Gary Calder is one of the “Silver-Templed Posse” riding the flat, clear, limitless waters of the Florida Keys. While vacationing in Key Largo 20 years ago, he became enamored with windsurfing. That quickly morphed to kiteboarding. He retired way early from his Denver trial lawyer practice highlighting murder and medical malpractice cases–bought a house in Key Largo, and now spends 10-20 days of each winter month doing a credible job of trying to keep up with the young-Turk shredders in the Keys.He and his wife Debbie spend the summers fly-fishing, white water rafting, water skiing and hiking the trails of Rocky Mountain National Park which sits two miles from their summer house up in the high mountains of Colorado.“Why not kite ’till ya’ drop?” is the motto of this 74-year-old “Dude.” “Ya’ might as well go out in the footstraps as any other way I can think of,” he says.
Pavel began learning to kite on snow and water in 2014, and has been hooked ever since. Prior to that, he has been skiing his entire life. He moved to the United States from Russia in 1996, and has been here ever since.
He currently lives in South Jordan Utah with his wife and 2 kids. He enjoys aviation and currently works as and aircraft mechanic. He enjoys spending his days off skiing with his kids, kiting on snow and water, fishing, or just about anything outdoors.
His favorite kiting spots include Deer Creek, Utah Lake, Strawberry, Skyline, and Sherman Island.
Michael G. Mulderink Sr. was born on August 23, 1939. He is a retired Construction business Owner from Chicago, Illinois. He started a drag boat racing career that led to his nickname of “Iron Mike” and several World Records back in the 70’s. He’s set the tracks on fire racing Pro Harley Motorcycles with his Son Mike Jr. at the helm.
These days Mike’s nickname has changed to “Big Mike” and can be found on any windy day doing what he loves most…kite-boarding and hanging with his friends at Anne’s Beach.
He has a teaching nack that others find refreshing as he’s not afraid to help anyone with an interest to learn. He loves being a part-time driver for the Otherside Shop when clients are taken to the sandbar for lessons. If the winds blowing, just look around and I’ll bet you’ll see Big Mike in the horizon.
Sean’s 1st power kiting was at Berkeley kite festival, about 8 years ago. he got tossed about 10
feet by a 2.6 meter kite! Later that year he go a chance to try out a bigger kite and buggy and the addiction began!
Local riding spots: shoreline kite park
Every year kiters from around the world gather at a dry lake on the boarder of California
and Nevada. Ivanpah.
Sean’s first trip to Ivanpah was in 2014. He was blow away by the vast size of the dry lake, the surface
is different from anything he had buggied on before! smooth and fast!
Alvord dry lake, south east Oregon. In the middle of nowhere, this dry lake is a perfect place to buggy! In 24 hours, road 128 miles! Set a new top speed 56.6 mph.
IBX 2016. The wind came!!!! The forecast said 50+ mph winds.
Sean was able to get my buggy up to 64.2mph. Big smile on my face the rest of the weekend!
Mentors, Dirk Hemza, Duane Hemza, Dino Arias, Mike Kenley, Eli Anderson, Jimmy Vaughn, Elton Thanh,
Brian Holgate, Bobby Muse.
The person who really helped Sean the most, Vincent Maranta, my Yoda! thanks for all your advice!
Patrice broke his first leg skiing when he was two and a half year old, and his other leg when he was three and a half. Surprisingly, he became an amazing skier, but did not acknowledge how much he disliked cold and snow until recently. The 80 degree weather in Miami this last Christmas brought a much bigger smile on his face than any amount of fresh powder could!
During the early 80’s, Patrice became obsessed with windsurfing. At the time, he lived in Hyeres Les Palmiers, a quiet little town in South of France that was always windy. Patrice would consistently go to work with his board on the roof of the car and, when his management did not give him a well-deserved promotion, he did not change much to his habits. Looking back, he admits he should have windsurfed even more!
One Summer, we drove to Lisbonne, Portugal, and Patrice would windsurf every afternoon. The waves were ridiculously big and he even temporarily lost hearing on one of his ears after getting in trouble in a storm! There were no limits for his love of the sport, and his daughter completely relates to that now, because she’s fallen for kiteboarding in the same way.
Three years ago, Patrice moved to Essaouira, a small town in Morocco facing the Atlantic Ocean. he started kitesurfing next to the magical sand dunes, mysterious Mogador Island and sometimes intimidating camels sitting on the beach. In no time, he started backlooping the same way he used to when he was windsurfing – he says he does not have much of a choice: the waves are so big in Essaouira, you better learn how to skilfully jump or you’ll be crushed. Once asked him how windsurfing compares to kitesufing: he said it’s like comparing driving a racing car and riding a motorcycle. In all cases, the adrenaline kick never fails to bring him back on the water.
Chantale Portelance just got her fiftieth anniversary in October 2016. This kindergarten teacher and mom of two child is recognized for her passion and determination. Sliding sports tracked by a sail are, undoubtedly, first place according to her criterias.
From the south shore of the St-Lawrence River, in Québec, Canada, it is in the winter of 2011 that she tried this unusual sport for the first time. The pack ice which is form from January to march offers an exceptional playground. It is by seeing a couple of riders on this greatest area on this unique surface in the world that she want to be initiated to this sport. Paule Gagnon and Jocelyn Cantin became over the years, not only good coaches but also excellent neighbors and friends with whom to share this passion.
Three years later, after having tried several sorts of kite, (paraskiflex, softkite and tubekite)on the pack ice or on the fields around the house, Chantale finally decide to try on the water with the help of a little push from her friend Paule. That was a major challenge. Several hours of practice were required to be able to get out of the water, the wind and make the turns. What patient this took without counting all the times that she show up to the spot and wait for the wind that finally didn’t show up. To improve her performances, Chantale visit her parents more often in Florida and took the opportunity to take some kite class’s with Ayyoub Sajidi from Aventure Sport at Matheson Hammock Park(the most courtesy school in Miami). Last December 31, it is with a lot of pride that she succeeded her IKO level 3, what a nice way to end the year and to begin her fiftieth.
During these years, Chantale share her passion with the members of her family (her son, her daughter, her nephew, etc.) and she shares with them precious moment in kite. In Québec on the snow or in the water at Cape Hatteras or in Florida, the memories do not miss because Chantale also practice the photography. She keeps a thousands of pictures and videos of different locations visited by this time by this sportive family. She’s dreaming of visiting the largest number of kite spots anywhere in the world.
Our rider of the month like to share this saying: If you can’t buy happiness, you can buy a kite. For her, this sport is therapeutic and the days without wind are a little more depressing. After work and in the morning when she wake up, she go observe the treetops to see if she could go on a ride. She would like that all those around her heard about her passion. This year, she bought a batch of little kites for her five years old students just to share her passion a little bit more. Because Chantale thinks that’s there is no age to learn this sport like there is none to stop practicing (Luis Comez, her idol prove it well). At the same time, guess the gift most often offered to her nephews and nieces… kites evidently.
If this little bit of woman (the mama) show up on a kite spot on a windy day, Canon camera around the neck, possibly accompanied by her son, daughter, nephew, sister or her husband ( that is always keeping an eyes on her to ensure her safety, riders on the snow and possibly a future one on the water…) Be sure, it will be with the smile that she will tell you the joy and the pride to practice the most wonderful sport in the world.
Andy Umana learned to kite when he was 7. His dad taught him unhooked so he wouldn’t be taken by the kite when he fell. He rode for a few months and then took a 3 year break and hasn’t stopped since.
Cabrinha and Adventure Sports Miami has been supporting him all these years and he is very involved in the sport locally. His whole family used to go to Hatteras on summer vacations every year and his brother, mother and dad would kite together. One of his first downwinders was Planet of the Apes with his dad.
The Cabrinha brand has been a huge part of his kiting. Before his dad connected him to a kite, they would watch the Cabrinha movie Catalyst over and over again. That’s where he first learned of his idols Andre Phillip, Damian Leroy and many others.
He loves to do freestyle at Matheson Hammocks with his buddy Joseph Prieto and surf and foil sessions in Jupiter and Peru with his other buddies James McGrath and Jacob Olivier.
He and his dad recently got into foil boarding and they now love 10 mph days zipping around in the Biscayne Bay for endless sunset sessions as well as foil racing.
Kitesurfing is a way of life and Andy will be doing it for as long as the wind blows.
Born in Brasil, Paula moved to Miami with her family at the age of 16. she was very excited to get into surfing, having grown up in a mountainous region Paula had never had the chance to practice any watersports. she quickly realize the surf in Miami was a bit frustrating, waves were small and often too packed.It was early 2000, Paula had just met a new boyfriend and now husband, and he was the first person to introduce herto the sport of kiteboarding. Paula watched him kite for years, back then the sport was much different and much more difficult to learn. Paula sat on the beach for hours watching him and his friends have fun, there weren’t too many girls kiting back then, only a few, such as Laura Meyers who is an awesome windsurfer as well, so she thought maybe kiting wasn’t for me. One day she decided to get over my fears and so Paula took my first lesson in 2002 in La Parguera, Puerto Rico and from there on she started to get more into the sport. After she had a few more lessons in between, mostly from kind friends who were willing to spend some time chasing me downwind and helping Paula get over the learning curve. Paula was still a beginner in many ways, but she finally took a proper lesson with my great friend and kite instructor Mike Minichiello from Cayman Islands that is when it finally started to get more comfortable and riding upwind. Kiteboarding quickly became more than a hobby and she was very lucky to have had the chance to travel to many different destinations,visit kiting centers around the world, watch kite racing competitions and meet some of the top pros around the world. Having kited in Hood River, Mexico, Bahamas, Hawaii , Cayman, Brasil and other great windy spots she learned a bit more from each place and different riders . Then Paula was inspired to progress and I decided to get my PASA certification and become an instructor.Now she work’s and rides at Adventure Sports Miami at Matheson. Paula looks back now and see that having a proper lesson was really the key to help me learn and become an independent kiter. Paula love’s teaching , specially like teaching women how to kite. Paula wants everyone of my students to have a great experience and love the sport as much as she does. Paula made so many great friends thorough kiting and she hope’s she can continue to share this experience with new and old friends !
