. Once again you need booties for the clams. Good for E and NE winds. Either no-one here or lots of people - obviously depends on wind direction. Very popular in the winter for para-skiing. Furthest left arrow. Take the 40 off the Island and take St-Charles - non, not the one on West Island !! and then Chemin de l'Anse. Little "park" on the left with small parking lot. As you can see in the image. The "park" is one side of the street and the water on the other side and DOWN. When parking is full, one can park in the suburbs behind...


Vaudreuils-Dorion: is just south of Vaudreuils and was supposed to be good for SE. Since nothing else around Montreal is good for SE, I thought I would check it out in 2016. It is also south of the 40 on St-Charles and there are two( 2) "parks" on the East side. On a Saturday afternoon both were tight on parking and both had porta-potties. The further south one had a wind shadow , disgusting water with weeds and an "okay" access. The other park was so full  it was difficult to drive through,  less wind shadow and still weeds. Looks like I will NOT be going back. Lake Champlain here I come ??

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The super windsurfers who know what they are doing apparently go to Lac Champlain, South Shore when strong, Quebec City, Sandbanks in Ontario , les Isles de Madeleines and Hatteras in the Carolinas. Obviously Lac Champlain and the South Shore are the closest.
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OKA: Thought this was a public park, but it is not - private. In any case it costs to get in and there are two(2) places to windsurf depending on wind-direction. This place can get busy. The best part of this place is the water stays shallow for quite some distance out from shore. Here I was able to windsurf without booties. There is La Crête for winds from the NW and W - actually anything from the West. Then there is the public beach for winds more from the south. I have also tried windsurfing at the public beach myself. Guess for me the only downfalls of this place are: a little out of the way, cannot check wind n water before paying and probably no good if water levels are low like in 2010. Arrows on top left of map. I will let you figure out how to get there - there are many routes including a ferry from near Hudson.
I now actually have a season's permit to go here.  NE from the main beach or beside it in high season. S and SE just do NOT work here #$%^&*
I often go here in the winter to windsurf on the ice ...
SEPAQ says gates open @ eight ...

Sometimes in spring access to La Crête is NOT available due to high water levels and flooding. In 2017 there was SO much water BOTH the main beach and La Crête were not accessible. That year I called after that issue to see if the access to the main beach was still open !!

The following are places I have been to less often:

Philipsburg Campground/Lac Champlain : Thought it was Swanton Beach/Lac Champlain!! This one is on the way to Vermont and so about an hour away from Montreal. We went there for a waterstart session with Bruno Courtemanche of the APVM. We were asked if we preferred at the Pilons of South Shore or here and here won. So, it is far and costs about $7 to park. There is grass to rig and plenty of water. There were weeds when we were there and again I understand there may be clams. I am told that just south of here in Vermont it is much better on Lac Champlain. Hope to try it this year and will let you know.

Ausable Point/Lac Champlain: This is near Ausable Chasm which is a site worth visiting with the family in any case. I took exit 34 from the south, but apparently you can take exit 35 coming from the North of 15/87 and then head East. The launch site is in the campground section and has NO parking for day trippers. So, the anticipation is that you drop off your gear. It cost me $8 and I was not going through that and so , got the okay from the life guard to launch off to the side of the swimmers. There are times I am sure when both sections are busy. They say N and S winds, but i would venture NW to S is good. Personally, I was disappointed in launch site(s). Could just as well have parked along the road that is the park entrance and launched from there for free.

BDB Baie de Brises: Have seen videos of people rippin here and seen chat about it as well. Seems there is a chalet where you can park on the lawn for a small fee. It seems to be a popular place on South Shore for the more advanced rippers. I saw the place, but did not get on the water. You do need to go to the chalet cuz the other so called rig place is away from the water :-( On the south shore. Apparently the town left submerged / unmarked cement anchors in the water 2016 :-(
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Rivière Milles Isles: This is 5 minutes from my home and is not ideal, butt is after all five(5) minutes from my house. I go between Ste-Rose and Rosemere. When wind is from EAST I go behind the church in Ste-Rose - on the East side of the bridge. Some wind shadow and have to get past the island I am sure - only gone there once so far. More often winds are from the WEST - from SW to NW on the Rosemere side of the bridge is okay. There are some wind shadows, butt once again , it is close to home. In 2011 banged up the centreboard of the BIC Dufour AND lost my weed fin at the same place {starting to NOT like this place even IF it is so close to home} . I also ice surf here. Have done many snow attempts here, but my sled was NOT ready for the snow at that time ie BETA mode.
In 2016 there was a day when the wind was not great, but water looked SO disgusting, that I  did NOT go ...


SandBanks/SBX: This is quite a drive from Montreal, but is the MECCA for wave sailors when it blows !! Was provided the link by a hardcore local ...