My hobby/obsession is kiteboarding.
For those who don’t know what it is, I am attached at the bellybutton — not by the bellybutton — at the waist, to a big kite which I move around high up in the air, generating power. Then I use that power to slide along the water on a board.
If you haven’t tried it, try it! You will probably become addicted, like myself, but if not, you will never say, “It’s too late for me.” You’ll know one way or the other if you love it or not. No regrets.
This sport is exhilarating. I am currently able to jump 20 or so feet into the air. That’s almost as high as I ever want to go. But, there is always something to learn. I ride a twin tip board, surf board, and a foil board. I tend to be determined, an attribute for sure, and take my lessons one at a time. I try doing things the wrong way, a million different combinations of wrong ways, much like playing the lottery. Finally, very much unlike playing the lottery, I do it right. A fellow kiter, Richard Branson, puts it this way, “You don’t learn to walk by following the rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” I understand that Richard is known for a few other interesting accomplishment in addition to kiting.
Kiting has created opportunities for me to travel to places like Puerto Rico, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Bonaire, North Carolina, Brazil, Turks and Caicos for a few months and Miami for six months. Each trip has been in the company of the most amazing people I could ever want to call my friends. Each trip is different. Each trip is magical. This summer I spent a month in Antigua.
There many more places I hope to go. I would love to kite in the British Virgin Islands with Richard Branson (you might have heard of him.) Costa Rico is on the bucket list. For reasons even I don’t fully understand, I want to test my stamina and kite down the coast of Brazil. It may sound ridiculous, but it’s not. The ocean changes constantly. The waves change. I can only describe it as being like a bit like Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, where you will discover say, 50 different types of thrills on 50 different types roller coasters. That’s what the ocean is like.
A different and amazing experience kiting can offer is wild life. Friends have kited with dolphins, sun fish, whales, seals, turtles and more. I have not heard a single shark tale. I know you were wondering. My theory is that sharks, the most sophisticated hunter in the ocean, are like men. If they wanted to eat us, they would hunt us down relentlessly. (Okay. I could have worded that better.) I imagine that humans wreak of garlic and sunblock, and pee. I don’t think those things ring the dinner bell for sharks.
Exception being, if you dress up like a seal and ride on a board that looks like a seal, all bets are off. Also, if you wade near fishermen, especially those who use chum, you will likely be an appetizer at a restaurant I like to call…. the ocean. Don’t worry, it will just be a taste test. You will likely live and have a battle scar perfect for telling tall tales with all your fishermen buddies.
So, I have gotten off track. My hobby is kiting, and kiting is amazing; interesting people, beautiful locations, great exercise. All that combined with consistent learning and challenging my abilities. As of April 2018, I teach the sport as well.
As always… dream big dreams! As Sir Richard says, “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” Good advice from a smart guy.
I'm known more for my spectacular crashes than for my jumping.