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Windy weather in Edmonton a boon for some while others wait for better days to blow in

June has proved to be a blustery month so far, and Friday’s 50-kilometre-per-hour breeze fit right in.

Environment Canada confirmed five tornadoes in central Alberta on Monday, and data shows average wind gusts in Edmonton this week were above 46 kilometres an hour.

It’s weather that’s proved tricky for some outdoor sport enthusiasts.

“It’s probably been the worst spring in a decade in terms of weather, with the wind, and the cool temperatures and the rain. It’s been challenging,” said Joshua Davison, general manager of the RedTail Landing Golf Club.

Davison said the course has been a bit slower, with some players opting to reschedule in hopes for fairer weather. Still, he said, there are enough die-hards to keep business steady.

“The wind is a little bit violent,” he added. “(But) some people are saying, ‘Hey, if we wait for the perfect day to play golf, we might be waiting a little while.'”

Golfer Travis Kempf said he doesn’t get many chances to golf, so he’ll take what he can get.

“Any day on the golf course is better than no day on the golf course,” Kempf said.

“It’s very difficult to get perfect weather, so you play with what you get,” said Jim Sawatske, who was at the driving range practicing his wild-weather techniques.

If you can’t wait to hit the links, Davison offered some tips to help keep you on course when it gets gusty.

If you’re upwind, ease up on your swing to reduce spin. If you can, keep your ball low to avoid stronger currents higher up.

“When it’s breezy, swing easy,” Davison said. “When you’re downwind, tee it high and let it fly.”

While wind speeds can be a nuisance for those hitting the green, they’re good news for anyone hitting the waves.

A kite surfer hits the water at Pigeon Lake on June 7, 2024. (Galen McDougall/CTV News Edmonton)“This is paradise,” Sean Craig said while kite-surfing at Ma-Me-O Beach on Pigeon Lake south of the city. “This is perfect.”

Kite surfing is a water sport that involves standing on a surfboard while wearing a harness attached to a kite 25 meters above the water.

The International Kiteboarding Organization says the sport was born sometime between the 1980s or 1990s.

It’s since seen tremendous growth and will make its Olympic debut in Paris this summer. 

Craig has been practicing the sport for two years.

He said he struggled to find enough wind to ride as much as he would have liked last summer, so he’s been thrilled with the past week of weather.

“You’re just ripping across the water on a board with the wind pulling you, and it’s an amazing feeling,” he said.

According to Craig, the sport is safe and accessible. Riders will only need around four lessons before they can head out into the wind and onto the water solo.

“Anybody can learn the sport,” he added. “There are people in their 80s that do this sport and there are people that are 10 years old.”

For more information on the sport or to take a lesson, visit Kite Alberta’s website

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