Jose Umana started kiting during the 2005 hurricane season after repeated attempts by his friend John Rudd to get him to go in the water and learn to kiteboard. A few lessons later he was hooked to the sport and 11 years later he is still as active as ever along with his 14 year old son Andy who is an Cabrinha team rider for Adventure Sports in Miami, FL.His wife Conchy and oldest son Nicholas also learned to kite and every summer the whole family would go in their RV to Hatteras for vacation.
This summer he went to Pacasmayo, Peru with Andy and his friend James McGrath for a kitesurf vacation of a lifetime. They love the waves and Jose is now learning to surf so he can keep up with Andy when there is no wind and the surf is good. He and Andy are now foiling and they plan to race as well.
He’ll be 50 next year and there’s no sign he’s ever going to stop kiting. He and his son Andy will be kiting all over the world for many more years to come.Instagram @jose__umana
Back in 2008 Brian had been going to Matheson and watching the locals kite, he eventually signed up for a lesson with Sky Bandits. Having a background in competitive wakeboarding, kiteboarding came pretty natural to him once he learned to harness the wind. Brian didn’t feel comfortable riding the super flat boards with straps and pads. Instead he went with what felt more natural to him, riding a wakeboard with boots even though everyone told him it wouldn’t work. This was when boots were still looked at as unorthodox.
Brian is a true native, born and raised in Miami. He attended Miami Palmetto Sr High and then got a Bachlors Degree in Marine Biology from UM. Always having an attraction to the water, he grew up diving and fishing. Kiteboarding just seemed right for him. Once he started it was an addiction. To spend more time on the water kiting and to share his new found sport with others he became an instructor with the school that he learned from.
He is now married and has a beautiful 6 yr old daughter who is just starting to get into kiting. He now rides for Airush and continues to push the sport and his skills whenever he’s riding. Always trying to be a good ambassador and helping others along the way
Sitting along the shore of the Columbia River, waiting for the wind to pick up for a windsurfing session, he watched a guy on a kite having a blast on the swells at the Hatchery. “Maybe there’s something to this Kite boarding thing.” He said to his friend. From then on windsurfing was cancelled for Rob Umstead.
The following summer he taught himself how to kite. “There were no established Kite Schools back in 2000. We just got some gear and went to the river to figure it out.” Said Rob. “This led to many long afternoons of swimming and rescue.”“The gear back then was not too user friendly and without any instruction we were struggling” remembers Rob. “Now I can teach people in 2 hours, what it took me a month to figure out.”
That is exactly what Rob does now. Rob is an IKO level 2 instructor with 15 years of teaching experience. After teaching in the Columbia Gorge for many years, he opened Uinta Kiting in 2014. This School operates on the Deer Creek reservoir in the Heber Valley, Utah.
Deer Creek serves up reliable thermal winds most afternoons and is one of Utah’s top kite spots. The cool mountain nights and the morning valley heating create a SW flow up thru Provo Canyon and by mid day the wind is on.
Uinta Kiting’s goal is to make riders save and independent. “No one wants an accident to happen at the launch site.” Says Rob “My job is to teach them safe kite practices so that they can go out by themselves and have fun. I always smile when I see a former student out riding and having a blast. That’s the most rewarding part”
Rob grew up on the ocean in Massachusetts and has always had a love for being on the water. When skiing brought him west he was feeling a little land locked. Kite boarding on the waters of Utah has helped fill that water void. Running the Kite School has allowed him the flexibility to purse his other passion, skiing and ski racing.
In the winter months Rob and his wife Danelle, ski on the US Paralympic Alpine Team. Danelle is a visually impaired athlete and Rob races with her as a guide. Together they have been to 2 Paralympic games and won 3 Paralympic medals and numerous World Cup titles. They are currently training for the 2018 games in South Korea.
When heading to Europe in the winter months, Rob keeps a kite in with his ski gear just incase the wind kicks up for a Snow kite session. After a long winter of travel and racing he always looks forward to spring and getting back out on the water at Deer Creek.
For lesson information check out www.uintakitng.com
Bobby had been interested in kiteboarding and had subscribed to a magazine to get a grasp on how the sport worked. While at a festival at Jekyll Island, GA his wife asked him what “Flexifoil” was. He responded that it was a kite company, and she pointed over her shoulder and said “well a guy has a booth set up right over there with a banner that says Flexifoil”. So he walked over to check it out and sure enough there was a thing there called a kite buggy and several kites set up around the booth. Bobby is known to his friends and family as a conversationalist and this is the day he met Angus Campbell of Coastal Wind Sports. An hour later, he walked away with quite a bit of knowledge and a new hobby in a bag. Not long after he went to the beach to set up and fly the new HQ Beamer III 3m, Angus had closed up the booth and made his way to the beach to fly with Bobby. A friendship was born and as Angus always likes to say, “the hook was set”.
Within the first year and after acquiring several more kites, many suited for jumping, Bobby borrowed a buggy from Angus to use on another family camping trip and on this trip, he got it together enough to start linking turns and making a figure 8 pattern on the sand between the surf and dunes. A new passion and outlet for the power in the kite had been found.
A few years later and Bobby and his family moved across the country to Tracy California. Through the years on The Power Kite Forum, he had several guys that lived in the area that would become fast friends and riding buddies. Dirk Hemza and Dino Arias, known as ScrewyFits and Dakitez on PKF, both lived within 45 minutes of Tracy and the famed Sod Farm near Lodi, California. Dirk and Dino had cultivated a good relationship with the owner, and Bobby and the guys could gather there and ride on the fields of sod in their buggies. It was great camaraderie and they became close friends during the sessions there. Lots of kite flying, buggying, and one fine day Dirk made one of his famous Bacon Bombs on his portable grill. I’m sure they all cherished the time there together sharing the passion.
When the move the California was in the planning stages, his wife made a comment one day that since they were moving out west, that he might ought to look into being able to go to that “kite thingy” they have down in the desert in early April. As if he hadn’t already spent hours figuring out the travel distance, route and lots of other details he’d need to know to pull of getting to attend his first NABX.
This experience would set the stage for maybe the most glorious news a kite buggier could ever learn. Even before his second NABX, there were already plans for he and his family to move to Henderson, NV, which happens to be only a 40 minute drive from Ivanpah Dry Lake. Knowing he was going to have Ivanpah as his home riding spot in just a few months, he bought an Exxtreme Apexx buggy that belonged to Jeroen “Ozzy” Potters. This happens to be the buggy that Fast Arie set the new speed record in due to the tires on his buggy being worn out from previous speed runs. After some minor adjustments, it seemed like the buggy was custom made for Bobby. He has said often, that no matter how crazy the conditions are, he’s never had a nervous moment caused by the buggy. It feels like a part of him and that is a huge confidence builder for learning to ride at a place like Ivanpah.
That confidence allowed slow steady progress with personal best speeds creeping up in 2-5 mph increments into the 50s and 60s, eventually getting into Popeye the Welder’s coveted 100 kph club. Later he would set a personal best of over 65 mph with a 5m HQ Ignition LEI kite. Who knows what the future holds?
Some of Bobby’s favorite riding spots were mentioned above but also include Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine, Florida, along with Jekyll Island GA, and of course Ivanpah Dry Lake. El Mirage Dry Lake is another favorite due to the wide open spaces, riding through the bushes and enjoying the butter smooth surface. Also Sunset beach in Oregon is a new favorite place to buggy for the long runs as much as the good company there at the SOBB events.
Some of the mentors that have inspired Bobby or become close friends due to the kite buggy sport, are Angus Campbell, Dirk Hemza (also for his fabrication skills) and Dino Arias, Fast Arie and Ozzy for their amazing kite and buggy skills. Stephan van Bommel for his world class kite and buggy skills as well as a true friend. Chris (Pokitetrash) Rieke. Eli Anderson was mentioned as one of the most talented kite buggiers in North America and a good friend as well. Popeye the Welder for the friend he is, the knowledge and art he has added to the kite buggy community through his custom handmade buggies, and his selfless support of the sport through his website and Facebook pages. And certainly Brian Holgate, fellow local rider, friend, co-organizer of Ivanpah Buggy Expo, as well as the fastest person to ever pilot a kite buggy.
Bobby was hesitant to try to list some names of people that have become his friends through the sport and IBX because they couldn’t all be listed, but he made it clear that there were hundreds of others that he cherished the chance to share a lakebed or beach with whether the wind is blowing or not. He says he hopes he has always made it clear how important each and every friend of the wind is to him.
