Spring Winds Bring Kiteboarders
By … Lexi Oleynik
After a long winter ( a long two winters here in Delaware!), what else is better than to wake up to the fresh spring air? The sun starts to shine for longer, things start to become green again, and we can see the first sign of the summer bustle on our streets. For another group of people at the Delaware beaches, spring means something entirely different…spring means wind! Kiteboarders wait for this time of year. Summer brings great weather and things to do, but is generally the least windy of all the seasons for us here. Although you may not think you know anyone who kiteboards, chances are you do. This sport is gaining more and more popularity in the area. It’s easy to see on a windy day, if you take a drive by Tower Road, or up to the Lewes bay the sky dotted with big, beautifully colored kites. Kiting seems like an intimidating sport to try, and in fact, the question I’m asked most in East of Maui is “will someone like me be able to do that?” The answer is yes!
In case you’re not familiar, kiteboarding uses large kites, anywhere from 6-17+ meters on about 24 meters of lines. The kites are connected to a bar and harness which is then worn by the kiteboarder. The kite is controlled by the bar. Two styles of a board can be used; a twin tip, which is more for freestyle riding and tricks, as well as a directional board, which is used for surf style riding. Most poeple begin on a twin tip, and many people choose to stay with that kind of board always. Many people are immediately attracted to how exciting kiteboarding looks, but then second guess their abilities and worry about possible dangers. The safety of the sport has advanced by leaps and bounds in the past decade. What was once considerably risky has become highly accessable to almost any age group…in fact some of the best kiters we have in the area are over 60. Even though kiting is much safer now than ever, its still important to take a lesson to learn to basics. If you are a sailor, a waterman, an athlete, if you just love trying new things and want to experience a thrill like you’ve never had…give kiteboarding a try, there’s no better time!