I first discovered kite surfing when I was traveling through the Thai Islands. My friend and I had just arrived to Koh Sumai after too many hours of traveling and were completely ready to pass out. Because our room wasn’t clean yet, we decided that passing out on the beach was the best idea. It was only 6am, so it was still cool and comfortable, and honestly, at this point in time I would have laid down horizontally anywhere.
A few hours later, I slowly woke up to see bright colors thrashing around in the sky. Like aliens from outer space, their movements confused my brain. After sleeping like an Ostridge, I shook the sand out of my head and took a good look at what was going on. I don’t know about you, but the first time I saw kite surfing I thought… “I…have…to…do…this..!!” there might have been some drool involved too. So what is kite boarding you ask?
“Kitesurfing or kiteboarding is a surface water sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. A kitesurfer or kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water on a kiteboard similar to a wakeboard or a small surfboard, with or without foot-straps or bindings” Thank you Wikipedia
My friend and I spent the rest of short stay at Koh Sumai going from restaurant to restaurant testing Pad Thais while watching the kiters glide on the water. Between the crystal water, the bright sun and colorful kites, it was a waltz that I needed to learn. It would be a year and half later before I would have my chance.
I first came eXtreme two years ago on Christmas vacation with my boyfriend. We first started our search for a kiting location by looking at the Caribbean as a whole, slowly we narrowed down to the DR and then kite beach. We finally decided to stay at eXtreme because of a few reasons:
- The kite package was a total bargain, especially for some broke-ass students like us.
- They offered other classes as well – yoga, crossfit, trapeze, and access to a really cool gym.
- The atmosphere seemed to suit us as well. We ended up meeting lots of chill people from all over the world. We would go out for dinner together and hang out after kiting.
It took me a few days to get up kiting, but when I did it was as magical as I had expected. Just think about it, you’re being pulled over the water by a massive kite that’s 7-15 meters wide and 30 meters up in the air. The physics of kiting is mindboggling enough, let alone the endless possibility of tricks and flips that one can throw while being carted across the ocean by your own personal energy source.
My feelings while I’m kiting are always a combination of scared-shitless and happier-than-the-first-time-I saw-Britney-Spears-live. I’m not going to lie, learning how to kite is challenging, sometimes frustrating -and you do drink a lot of salt water while doing it. But the payoff is totally worth it. When I learnt with GoKite, the kite school at eXtreme, I felt safe not only because all the instructors are IKO certified, but also because they seem to have an intuition or a sixth sense about our location. They knew when to call me in before a freak storm came, how and where to rotate my kite to get the most power and knew before anyone else if the wind was going to drop.
I’m still learning how to kite at Kite Beach, but it’s nice to be a girl in male dominated sport. Next time, Ill be interviewing my good friend Nina on how she started to kite. Being a relatively new sport, a lot has changed in 10 years. We’ll chat with Nina about learning how to kite back in Australia before they even had a “depower” options.
Until next time,