Just last fall, Bob lost a mentor and very close friend he met through kiting. Don Leech, known as tridude on PKF, lost a years long battle with Cancer. He was always willing to chat on the phone, drive to a kite or buggy meet up, or coach Bob to the next skill level he was working on. He was a true friend to Bob and many others till his last day. Bob would like to honor him here today.
It all started with a list of things Tom Keda actively wanted to accomplish, kiteboarding was one of them. So he asked a few buddies of his to go with him to take lessons in Michigan 3 years back not knowing it was going to change his life.
Tom and his buddies headed up to Oscoda Michigan to embark on their mission. During his lesson his instructor mentioned how he spent a year living in Puerto Rico kitesboarding and how it was a perfect environment for it.
Tom realized first hand that kiteboarding was not going to be learned well in just a few hours. With the winter season of Michigan approaching Tom still needed to learn the sport. Buying a one- way ticket to Puerto Rico Tom found him self trading up the winter jacket for board shorts.
There he found 15 knots, a school located off the beach of Isla Verda where he met his instructor and future girlfriend Frances.
During his time out there she showed him how to kiteboard as well as other parts of the island. Taking part on other activities such as cliff diving, going trough caves and river hikes.“Even coming from a other extreme sports backgrounds in which I was used to doing flips and sliding down long handrails, I struggled with kiteboarding. I felt like I was on the beach more than I was in the water pulling off sea weed and untangling my lines”.To Get a Hold of Tom Please click this picture below Frances continued to push him and it paid off. His time, effort and passion from it evolved from wishing to go upwind to now having dialed down dark slides, handwashers, and other freestyle tricks.“The rush from it is unbelievable and it is a lifestyle I love to be apart. I have become a PASA 3 kiteboarding instructor and actively work with adventure sports teaching in Matheson Hammock Park. I’ve also establish a website with tutorial videos to teach and refresh students key kitboarding concepts and tricks”.“Kiteboarding has given me a new outlook in life, one that in the future will transform into further opportunities. To contact Tom Please click on the picture below
Dirk Hemza began kiting in 1998 in Livermore, California at first on the water then he gotten into kite buggy’s. He wishes there were more places to kitebuggy, he started to ride at a sod farm talk about dedication. For a few years that was apx an hour away then he found Ivanpah playa (in southern California near Primm Nevada) and the buggy expo event held there yearly, known as IBX (Ivanpah Buggy Expo) now.
His mentors have been Dino Arias, Bobby Muse, Craig Sparks, Popeye the Welder! Ahhh, the infamous kite mare, Dirk says it must have been 2009 at the kitebuggy event at Ivanpah, I had built my first buggy, an aluminum buggy for the event.
He was out on a run in that buggy and the kite had drug the tip on the playa, bringing it down on the playa still moving forward it got behind me. The kite caught a gust of wind while down and behind me, up went the kite and he went for my first OBE (Out of Buggy Experience). Dirk came down hard, knocking the wind out of him. As he lay there catching his breath the buggy kept rolling and some friends and father (who witnessed the OBE) jumped in a truck to come rescue me. Dirk was fine but it looked worse than it was. My buggy ended up apx a half mile away…
Dirk really enjoy’s paragliding tremendously and kiting the wing as often as I get the chance. I enjoy wakeboarding, snowboarding, surfing among a few outdoor activities…
Dirk would like to be known as someone that does, makes and enjoys everything.
I like to give, support and promote the wind sport community/family…
To fly is the ultimate rush. Feeling the wind on your face, the power of a kite and the push of adrenaline through your veins is surreal and Ricker Goldsborough experiences it all. What he will do to have not hours of this addiction, but sometimes only seconds, can only be described as passion.
Meet Ricker, from previous competition hang-glider pilot to present day kite-surfer, he will tell you himself the journey has been epic. From the US to Australia, to Equador and back to the US, the stories are plentiful but the moments never enough. Ricker recently met Peter Miller while snow kiting in Utah. He speaks highly of Miller and explained the snow kiting experience as a cross between hang gliding, paragliding and kite boarding.
“I’m all in if it helps someone else” is a quote from Ricker and would explain the non profit organization that he founded during his hang gliding years. The Cloudbase Foundation was a way to give back and helped disadvantaged children world-wide.
Ricker currently lives in Louisiana and kites where the warm gulf waters lap at the white sandy beaches and the breezes are sometimes hellacious especially if a hurricane is on the way. But, if the winds are manageable and the water rideable, he will be there.
Ricker is a shop rider for Slingshot through Gulfport Board Sports but his board of choice today is the CrazyFly Raptor Pro LTD. Of course that may change tomorrow as he is always up for trying out a new product. But one thing that has remained is his quiver of Slingshot kites. He absolutely raves about them.
Ricker tells everyone “come on down to Louisiana and stay awhile. The beer is cold and the crawfish spicy, just like we like it.”
We are going back to Florida Miami South Beach which is home to Marina. From the look of the pictures you can see Marina a beautiful and strong lady. For Marina kiteboarding certainly changed her life from having meeting deadlines demanding clients, weekends in the office and busy seasons to account for – this used to be Marina’s world for many years until Marina saw kiting on a sunny winter day in Miami, shredding the waves on a kiteboard.
Back then Marina didn’t even know what this sport “kiteboarding” is called and couldn’t imagine, that it will change Marina’s life. Marina started to build Marina’s work schedule around the wind forecast and Marina took days on off windy days (you guys know the feeling of checking windguru more often than facebook). Kitesufring has became Marina’s therapy, gym and my new lifestyle.
What can be more captivating than power of the ocean, wind and sun? So many times Marina returned home from a kite session all bruised, with bloody cuts (Marina know’s it is not very girly), exhausted but extremely happy! Yes, Marina has become an adrenaline junkie but no more sign of anxiety and depression. Yes Kiting is therapy! Marina currently has a company that has products from Rash Guards to Neoprene Jackets called Platinum Sun.
Marina thinks its awesome to be a girl in a male dominated sport? Yes yes yes “she says” you get all the benefits combined of being a girl ( Marina just wouldn’t recommend to kite in a bikini to avoid accidents) plus you get to know some amazing people with awesome personalities.
Platinum Sun Inc.
Miami Beach, Florida USA
+1 (347) 586-7032
Andrew started kiting in 2007 on a trip to Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Andrew took lessons from a Domican named Xavier who worked at Laurel Eastman Kiteboarding. Andrew was able to learn the basics and catch a taste of the unique feeling that kiteboarding gives you. After returning from the DR, Andrew left on a 2 year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Andrew was able to serve in the Netherlands and Beligum and learned Dutch. Although he wasn’t able to kite on his mission, Andrew was able to watch kiters throughout the country and it kept him excited to get back into the sport when He arrived home.
After returning home to Utah, Andrew picked kiting back up by meeting up with the kiteboarding legend, Jake Buzianis. He sold me my first kite, a Best Taboo 12m. Andrew began collecting gear and by the spring of 2010 Andrew had enough to go out and start kiting. It was just like riding a bike and all the techniques and memories from my time in Cabarete came flooding back.
After many trips to Rush lake in Utah, many “walks of shame” and much help from all the kind locals, Andrew was able to finally kite upwind and became an addicted member of the Utah kiting committee. My mentors in kiting include the entire local Utah crew. Nothing beats a summer evening session at South Sandy Beach Utah Lake (SSB)
with all the boys. Andrew love bringing others into the fold of Utah kiting and welcoming all the new kiters to the beach. My good friend and coworker Kasey Lords has picked up kiting from taking lessons in Hawaii and returning to Utah to learn what light wind mountain kiting is all about. He caught on quick and is now a proficient Utah kiter.
My wife, Jessica and I took a trip to South Padre Island, Texas in 2015 where she was able to take lessons and reallycaught the bug. We are looking forward to her progression and a 2 week trip to Maui in May 2016.
Living and kiting in Utah means that we are able to enjoy year round kiting with often times the water and snow seasons overlapping. In 2014, he was able to catch a double whammy session by snowkiting at Strawberry Reservoir in the morning and also kiteboarding at Utah Lake in the afternoon. Snowkiting and kiteboarding are so similar yet so different and offer such a varied style and technique. Recently in snowkiting he has learned how to glide and by watching legends like Jake Buzianis and have seen that the limits of snowkiting are endless. He is humbled by all the great kiters in Utah. On the water Andrew has begun riding strapless surf. Andrew love’s the freedom and challenge it is to ride the swellat Utah lake on a surfboard and look forward to honing my wave riding skills at the 2016 Kite Expo at Pismo, CA in April 2016. It will be a great warmup for Maui! As for gear, Andrew have ridden Best kites ever since he learned in Cabareteand Jake hooked me up with that Taboo. He has a quiver of 2014 Best TS kites in almost every size and ride an Axis Limited twin tip and Slingshot Screamer & Trex.
Among other things Andrew a owner of www.lassermetalworks.com. Ask him about his February Special im sure he will hook you up with a great rack!
For updates, follow Lasser Metalworks on social media:
Andrew has since returned to Cabarete and enjoyed kiting the same beaches where he learned so many years ago. Andrew was able to meet up with my old teacher, Xavier and share a few sessions with him. He has also kited in St. Maarten, South Padre Island, Sherman Island and the Gorge. However, my favorite kite spot in the entire world remains South Sandy Beach at Utah Lake. The hairdryer smooth summer winds and shallow warm water makes it an amazing spot
for kiting. However the real reason it is such a great spot is because of the great people I get to share it with.
