PEI

Kiteboarding champ from P.E.I. shows off the Island in new video

A new video featuring a Canadian champion from Wellington, P.E.I. is putting the spotlight on the Island as a destination for kiteboarding.

Tourism PEI invests in video to showcase the Island as a kiteboarding destination

The videographer, Vincent Bergeron, is from Quebec and is well-known for his work in the sport. (Cabrinha Kites)

A new video featuring a Canadian champion from Wellington, P.E.I. is putting the spotlight on the Island as a destination for kiteboarding.

The five minute video features Islander Lucas Arsenault, who now travels the world competing in the sport.

"Growing up kiteboarding around P.E.I., I always knew it was awesome for kiting but because we're in Canada, the stereotype for Canada is that we live in igloos and it's super cold," Arsenault said.

"Nobody really knew much about the spot, it's never really been exposed as a really good kiteboarding destination."

Arsenault was joined on the Island in September by two other riders from his sponsor, Cabrinha Kites. Arsenault works as a sales rep for the company and competes for them professionally.

"I was just happy to have all the guys there and show them how good it is and not just have myself think that it's good," Arsenault said.

"It was good to confirm with other people."

Arsenault has been kiteboarding around P.E.I. for eight years. (Lucas Arsenault/Facebook)

'Amazing spots'

The crew filmed at 12 different locations around Prince Edward Island and all but two of them were new, even to Arsenault.

"We were looking on Google Maps trying to find the coolest spots, the nicest spot with scenery and what's good for us to do some tricks," Arsenault said.

"We found so many amazing spots all over the Island, spots that I've never even kited in, which is kind of cool."

Arsenault travels the world as a sales rep and professional kiteboarder. (Lucas Arsenault/Facebook)

Tourism PEI provided $3,500 to cover some flights and expenses. Arsenault says Cabrinha covered the rest of the $6,000 price tag.

Natural fit

"We had already started looking at kiteboarding, it's a niche market but we recognize that Prince Edward Island is really starting to get that recognition as a fantastic kiteboarding destination," said Brenda Gallant, director of marketing for Tourism PEI.

"To have a big-time champion, Canadian champion who's been travelling the world is just a natural fit for us."

Arsenault was joined by two of Cabrinha's youngest team riders Tom Bridge and Theo Demanez. (Cabrinha Kites)

Gallant calls Arsenault an ambassador for the Island. 

"People who are in the kiteboarding community look to those champions and they want to hear what they're doing, where they're going, where all the great spots are," Gallant said.

"To have someone like Lucas is absolutely incredible. He can do more for us than we could ever do on our own." 

Gallant says the tourism department will be targeting kiteboarders but also hopes to use some of the kiteboarding footage in the regular marketing campaign.

Arsenault was joined on the Island in September by two other riders from his sponsor, Cabrinha Kites. (Cabrinha Kites)

Arsenault hopes to see more kiteboarders visiting his home province next summer, in particular the thousands who travel to the Magdalen Islands every year for the sport.

"A lot of the people who are driving through are messaging me and saying next year, we're going to take an extra week to stop on P.E.I. before going to the Maggies," Arsenault said.

"That was my goal, to show how good it gets."

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About the Author

Nancy Russell has been a reporter with CBC since 1987, in Whitehorse, Winnipeg, Toronto and Charlottetown. When not on the job, she spends her time on the water rowing, travelling to Kenya or walking her dog. Nancy.Russell@cbc.ca

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