Chantale Portelance January 2017 Rider of the Month

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Travis Green Rider of the Month April 2015

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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.

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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.

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Dean Mikulla Rider of the Month March 2015

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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

 

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Mar 14, 2014 – Now that is a very good reason to celebrate. It only falls once every 100 years.

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December 2014 Jamy Donaldson Rider of the Month

JamieDonaldsonJamy 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’.

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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.

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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.

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