Grace Gonzalez is originally from Puerto Rico, where she learned to kite at Ocean Park Beach, San Juan in 2008. She moved to Florida in late 2008 where she became actively involved with sports, teaching and working in the industry. Thanks to the sport she made great friendships like Frances Rivera (November 2015 kiteboarder of the month) and Dale Baker AKA Danger Dale.
Thanks to kiteboarding she’s been to places, during moments where Gace’s path has crossed the path of amazing people. Grace is sure kiteboarding has shaped her life in a way no other sport would have. But kiteboarding is not her only passion, during those long windless summers in South Florida she invests time free diving, spearfishing, and wakeboarding. “She also love snow skiing; just the feeling of being so far from the ocean, up in the mountains; makes me feel like I’m still discovering the amazing things nature offers us constantly, and how we can purely enjoy it. She think’s of it as becoming one with nature; everyone has their way of connecting.
Grace currently works as a freelance producer on the media industry, but still uses her free time to go kite at her local secret beach in Fort Lauderdale area. Her favorite tricks include the Front-Roll downloop transition, unhooked front-rolls, S-bend attempts, and wave ridding. She learned the hard way that doing tricks in flat water is way less complicated than doing them on the chop of the Atlantic. Her favorite spots include Tiger Tail and Pompano 16th Street, where she has an amazing group of supportive friends that will laugh at her wipe-outs and later on encourage her to go bigger.
If you’d ask Grace she will always say that kiting is better with friends, and the friends you make kiteboarding will become also your best friends for life.
Charlie Vogel is 22 year old that loves anything involving high speeds, big air, and being on the water. He was a former windsurfer who took a kite lesson in Florida around 2012 and never shook the bug.
Charlie has been chasing wind since. He has kited inland lakes in Wisconsin to Caribbean oceans to Utah where he lives now. His home base is Park City. “Park City is like being in the heart of it all. I can ski, bike, rock-climb, and most importantly kite : ) All in one day within an hour. Charlie has an itch for almost any action sport, but kiteboarding and snowkiting take the cake he says. Back in Wisconsin, He’d ride Lake Michigan 8 months out of the year in waters as cold as 38 degrees. “If the water and air temps added up to 90, and the breeze was on, we were out there!”.
Any day there is a chance for wind, you can find him at the local spots in Utah. Utah Lake is his favorite place to ride. He says, “out of all the places I’ve been, We have a hidden gem not even an hour away for world class kiting and steady breeze”.
When Charlie isn’t kiting, He is at flight school working towards flying Corporate aircraft one day. “I love to fly on and off the water” Charlie says. “It is these places I forget about the day to day stresses, and live for the moment”. If any of you have questions or ever keen to ride, send Charlie an email at cwv0920@westminstercollege or link up with him on Facebook.
Frances Rivera is 27 years old and started kiteboarding in June or July 2007 she really cant remember the actual date; Frances was 19 living in a studio in front of the beach in Ocean Park Puerto Rico. Frances learned on a C kite with not much depower.
Frances started riding after four hours of lessons; Needless to say she needed more time to learn the technical stuff. Frances first kite was a 2005 11 meter C Best Yarga. She paid close to $400 for it and that kite taught her what a lot of power can do. Coming from a skateboarding background she much rather eat water than pavement .
With time Frances was in the water every day. Puerto Rico has very consistant wind and she took advantage od that. About so a year later Frances was riding a Waroo doing raileys, kiteloops and double kiteloops (tried that 3 times ever) with a result of a hematoma from my knee to my buttchicks which left her right thigh looking like it got beat up with a bat for about three weeks.
Soon after Frances joined the Army and there goes a year w/o kiting. She was in training in the States and became a combat medic for the US Army…… then after a year Frances came back home and stayed in the Reserves.
Over the course of time she started doing bigger kite loops, riding bigger waves, getting better. Frances gotten the opportunity to:Kite boarded Oregon (Main event) in Hood River and stayed camping in for a week in Viento she loved the place and the brewery full sail after every session was spectacular and she got attached to the place so much Frances wanted to cry when she left and here was the first time that she got an offer as kiteboarding Instructor. She should’ve said yes to be honest it but back then it seemed too far away from home , Idaho riding lake was a bit more gusty given the wind direction so she wasn’t super impressed with the wind just there.
Then Frances moved to Jacksonville to improve my skills, teach some kiteboarding and get her security clearance to become an Army Officer and Become and Army nurse, but life had a really different plan for her.
In Januarty of 2011 she got into an accident and lost her leg.
The doctors told her that she wasn’t able to kite again…. Frances was in a hospital bed for a month and laying on a bed for 4 more. Then got ahold of a company called CAF (challenged athletes foundation) and inquired about kiteboarders with disabilities. Although there weren’t many she got ahold of Ryan Levinson which very kindly spent a lot of hours reassuring she was gonna be able to get back at it.
Finally in May 2011 Frances got fitted for a leg and started riding again. Her resistance, endurance and skill level dropped dramatically. Riding in one leg can be and is by all means a never ending challenge. But this sport generated such great passion and such big love that going treough excrutiating pain was a better option than to give up. Definetly stubborn by in a way or another we all fight for what we love
And home always been Home I came back to Puerto Rico.
After a 4 month trip she was broke has $20 in my pocket and needed a job. It was 4th of july and she needed a kite so she went to the shop of one of the guys that taught me and asked for a loaner kite to ride for a while and afterwards asked for a job.
Just like that for the second time she ended up as an instructor. The school was 15 knots kiteboarding School and Frances went from the new instructor to 3.5 years later been the head instructor/manager and accumulate over 2,600 hours of instruction. Too bad that there wasn’t any certification needed So know that she finally have a “acknowledge” certification just a Kiteboarding Instructor Level 1 lol.
In 2013 there was the first Foiling cup in Puerto Rico. San Juan Foiling Cup. of 30 competitor on the twin tip division Frances was the only girl with a leg broke in the competetition and we had to fully duck tape it she got 3rd place. Not bad for a one legged girl. In June of this Year she moved Up to FL, did yachting for a bit kiteboarded the Bahamas. After the job called Todd for a sponsorship and got back the job. Frances currently am a Distributor for Cabrinha, Np surf, Np windsurf, Imagin and Jp boards in Nort, South, Central Amercia and the carribean. She is part of prydegroup Americas and on the weekends you will see me giving lessons in Matheson as long as there is wind. She is still trying to improve her skill level and ride harder and more technical (as long as her leg allows me). Riding with one leg ……she unhooks, she loops, jumping transitions, kiteloop 360’s not as easy as before but not giving up. But trying to enjoy every last piece of it for as long as she can and as long as life lets her
She know’s that she might never get to be as agile as she was before, and It hurts….. But life doesn’t wait fo anybody and you gotta flow with it. Whatever the obstacle is Ride it Hard! Frances Rivera And personally kiteboarding Is a great healer for anything….. you detach from everything and just flow with the wind J.In the future however she see’s herself foiling and racing, surfing more…..Fran Oceankite — facebook
Proving kiteboarding is a sport with no age limits, Louis began taking lessons at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, FL when he was 70 years old. It was very difficult for Louis at first, but after a while he learned to get up on the board. Then when the heat of summer came, Louis did not kiteboard for four months. Then Louis had to have a total right knee replacement, so by the time Louis kiteboarded again nine months had gone by. Louis pressed on and began again taking lessons for three months at Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables, FL. However, another obstacle had hit. Louis found out that he had to get another surgery, a Colectomy. After a couple of months of recovery, Louis, being very determined because of his love of the sport, once again began kiteboarding for about three months. After that, yet another hurdle, Louis had to have back surgery to remove a benign lump.
Being resolute, after another couple of months, Louis began kiteboarding yet again. Just as Louis was beginning to go upwind, an exhilarating milestone, the hot Florida summer came adding another four months passing by before Louis could kiteboard again. By that time Louis was 72 years old, but, being better and stronger, he was able to kiteboard an entire season. Louis then began at last to really enjoy kiteboarding as the difficult part was over, more difficult than for most people by far! In the seven years Louis has been kiteboarding, Louis lost about 30 lbs, improved his balance, put on a little muscle, got rid of his arthritis, and even though he is seven years older, he is appreciably stronger than he was at 70 years of age.
Louis recalls that at first when he was good enough to kiteboard going upwind, he would get tired after 30 to 45 minutes. But then he began kiteboarding even longer, two hours nonstop and sometimes staying out three hours. His record is four hours! Hurrah!
This is an endorsement to the sport of kiteboarding and to the persistence of a man determined to not give up something that Louis calls his fountain of youth. Now, Louis has traveled to kiteboard in Brazil, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Turks and Caicos. Louis has been taught to kiteboard by many and helped by many more having his butt saved more than a couple of times by good kiteboarding friends. To anyone who has to get OLDER but doesn’t want to get OLD, Louis recommends taking up kiteboarding!
“OLD GUYS RULE”
Ravil’s kite addiction started in Egypt in Feb 2001 or 2002. He was so impressed by kite jumps of competitors at 3-d Red Sea Cup in Safaga that he immediately bought second hand kite – 16m Fuel \ C kite in 2000 produced probably\ for 1000$ and used custom Take Off board. For 200$. A guy who sold me the stuff charged me to extra 50$ for one hour kite lesson and then immediately vanished)). We departed to winter Kazan. He couldn’t wait the summer to try kiting at home at Volga river. Ravil had no idea that time how bad is my inland wind consisting in summer mostly from thermal gusts and turbulence. Ravil was or overdosed or my old C kite just fell down dead. So he gave up and prefer more common windsurfing for that type of wind.
