Development of a kitesurf hut on Walney begins after years of waiting


PLANS to develop the Beach Shack at Earnse Bay Kitesurfing has taken off with toilets and electricity in hopes of being installed soon after years of waiting.

Chris Ainsbury has been dealing with planning requests since 2017 to first get site permission to run his kitesurfing business on Walney and then to expand it.

The West Shore Park resident is hoping to make coffee a full-time place and eventually turn it into something more in the future if planning permission is granted.

“I am powered by a generator and asked Electricity North West to hook me up to their system so that we could have a constant power supply,” said the 49-year-old.

“We needed this permanent power supply so that we could be open seven days a week.

ACTION: A first step in development

“I want to make it some kind of restaurant in the near future if I get permission of course.

“Everything will be connected soon, as we hope to be ready for the New Year’s plunge.”

UAE: Chris Ainsbury

UAE: Chris Ainsbury

He explained that using a generator is tricky because if it’s turned off there is no electricity – so anything that would need to be kept cold (like food and drink ) should be moved.

Kitesurfing is an extreme sport where the kiter uses the energy of the wind with a high power kite to be pulled across the water. It combines aspects of paragliding, surfing, windsurfing, skateboarding and wakeboarding.

FLIGHT: Chris Ainsbury kitesurfing

FLIGHT: Chris Ainsbury kitesurfing

Mr Ainsbury said he was very popular in Europe and had clients from Germany, Italy and Portugal to name a few, but hopes to attract more locals to the sport during the l year to come.

The former military tank driver has been kitesurfing since 2008 and believes Walney would be number one in the sport if it weren’t for the cold. This is due to the natural conditions of wind and ripple combined with shallow water for access.

This new step towards permanent power is something that was almost not possible as Covid hit the company very hard and almost crippled it financially.

“Covid put a big wrench in the works because I saved money to build this and it could have been lost because we couldn’t do any sessions due to the pandemic, but because of the subsidy system, we were fine “said Ainsbury.

SPORT: kitesurfing in action

SPORT: kitesurfing in action

“It was amazing (the process). It was one of those dreams that was almost shattered because of Covid.

“It was a huge gamble to do this job, but we just survived.”

The former construction worker and landscaper said he has taken on landscaping work to help fund ongoing construction work and keep the business afloat and hopes people will return to the sport now that things are more open.