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