Next time Ravil came back to kites happened in winter in the beginning of 2004 when local Paraavis Kites dealer Damir Valeev gave me and other folks to try B2 foil kite on skies, and this opened real snowkite era in Kazan. We started to explore huge frozen Volga and Kama river spaces. That winter with 3 others we were the first ones who made 100km snowkite marathon from Kama river to Kazan.. And also I made the first attempt to snowkite local terrain. I was very bad surprised by unwanted lifting off by turbulence. It looked totally crazy and unsafe so I decided to wait and come back later and continued explorations of flats.
Farther and faster! I began to take part in all happening Russian snowkite events – races and marathons. . It was really inspiring time – all events were new and happened first time.
This is just short list – Rybinskiy Horizons in Cherepovetc city, Peterburg Forts and WISSA in S.Peterburg, Gigulevskoe Sea Marathon in Tolyatti city , 100km Imandra Lake Marathon in Montchegorsk.But my mind was still thinking about kiting at terrain. And in 2006 Ravil seen announcement about upcoming in Feb Royal Battle event organized by Ozone at amazing Lagonaki Plateau in Caucasus Mts Of course Ravil was in! He grab his kites – 2 handle race Elf kites 4m and 10m Respect and 7m B2 and off to the races he went.
The first experience shocked me. The wind was 30 to .45 mph I took out my 4m handle Respect. I could do only one ride- mostly downwind and when tried to land got epic fail.. All lines was tangled and became a full mess).
Thanks to Slava Voroshilov -Ozone Russia rep. He gave me to try Ozone Access The first time I snowkited real terrain .in high mountains Exciting and lifetime memorable ride. Even proriders of other Russian kite brands preferred to kite there only on Ozone Frenzy. Ravil seen there even 90mph wind. No kiting , just observing – it was scared experience . Once Ravil tried kiting in mountains then you got sick of flat terrain and are thinking only how to ride there again So in the same year April Ravil went to snowkite trip to Russian Far North West – to Khibiny Mts . He kited with local guide Sergey Lavrentiev – thanks to him for sharing with us his spots near Monchegorsk and Kirovsk cities and Teriberka town.. The crown and most exciting of NW destination became snowkiting at Rybachiy Peninsula. Later Ravil kited at Elbrus Mt- at plateau situated between Barrels 3850m and Shelter of 11 -4200m.
In 2010 -11 Ravil began to discover snowkite America. Ravil took part in North America Snowkite Tour competitions in amateur division. Dillon Lake Open, Super Fly Open , Snowkite Soldiers- were cool events. Ravil made alot of friends over this trips . Ravil was so thankful for their hospitality and support. To kite with strangers from different countries and especially very thankful to Dennis Garoutte from Canon city CO who was the first who introduced me snowkite America…Also in Jan 2011 during European freeride trip with Konstantin Platov snowkited at Lautaret Pass in France. It s funny but only after America trips He started to search for and explore local Kazan snowkite terrains.. Kazan locals ride only flats. Ravil figured out that the best snowkite terrains are paraglide spots! Even in my plain area I found nearby Kazan my mini Strawberry, Skyline and even Bondurant spots.It came true my another dream in last winter March -to snowkite Skyline. UT where he met up with Leo Chan Utah’s most consistent kiter. In the Spring of April 2015 another long time kept trip idea was done – Ravil snowkited at Polar Urals Mts. It’s Russian Far North area . Ravil got a week of coolest terrain snowkiting at Sob river racing at the top of Sob Mt with wild deers!. As far as Ravils Dreams or plans to kite for future? Before I die?)- To make Round The World snowkite trip including Europe, Norway and Russian NorthUS North West AK and WO and Montana – Snowkite Jam Alaska. Jackson Hole New Zealand – Snowfarm.. one Summit on snow..Of course to do this I need a little help of my friends over the world – especially in such exotic places like NZ and Aussie.Not enough? More bigger dream ? – To snowkite Antarctic! Even more bigger?! Something that sounds absolutely crazy? – to snowkite at Mars glacers!!
It all started back in 1998 when I first touched down on American soil. Living in Hawaii, no one can resist the call of the beach and the ocean and I was no exception to the rule. As a regular beachgoer in Honolulu, I was mesmerized at the sight of a man on the ocean whizzing on the water pulled by a large kite and wondered: “who is this man” “what kind of sport is that?” I had never seen anything like that! That’s when my quest began.
I started dreaming about kitesurfing to the point that I was ready to give it a try, but I was pregnant. Only after the birth of my child and relocation to Florida was I able to finally take my first kitesurfing lesson.
My introduction to the sport was challenging to say the least: I wasn’t even sure I would manage to simply fly the kite in the first place. Bear in mind that we were in 2000 the era of “C” kites with NO safety release!
After days of frustration I finally learned how to maintain the kite at 12 o’clock. Enough motivation for me to buy my first gear and the adventure began…
I quickly became an avid surfer and like the rest of us who have had severe crashes it was only a matter of time until my firstserious accident took place and sidelined me for 2 years. I was fearful to get back on the board and had to summon up enough courage to surf again, but when I did return, I ultimately I managed to get up-wind. The year was 2009; I had bought a BOW kite and really started kiting.
My life has changed drastically with kitesurfing: I find an unparalleled excitement every time I go out. That unique experience that all kitesurfers get to live through: exposed to ever-changing settings: different waters, wind conditions… An indescribable experience only known to kitesurfers
Nowadays when my friends from the 16th Street Crew in Pompano Beach text the word “WIND” I feel the rush of adrenaline going through my body, my hearts starts pounding wishing I could just instantly teleport myself to the beach with my kite set up and ready to go!
Since 2012 I have had the great pleasure to share my passion of kite surfing through teaching others. It has been a humbling andrewarding experience receiving feedback from many of my students whose life has been enhanced like mine.
I am ever thankful of the opportunities that kitesurfing has provided to me. I have met a number of exceptional individuals through the sport and I have had the opportunity to travel to exotic destinations to pursue my passion to name a few: The Dominican Republic, Mexico, Barbados, The Bahamas, Argentina, Venezuela, The Florida Keys…
So my words to you are: If you are thinking about kitesurfing: “do it!” you can thank me later… lol. For those of you whoalready caught the surfing bug “Good wind!”.
Nick’s love for kiting did not start on the water, but rather at a tender young age of 8 when he spent a summer at the Belgian Sea shore, Knokke, Belgium. It was there he first got his hands on a Flexifoil Skytiger power kite. Back then they flew two or four line kites with handles, no harnesses, no real effective safety system. But what the heck, it was fun and a great learning experience. By the age of 15 he saw his first LEI kite and was hooked, learning to kite on a Naish Boxer, and eventually Epic Kites. As with everyone who tries to kite, he was instantly hooked and all vacation days would now be dedicated to kiting.
Nick has spent a great deal of time traveling, using all networking opportunities to find cheap ways to try out new kiteboarding destinations. He has kited, Sherman Island State park, CA, Hood River OR, Utah Lake Utah, Outer Banks NC, The Gut Connecticut, Cape cod MA, Silver sand Barbados, Cabarete DR, Djerba Tunisia, Essauoira Morocco, Europe and while sailing the Greek islands. He attempts to make it a point to visit a new kiteboarding destination each year in order to experience the culture and winds of each country. When asking him what his favorite destination are he immediately stated Outer Banks, North Carolina and Essauoira, Morocco.
“The outer banks has it all. Consistent wind, flat water on the inside, and waves on the outside. Everyone there is into Kiting. You kite all day and go out with friends and talk about the experiences. They even have a place called planet of the apes that has butter flat water, and channels forcing you to island hop from channel to channel.” Nick, also mentioned Morocco as a must go to place to travel. Great people, (they mostly speak French and Islamic) but the wind is strong and you cannot get a better view. “Kiting around camels, overlooked by an old navy fortress is beautiful. After your session you can go enjoy local food and head to le Souk (market).”
Nick is currently working on RIGA Athletic Wear. The company is focusing on building board shorts with an inside line to help keep a compact structure for water enthusiasts and allow the shorts to be held down on sunny days. No more burn thighs! With an assortment of hats and T shirts to go along with the shorts, RIGA Athletic wear is poised to bring enhanced features to your board short collection. They are aiming to launch August 1st 2015.
If you are ever looking for a kiteboarding friend for a trip or need tips on where to go kite in any of the places mentioned, Nick is happy to answer any questions. HE can be reached at Haagenfels@gmail.com
It was May 1999 and Felipe Rodriguez was headed to Dominican Republic for the
First time to reunite with his father he hadn’t seen in years. On the coastal drive from the airport to his father’s farm something caught his attention. There was this strange thing flying in the sky, attacked to a person surfing in the ocean. It peaked his curiosity enough that he asked his brother to stop so he could inquire. Ath the time is was secluded beach area with 2 homes. How that some area is known as the DR”s world famous Kite Beach Felipe stood there for close to an hour fascinated by the sport. Yes he still had not spoken to the guy flying in the sea. Fed up, his brother threatened to leave him stranded on the beach. Sok the two brothers continued their drive to the other side of the island.Over the next few days, as Felipe Visited with his family, he kept dreaming of that “kite thing” he witnessed the day he arrived. Finally, he borrowed a car and drove back to that same bean, approached one of the homes and knocked on the door. In Broken a very nice French man greeted him and offered to show Felipe just what Kitesurfing was all about. That French guy was Bruno Leguinoux the inventor kitesufing kite. Little did Felipe know, that day in the DR would stick with him forever.
