Many thanks to Tracy Boccini of 2Rad for supplying this great information!
Here at Cartier, the most popular and predominant wind is from the southwest direction. With a light wind condition, the water is choppy, with small lake waves and as the wind picks up, the waves get bigger, yet always of the shallow lake type, that is, close together, and pointy in formation, making for good jumping ramps. As the winds become very strong and gale force, they can swell to 4 or 5 feet, becoming both long rolling and short, steep and pointy, depending on where you are at a given time during the session. A slight current flows to the east but in powered conditions, is almost insignificant, however for some individuals with small volume boards or beginners, if the wind does drop, the current can influence your ability to sail upwind, making it difficult to return to the launch area.
West winds blow as often but don’t equal the nice wave conditions of SW, and tend to be choppier. This direction works ok from Cartier, but the wind line can make a water walk necessary. If the wind line is too far out because of a WNW direction, you might be better off driving 15 minutes to another popular site, l’Anse à l’Orme, where this direction is better. (Two streets west of Cartier is St-Joachim street which offers a small launching opportunity for cleaner west wind directly from shore) East and SE winds blow infrequently in the Montreal area, but when they do, the waves can be nice because of the opposite forces of wind and water current working against each other producing small “standing waves”. A pure south is also infrequent and straight on-shore, making upwind tacks necessary to clear the shallow point, west of the launch. This direction also limits the size of the waves. So, the wind directions that allow windsurfing at this site are; E, SE, S, SW and W; SW being the best.
Lake St Louis tends to develop aquatic vegetation by the end of July, making weed fins a must at this time of season. Boat traffic of all types are concentrated around this area, so know the rules and play it safe. It’s also important to remember that directly in front of the point where the windmill stands, west of the launch area, a shallow section shoots out about 150 metres into the lake when the water level is at it’s summer low. Have a local pointe this out as you rig. Parking is ample in the municipal parking lot but must be shared with the boaters, soccer players and other visitors. Rigging is done mostly on the grass of the soccer field and it’s sidelines. However, during game periods you obviously must keep your gear off the field and clear of the sidelines, and with a cooperative approach, there is room for everyone. Also, there is a second area close to the water where there are trees and lots of grass to rig.
This launch area is a great destination for people with young families because of all the extras. Directly behind the soccer field is a municipal outdoor pool(June to September), a kids park with swings and climbing thinks to play in. There are pic-nic tables, park benches, drinking water, toilets and a snack bar and convenience store within walking distance. Also within walking distance is the “Old village of Pointe Claire” where boutiques and restaurants are there for the choosing.
In summary, I can say that this site is always nice to visit. People come down on a windy day just to watch the windsurfers. Cohabitating the park with other sports enthusiasts also add to it’s dynamic atmosphere. So give it a try, it’s a great place.
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