Sports

Windsurfing picking up speed in Parksville

At home in the bay, Mark Kiefer loves to get out on his own when not teaching lessons with Windsurfing Parksville. - James Clarke
At home in the bay, Mark Kiefer loves to get out on his own when not teaching lessons with Windsurfing Parksville.
— image credit: James Clarke

It was a long time coming, but Mark Kiefer has been making up for lost days.

“Oh yeah,” he laughed when The News caught up with him under a blazing sun, where else, down at Parksville Bay.

“It was so slow in June, it was terrible, but it’s picked up big time now,” he said, then made the point “there’s tons of German people coming to Parksville this year, especially for windsurfing — we’ve taught eight families already which I thought was kind of neat.”

“Oh God yea,” he said when asked if he’s enjoying his ‘other office’. “There’s a really good beach vibe going on down there... everybody’s smiling and happy and having a good time.”

Kiefer has been helping out down at Windsurfing Parksville — located near the Beach Club and the place to go for lessons or to rent boards for windsurfing and paddleboardng — for years, giving lessons to kids and adults alike in Parksville Bay.

A fixture down by the bay for five years now with business hours tied to the tide, Windsurfing Parksville is owned and operated by Parksville Bay’s official chairman of the board Kevin Forsythe, who won gold in windsurfing at the 1991 BC Summer Games. They are offering two-for-one lessons for the month of July by the way.

“They said it was supposed to be (more windy),” Kiefer grumbled when we first caught up with him on his board just off shore, but after a few down and ups, he got up a good head of steam and blew through the small channel out by the hovercraft pad.

“I love it,” he said after, wiping the brine from his eyes, then off he went.

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