Upon returning to Dallas, Texas Felipe began to research the Kitesurfing Idea or “Dream”. With very little information and limited access to the internet, Felipe purchased and waited 6 months for the arrival of his first kite the Wipika Classic. Through mutual friends Felipe connected with Zing, this free spirted hippy, with years of windsurfing experience. Zing know little to nothing about kitesurfing but could give Felipe vast knowledge on wind direction, speed and power. Kite and board in hand within weeks, Felipe headed back to that beach in the DR determined to master kitesurfing!
Looking back over the past 16 years, Felipe has traveled all over the world met kiteboarders of all levels, developed long lasting friendships with people near and far and credits his kitesurfing experience to his life choices today. Living on Lake Ray Hubbard one of Dallas few kiteboarding locations, Felipe looks forward to the day he can train his two sons 6 and 10 to be responsible, courageous kiteboarders and hopes they are just as hooked as Dad was 16 Years Ago Today!
“Wiiiiiind!” is usally the first blissful cheer you’ll hear from her when Susi gets to the kite beach. Second most frequent is “Want to bet?” as Susi loves making and winning bets, especially on kite tricks. Like back in 2012, when Susi was out dancing with her kite friends in Los Angeles, CA and one of them challenged her: “I bet you can’t kite like you dance in those boots.”
Travis Green, an east coast snow kiter from the Appalachian Mountains of rural Maryland, residing in Garrett County where the winters can be rather harsh, with an abundance of snow. He was introduced to the kite world by a close friend and mentor, John Regan.
Coming from a skiing and snowboarding community, he picked up snowboarding at an early age. With years of downhill riding under his belt at local resorts like Wisp Mountain and Timberline Resort, he knew that it was time for seeking out great new adventures. Moving to South Lake Tahoe in the winter of the 2012 -2013 season got him interested in another side of snowboarding, that being the hiking/backcountry side of the sport. After the winter in Tahoe, he then traveled back east to his hometown of Accident, MD where his passion for snowboarding was met with kiting. Deep Creek Lake had frozen over and it was time to explore the kite scene. He caught on rather quickly, and within 15 minutes of flying a three meter trainer kite, he was hooked. That very same day he went home and made the purchase of a couple of kites and has never looked back. His drive to be a well-rounded kiter really flourished. The following winter months were all about dialing in the proper kiting skills and surrounding himself with like-minded people.
For the most part he sees how the kiting community has welcomed him with open arms, and has taught him many valuable lessons. With only a few places back east that provide amazing kiting experiences, he ventured west again to meet more snow kiters and see new areas. One of the most memorable places was Fairview, Utah to a well-known place called Skyline. There he was able to tap into another side of kiting he had never done before. He’s just a small town guy exploring a life with endless kiting options. He hopes he can pass on this sport he’s very much passionate about, to others along his journey through life.
Dean Mikulla , a native of Pittsburgh Pa, started kiteboarding in 2002 on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore, Md. After moving to Maryland for work and family. ” There were only 2 or 3 of us on the entire Chesapeake back then trying to learn on two line Wipika’s !” he describes. “Unlike today, there was much pain involved with learning to kite. No de-power, difficult relaunching, and early technology didn’t help the learning process either ! ”
Dean survived the learning curve and after a few years kiting around the Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Shore, he started getting visions of snow kiting.
He grew up in the cold winters of Western Pennsylvania skiing and snowboarding the slopes of Seven Springs Resort just east of Pittsburgh . He tells the story of his his first attempt at snow kiting , ” There was a small runway on top of the mountain at Seven Springs and I knew it would be possible to snow kite up there! Finally one day I went up to the runway when it was blowing around 30knts , and threw up my 3 meter trainer kite. The wind speed was more like 15 to 40 and the runway was total ice ! It was an adventure to say the least ! That was around 2006″
Early in Dean’s snowboarding days he was taking yearly trips to Utah to ride the resorts in the Wasatch Mountains. ” I think it was around 2007 when I was on the lift at Powder Mountain near Ogden , Utah and saw a kite up . The people I was with had no idea the excitement and eagerness that was pumping through my veins ! The following season I brought a 10 meter tube kite and had my first real snowkiting session at Skyline , Utah. I had snow kited once or twice since that crazy day on the runway at Seven Springs in a farm field, but never at a place like this ! ”
Since then Dean has continued to explore Utah’s snow kiting spots, and is now a regular with the Jackson Hole Kiters. ” I spent 3 or 4 years going to Utah to snow kite on my yearly trips out west before I started hearing about the snow kiting possibilities in Wyoming and Idaho. I met William Taggart and Wayne Phillips of the Jackson Hole Kiters crew online somehow, and they invited me to their stomping grounds for some fun ! ” Jackson Hole Kiters is a snow kiting / videographer /photographer team who’s videos and images can be seen in most of the kiting mags and Ozone and Patagonia catalogs . ” Those guys are doing some amazing things up there !
They routinely scour the maps in search of new places to snow kite. This year they took me to an amazing place to snow kite that involved an hour and a half skin to 10,000′ and then we pumped up and kited across a mile long plateau to this giant bowl with a 1200′ vertical cliff ! Sounds crazy but it was very doable.” Look for the latest movie by the Jackson Hole Kiters crew documenting their month long snow kiting exploration in Alaska being filmed this March ( 2015 ).
When Dean is not traveling out west he can now be found on the shores of eastern Maryland kiting waves from Delaware to the Carolina’s. ” I used to ride a twin tip and do all of the wake style stuff, but now that I’m almost 50 , I prefer the ease of a strapless surfboard. Its all about riding waves for me now. I’ve been surfing for 20 years, and with a kite, wave riding possibilities are endless. Most days are not perfect waves with light off shores. But with a kite, you can turn a crappy day of surfing into an epic day of slashing waves !! ”
Dean also takes a yearly trip to Puerto Rico to surf and kite the waves on the north shore of the Island. ” Ive been going to Puerto Rico during the winter for sometime now. The place is world class for surfing and kite surfing. And if there is no wind or waves, which is rare, there’s so many other things to do like snorkeling or exploring the jungle.”
Incidentally , Dean is a video / Final Cut Pro hobbyist and has made many videos documenting all of his adventures through the years. There are some interesting movies of kiteboarding back in the day, as well as some cool “kite Kam” POV movies. His videos can be seen here, http://marshallmovies.net/webtvblog/ , and herehttp://www.marshallmovies.net/vidpage.html
Get Your Happy Pi Day Shirt Once in a Life Time Shirt
Mar 14, 2014 – Now that is a very good reason to celebrate. It only falls once every 100 years.
Photo By Rob Waara
They call it “dawn patrol,” kiteboarding first thing in the morning while the rest of the world is still sleeping. The wind is nuking as the sun peaks up over the horizon. It’s her perfect day. It’s 5 o’clock in the morning and the sun isn’t even up yet. The smell of coffee fills the apartment… she’s moving a little quicker because this time it’s not just to clock in by 7:00am in the county hospital Emergency Room.
Kat started kiteboarding back in 2012 while lifeguarding and going to nursing school. “Kat consider’s her self a full-time wind gypsy traveling from coast to coast finding spots to kite, and then working in the emergency room in my “spare time,” 40 hours a week.” Kat grew up along the shoreline of Costa Rica and moved to Miami, FL in the late 90’s. Being exposed to water sports at any early age, it was only a matter of time before Kat entered the kiteboard world.
Photo By Fidel @305kitesurf
The sport is something Kat is increasingly passionate about. From the beautiful beaches of South Florida, to the snow-covered Rockies, this kiter chick doesn’t miss an opportunity to see the world from above. In April she will be visiting one of the world’s most challenging kiteboarding hotspots, Cape Town, South Africa. While there she hopes to tackle the wind-whipped surf, ridden by only very experienced kiteboarders in extremely challenging conditions. “I’ve met so many inspiring people since I started kiting, Kat’s life has become an endless adventure. Kat can only hope to instill the same passion in other people.”To spot this kiting gypsy? Just look up in the air for her hot pink wings at her favorite local spot Matheson Hammock, or further south in the Florida Keys. “If there’s good wind, She will be there.”
“I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.”
John Masefield, “Sea Fever”
So if you ever in Florida send her a email on where to go
Location: North Conway, NH USA
Years Kitesurfing: 17 years (1998-present)
Favorite Discipline: Snowkiting up mountains and exploring new riding spots
Best Spot: Skyline, Utah USA and Mount Adams to Mount Washington NH (snow), Cape Hatteras, North Carolina USA (water), Ivanpah Dry Lake Bed (land) Nevada, USA
Music: Electronic, Trap, Dub Step, jazz, Latin, Classical, Disco
Interests: Percussion, studio production music, paragliding, rock and ice climbing, ski mountaineering, teaching, family and friends, art (water color oil, and spray paint), sewing and repairing things that break, setting off avalanches, dual-sport motor cycling, surfing, slack lining.
Results: 1st place for most days out on snow in New Hampshire 2013 and 2014 with 129 sessions. 6th and 7th place US Snowkite Masters 2007-2008. 1st place in having the most fun snow kiting and kiteboarding on the planet Earth.
