If you haven’t been to the Florida Keys yet, I suggest you go. It is so pretty, so nice, and so perfect for… Kite Boarding. For all of you who don’t know what kite boarding is… let me explain. It is a water sport were you have your feet strapped into a board… sort of like a wakeboard, if that helps… and then you have a harness around your waist that connects you to a kite. The size of the kites I used this past weekend were 10 and 12 meters big. Now that’s a big kite. It took me awhile to get past the stage of thinking I was going to die if I strapped that to myself. But it is very rare for someone to die. As long as you know all the safety features and don’t go out in a hurricane you should be fine.
This weekend was crazy. I went with my boyfriend, Drew, who has been doing the sport for a few years. He is a kite boarding instructor so he also brought along one of his students, Ian, who is around my level. The first day we got there, I was excited and not at all scared of what may happen. We started riding and were going to do a downwind 8 mile trek from one beach to another. Everything was going good. I’m riding, going left and right, and having no trouble. It was great! However, I see myself getting too far ahead of Ian so I stop so I can wait. He catches up and we continue. But as I was standing there I took a few steps and felt like I was walking through fire! My legs were burning! I look down to find a jellyfish wrapped around both of my legs right below my wetsuit. Figures that would happen. It was so painful. Then I rode over to where Drew and Ian were. Ian had just crashed his kite into a patch of bushes on a island. So once again I stood up to wait, while in agonizing pain next thing I know, my kite falls right out of the sky, tangling itself in its lines on the way down… Great. Just great. I hop on the island to help Ian out with untangling his lines while Drew fixes mine. Fun times.
As we were untangling, a man came up to us on a boat, yelling that we were on private property and he was going to call the cops… what a jerk. We had nowhere to go, our kites were a mess, and we were on an island! It’s people like that that I can’t stand. Thankfully, we got the kites back up in the sky and were up and riding before anything happened. As we continued on, the wind slowly started to die… NOT GOOD! Makes riding very difficult, especially for beginners, like myself and Ian. As I was riding, I was looking for Ian’s kite and didn’t see it in the sky, which worried me. I forgot what I was doing and crashed. I crashed in the one spot that I couldn’t stand! I was being dragged and when I fell I lost my board. I was panicking. Thankfully, Drew helped me get the kite up and he also found my board. Thank goodness. He also told me Ian broke a line so he was stuck further up on land. I get up to try and ride again to get to the beach we were so close to reaching, however, I repeated the last scenario… being dragged and lost my board. But this time Drew couldn’t find it. I finally make my way to shore in a panic. Drew then has to go to the end point where our cars were parked. Ian, Drew and I were spread out all over. And it was getting dark. As I was on shore, I look out and see my board floating its way to shore right by me! Thankfully someone gave Ian a ride to the beach and Drew came to get me. We all were back together at last!
This trip was quite the experience. So much action and that was only one day! The next day was action packed too but nothing like what happened the day before. It was pretty crazy. Check out the video I made from the trip. And if you are interested in kite boarding check out: Drew’s Blog.