Kiteboarding is a new water-sport that incorporates elements of windsurfing and wakeboarding. Basically a rider uses a kite and the power of the wind to propel themselves across the water on a board similar to a wakeboard. I had been taking lessons for a while with an organization called the Kitehouse out of Key West. The Kitehouse consists of a group of kite-boarders that teach the sport out of a large skiff they drive out to a shallow, sandy spot in the back-country of the Florida Keys. This provides students with an open area in which they can learn the workings of the kite while not worrying about getting drug up on the beach or into powerlines. I can't say enough about the Kite house, the "location" and it's instructors, it's such a cool, fun scene taking lessons or just hanging out on the flat and watching and the whole process of other people learning to kite. And then some of the more experienced riders start getting out there and throwing jumps and rolls and "big air" stuff, just adds to the whole experience. Fun thing to have another water sport to do when it's too windy to fish or dive. For more info on the Kite House
My kiteboarding experience started like many others. Basically you eat a bunch of humble pie for some time before you finally learn to 1)Fly the kite, 2) Get up on the board and 3) Get up wind. Through the help of Nick, Emily Englehardt and Paul Menta, I managed to learn how to get up on a the board and ride upwind. In kiteboading, a rider is able to use the kite and board to edge against the wind and water to tack upwind, similiar to how a sailboat does it. One you learn to ride upwind, then is when the fun starts happening. I learned just enough to be dangerous.
Paul Menta, KiteHouse developer, diver and chef extraordinaire getting some air!
Nick Obea doing a forward roll while Emily Englehardt, another KiteHouse instructor looks on.
It worked out that at the same time I was learning to kiteboard, we were going to a Bahamian island called Rum Cay to explore the fishing and diving potential of that area so it just seemed like the thing to do to throw a few kites in the plane just in case......
Rum Cay is almost all completely deserted beaches and shorelines, the only settlement of Port Nelson is on the extreme South Eastern part of the island with only 100 people living there!
Getting a birds eye view of the island helps in planning what to do and where to go for the next few days.
Here is North side beach, one of the spots we saw from the air and the place where Bobby Little (our guide) wanted to show us.... an absolutely beautiful spot!
Emily having a go at it,
This was just the first day of our 5 day stay at Rum, It was so much fun just getting on the beach and hanging with our new friends and trying out this new addiction.... ummmm.... I mean... sport!
You can see the video of this 1st part of the Rum Cay adventure on the at this link. This is the first episode of the new season of the "Road Less Traveled" on Costa del Mar's site. Enjoy!....