He’s called Zebulon Jakub nicknamed Crabzebula and to family crabnebula . Born in western Massachusetts and currently living in North Conway NH, USA. Currently he’s been teaching snow kiting/kiteboarding in the Northeast USA for 10 year (2005-2015).
His education from Green Mountain College, receiving a Bachelors of Science in Adventure Recreation (2001) as well as taken many educational courses in the psychology of teaching and education for adults and children. Other educational certifications and trainings include: Level 2 IKO Snowkite Instructor, Level 1 Power Kite and Kiteboarding Instructor, American Mountain Guide Association Rock Instructor, Single Pitch Instructor Provider, and Climbing Wall Instructor Provider, hold a current P2 USHPA paragliding pilot certification, EMT and OEC medical technician and current Wilderness First Responder, and AIARE Level 2 avalanche training to name some but not all of my past education.
Zebulon’s experiences have brought him to just near all states in the USA for snow kiting and adventuring, as well as Canada, France, and Mexico.
He certainly feels strongly connected to a community of snow kiter’s world wide and have found my involvement with IKON (since 2011) to be one heck of an incredible ride. Zebulon is super glad to be a part of a young company with no limits to innovation and passion for Riding Different.
So If you are ever in his neck of the woods here is how you can contact him.
Facebook PAGE: Kiteboard New England
Facebook Profile: Zebulon at Kiteboard New England
Twitter: Zebulon Jakub
Sponsors: IKON Kiteboarding, Kitetracker, International Mountain Climbing School
Jamy started getting stoked on the wind in 1991. Joe Levins “Redbeard” taught Jamy how to ice windsurf on the Boulder reservoir and that same year introduced him to Alex and Sik Nik Peterson. Jamy started filming with Alex and new he had to kite. Still not kiting in 1994 he saw Chuck “Huck” Patterson with some crazy ram air kite on Stampede Reservoir in Tahoe pullin’ himself around on his skis. He was trippin’.
So Jamy got his own camera and just started filming everything and everyone everywhere until he had about 10 years of footage that he threw together in his first kiteboard movie GUST. Jamy had worked with Warren MIller and kind of took that approach to making his first movie. “GUST” was cool but kind of dated because some of the footy was so old and kiting had gotten so cool so quickly. For Jamy it was about doing something with all that footage putting it behind him and moving forward making more current and credible videos. GUST 2 “Windependence” is on the timeline now and pretty close to completion. Jamy grew up in Tahoe City and currently lives in Ocean Beach SF and pretty much only rides strapless in waves because for Jamy that’s just what he loves and it’s always challenging. Jamy loves surfboards, mostly riding Brewers, Cones and Carlsons. Inspired by Rebstock Rienstra Ropner Alldredge Spiller REO BWilson Blakeney Kafka Neff Harrington Shy Patri and Malibu Mike. Jamy say’s he’s not as good as any of those cats but when you look at his pic’s it makes you wonder. Many times Jamy thinks about how other people would ride a wave when he’s riding? How hard would Rebstock smash this lip? Jamy is always pretending he’s someone else it makes him ride harder he says. So when he sees people killing it in boots he puts his kite down and grabs a camera. Jamy has shot at a bunch of contests but he really just likes to go to a sick place and make the most of it. Watching and filming Ruben, Aaron, Brandon and the Richmans gets him stoked to film. Jamy always say when guys like that are riding don’t ever hit stop recording on your camera it’s non stop action and you don’t want to miss it.
Jamy loves kiting, in a lot of ways it saved his life and made him the best friends from the community. There are so many more people that have inspired him, The Heinekens, Suave, Claire and Colleen, The Utah Crew, the Norwegians, all the Sherman inhabitants, Pismonians, Mitu and all the groms shredding after only a few years. From racing to snow, surf and wakestyle it’s all rad there’s so much to do and learn so just like in the beginning Jamy is approaching it all kind of slowly at his pace and makes his own small progressions. This year Jamy is working on strapless rolls in waves and bigger glides in the snow and building kickers, staying on a snowboard all winter and no skis! Last year Jamy was blown away by Andy Blunt and Peter Miller with their massive thermal flights. That’s where he wants to be he says. Jamy still puts on straps sometimes when the NorthWest comes down (he’s goofyfooted) and the waves are huge ramps. He loves boosting as high as he can and If his heels feel good that day that’s what he’s gonna do, Boost… He hopes to be kiting all the way to the grave.
In 2006 Steve saw a Kiteboarding Magazine and just knew I had to do this. It wasn’t until the summer of 2009 I finally witnessed the sport in action on Jetty Island near Everett, Washington. Then after a Youtube Frenzy I began a Web Research, created the forum name Wanna-Go on PSKite and NWKite and took lessons in Lincoln City, Oregon and Bellingham, Wa that Fall and Hood River the next Spring and just started buying gear.
Steve’s Passion for Shredding began with Snowboarding which started the summer of 1984 on Mt Rainer where he grew up in Mt Vernon, WA in the shadow of Mt Baker and was a Season Pass holder of The Mt Baker Ski Area from 1987-1993 where
Steve snowboarded every chance he got Especially Fridays! Steve also have been into Snowmobiling for Backcountry access since 1992 where I found the allure of Exploration and so far haven’t been Snowkiting near enough in the 5 seasons of kiting now have. Steve hope’s this is the year he gets back to Utah in winter after that awesome spring/summer I had there in 2012 on the water.
Steve currently live in Ephrata, Wa and have been an IBEW Electrician for the past 24 years currently building Microsoft’s latest Data Center nearby and mostly kiteboard Central Washington, Columbia Gorge and Puget Sound.
We are going to Denmark that’s right Denmark USA Wind Sports is excited to have Jens Zinklar as rider of the month for October!!! Jens was introduced to kitesurfing in 2004, and already a parachuter and wakeboarder, he knew he wanted to make this active sport his own. But in April 2006, only a few weeks after buying his first kite, he lost his leg in a working accident.
After 5 years of struggling fought his way back to a exciting life. Zens now lectures about loosing his leg and gaining his self confidence back as well as identity. Now Jen kiteboards and snowkites all over the world. He hope that people will be inspired by his attitude “you can’t be too daring and that you can plan your future as you wish if you dare to fight for it”. Hard training got him out of bed and into his prosthetic, but nothing could get him riding the waves with his never used gear. At least that was what he was told. But Jens has a hard time understanding the word Can’t, so he decided to go wakeboarding like in the old days. And when he found out he could still do that, there was really no good reason as to why he shouldn’t be able to go kitesurfing. He took a course, went to India to practice and finally got his own instructor’s license.
Its very rare that we get such a inspirational person that can handle adversity in such a manner.
His favorite spot is at the beach just outside his parents’ summer cottage, less than an hour from his home. But he doesn’t have to go that far. On the tiny island where he lives he has three spots within only five minutes of driving. One on each side of the island, so he can go, no matter the wind direction. Today Jens has his own company, where he gives speeches about never giving up and facilitates The Passion Test to help amputees and other people to find their passions and follow their own dreams. And then he is a dedicated kitesurfer, snowboarder and pain in the a** for all those who say, that amputees Can’t.
Contact Info www.aktivamput.com Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Also if anyone is in the need of pest control give Chase a Call
That’s Right we are going back to Hawaii
Phillip Williams started skydiving in 1980 at the age of 15. He knew right away that is was the funnest things he ever done. Skydiving kept him away from the trappings of life. In 1980 Phil was one of three teenagers that was a liscence skydiver from the USTA. My time has flown by now phil runs a dental lab in Duncanville Texas and still skydives across Texas. During the early days of skydiving Phillip was heavily involved canapy relative work “CRW” You can get in contact with Phil thru email email@example.com
Jennifer Ceruti, born in New Orleans got into kiting after playing soccer her whole life. After playing professional soccer in Spain, she wanted to try something new and got into windsurfing in Tarifa. But it wasn’t until she moved to Miami that she learned to kite and fell in love with the sport. Her favorite spot to kite is Stiltsville with crystal clear, flat, waist deep water with the houses on silts in the backdrop. So when your down in Florida and want to kite clear flat water, call Jen at The Kite Farm http://thekitefarm.com
Photo By James Roh
Derik saw kiteboarding for the very first time on extreme sports magazine show, Adrenaline TV. “The riders were jumping at will & ripping it up and I HAD to do this sport.”
Derik started searching the internet for information about kiteboarding. He eventually bought a gear package with RRD kites & Airush 6’6” Starboard Directional Kiteboard. At that time, there was no training available in Utah. Derik conceived an idea to turn his new passion into a profitable business. So Derik started his kiteboarding school, UKB (Utah KiteBoarding), he relied on the power of dreams. In the spring of 2000, he found out that there was a certification process to become an instructor through Professional Air Sports Association (PASA). Derik attended the PASA – Instructor Certification School in Santa Monica, California and became the first certified Kiteboarding instructor in Utah
Then life dealt him a hard hand.Cinco, De Mayo 2004, Derik was headed out kiting with Ryan Allen & Dean Davis. They went to a part of Utah Lake Derik dubbed “South Bay.” South Bay was unique because in the early afternoon when there was no wind anywhere else on the lake, there was consistently wind there. The group headed out for “South Bay” to catch some afternoon rides. Utah Lake is well known for being very dangerous and high wind conditions can come up very suddenly.A Micro-burst of 54mph hit the area where they were riding. Dean was already out on the lake riding and was not affected by the strong gust. Derik was launching his 14M Naish X2 kite when it hit. He was immediately lofted off the ground about 20 feet and then came back down. Ryan Allen then jumped onto his back & the wind picked them both up 10’. Upon impact, Ryan fell off Derik’s back. The kite then picked Derik back into the air and then death spiraled under him and pulled him into the ground, forcefully spearing him into the ground. The kite was now dragging Derik unconsciously across the beach. Ryan quickly grasped hold of the control bar and was able to finally free him from the chicken loop, stopping it from dragging him, and saving his life. Derik had suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and had a broken rib. Derik was in the hospital for a total of 2 months, he was in the Rehab Clinic for 6 weeks. Then life handed Derik another challenge, Derik was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer. 9 months later, he finished the treatment process and began the waiting game of remission. So to say the least Derik is a suvivor he has come full circle with back kiting on the water in 2013 and kiting on the snow in 2014
To contact Derick go to http://KiteUKB.com
Photographer Mark Johnson
Salvador.from Salina Cruz Oaxaca Mexico. Move to salt lake in 1996 where he met his friends Mike and Mitch who gotten Salvador hooked into kiting in 2003. Later on Salvador began snowkiting and is regularly seen at Skyline and Strawberry in the winter time
Pascal Joubert was born in Grenoble, France and started skiing when Pascal was 2 years old on the snowy streets. Pascal was 16 years old when the first snowboard appeared in the Village. So Pascal sold most of his belongings to move to La Grave when he was 22 and snowboarded all winter and worked the rest of the year to perpetuate that passion.
He became interested in wind power in 1998 and flew a triangle stunt kite his brother bought me for my birthday. One day the wind was strong and we were able to pull ourselves across a field with our shoes on. Then, the idea of using a kite started to happen. We had no idea about snowkites or waterkites at this point but in fact they were doing it in Switzerland and other places as well. My brother, friends and I then looked into it and discovered the company Advance made kites for snow. We weren’t very successful staying upwind on snowboards at first. In fact, I began riding my split board as skiis on the way up as the kite pulled me and I could make the summits of all the classic snowkite spots around Lautaret Pass. This made me realize that for exploring the mountains, skis were the right tool.
Cedric my brother, Bertrand Boone and Pascal all discovered kitesurfing at this point. We went to a convention and found Advance there. Bertrand showed them some of our pictures from Lautaret and then our snowkiting careers started right there. At this point, I never bought a season pass again and my ski lift became a kite. Soon our terrain was dictating how we were riding and we started experimenting with hill climbing and gliding. Now I prefer a kite to a ski resort.
So if your ever in Jackson, Wyoming Look him up and the JHK “Jackson Hole Kiters”
Photo credit: Alli Pareti
James grew up in Yorkshire, Northern England, a small town of 194 people called Patrick Brompton. During his childhood he was dragged to the beach constantly to watch his dad windsurf and to walk their dog. This led to his strong aversion towards the beach because James tells how he was always cold and unhappy whenever he went to the coast. He got into wakeboarding and skateboarding at the time because he jokingly said that he could finally stay warm. James can remember seeing some pictures of his dad’s friend on a wakeboard doing flips. He remembers thinking, “This guy’s like 50, throwing flips!!”. That’s when he decided he needed to kite. He bought a kite the next day, and went to the beach, this time in California. He pumped the kite up and fastened it to his belt, with no harness at the time. James flew it for a few months everyday he could, and then he ventured into the water with a wakeboard. James stayed on the wakeboard for about 4 years, but then, about 2 years ago, he saw my buddy Patrick Rebstock shredding a surfboard.James knew then that was where he wanted to take his riding and has since ridden for a few companies such as Caution, Slingshot, and now is signed with Best kiteboarding.
He is riding with a group of elite kids on the coast of California, Ian, Pat, Bear, Teddy, Pike, Bax, Cody, Matt, Reed, Josh, Sean, and Vic to name a few. James remarks, “We are all riding surfboards pushing each other to ride better daily, and we have a few video channels you should check out. TDZ (The Dredge Zone), Living the Dream, and BIP (Barneys in paradise). By filming each other we can see what we are doing right, and wrong, and better our riding”. There are so many branches now with racing, foiling, surf, wake, and snow that James is so stoked to see more and more people doing what they want in kiting and even more stoked to see what is to come! James goes on to say, “Nowadays you can do what you want where you want!”. Currently James is making commercial videos for a living and teaches kite lessons whenever someone really wants to learn. James teaches for Xtremebigair.com. Kinsley is the owner and is recently paralyzed. Half of the money he makes in giving lessons goes directly to Kinsley’s benefit fund. James currently just returned from a trip to Maui, and next James will be off to Utah to do some snow kiting. Then his plans extend to Europe for the summer and then who knows where James will continue to follow his exciting journey into Kiting. James says, “Kiting has given me so much. My best friends, business partners, and many other important people in my life, I met them all at the beach, and owe all that to kiteboarding.”. James hopes that our sport keeps growing in the right direction and that the surf scene can gain more funding and sponsors. He strongly believes that we have huge potential to attain mainstream sporting events, and that we definitely will in a matter of time.
Stay tuned people! I can see awesomeness in our near future!
Wether it was on the snow or in the water there is a good chance you’ve crossed paths with Tyler Brown. These days Tyler is a F-One team rider, and Owner/ Director of the Sierra Snowkite Center in Lake Tahoe, California. For the past 6 years he has explored the California coastline with his surfboard and kite, all the while spending his winters competing in, and winning about every snowkite event held in North America. Having been raised in the mountains as well as the California surf, it was a natural progression to integrate kiting into the the two sports he loved, skiing and surfing.
These days you can find Tyler at The Sierra Snowkite Center located at the Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge Ski Areas. The Snowkite Center is the first established snowkite school in California as well as only the second snowkite school in the country to partner with a major ski resort. With a 250 acre riding area, the lesson and riding facility is introducing many new people to the sport of snow kiting that Tyler has become to love and be so passionate about. To keep up on Tyler’s adventures as well as the Snowkite Center, check out sierrasnowkite.com and find us on Facebook at Sierra Snowkite Center10106 High Street, Truckee, California 96161
Leo’s first experience with kiteboarding was in 2001, when one of his best friend from France asked him to give him a ride so he could do a 6-mile down-winder. Back in the days, down-winder was probably the most fun you can have with a kite. Unimpressed, he started windsurfing instead. As his windsurfing skills improves, so did the safety and functions of kiteboarding.In 2008, he took the bit and never looked back. What started off as a side sport in between windy months on the water became his main sport. He loves to kite on snow and travels around the world to kite on water often. In 2011, while kiting in Vietnam, he tried a new brand of kite, Adi Kites (www.adikites.com). After just one try, he knew he found his new favorite kites. He decided to bring the kites to the US to share his stokes he has for the sport. His full time job is a professor at a state university. Given the flexibility he has with his job, he rides pretty much whenever there is wind. In the winter months, you can find him on the mountains in the Rockies. In the summer months, he travels to East Coast and Asia for wave actions and product testing. If you want to travel to Asia and want to know where is the best place kite. Or you want to try out Adi Kites in the US, give him a call: 801-960-8135
Kiting has been a big part of Brian’s life Since ’06. It started as a hobby with stunt kites. Which quickly grew once I discovered fixed bridle foils. Once I bought my first foil I spent every windy day, after work, at the local park looping the kite and pulling myself downwind. Then my friends brought me to Ivanpah Dry Lake to kite buggy. This changed my life forever. After getting serious about land based freestyle the heat in Vegas drove me to explore Kite Surfing during the summer.
Jacob Buzianis Nick Named the “The Wookie” is a kiteboarding pioneer their is just too many accomplishments to list here are some highlights.
Kiteboarding Magazine Cover, January 2009
North American Snowkite Tour Champion
US Snowkite Masters Champion
Jacob has 15+ years of water/snow industry experience R&D school and team programs.
Most of all Jacob on the water and snow is famously known to throw it down like no other!
When you say big air and kiteboarding people think about “The Wookie”
So when you are up in Utah say hello to Jake www.utahsnowkite.com
One of the Nicest People in our sport, Slawek “Suave” Krauze is usually the easiest guy to pick out on the water due to the fact that he always seems to be able to find the brightest colored gear to ride. He’s also one of the friendliest guys on the island and has done more than his share of the work keeping the place going. Favorite place to Ride Sherman Island because of the Family of Riders. Not only is Slawek a very great kiteboarder but he is also the owner of www.snowkitecinema.com. Oh and trust me he knows how to use a camera. USA Wind Sports is Proud to feature Slawek Suave Krauze as our Rider of the Month for August 2013.
Dale Baker has over 8 years experience in the kite world. Dale’s adventures extend from every coast of the US to various international locations as well. When he’s not snowboarding and snow kiting the great outdoors of Utah, he’s kiting the beautiful clear blue waters of Florida or the Bahamas; wherever the wind blows him next!
His indescribable passion for kiting becomes crystal clear when introducing beginning kiters to the sport, going above and beyond furthering fellow up & coming riders to more advanced levels. Dale’s eye-catching riding style along with his free spirit and easy-going personality, paired with his instructor’s instincts of safety and technique, will have you motivated to take a lesson today! Dale’s enthusiasm for kiting is beyond words. If there’s wind, he’s riding.
So when your down in Florida say hello to Dale http://thekitefarm.com