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What Inspired Me to Take up Kiteboarding

It was a number of things. It began with one of my neighbors having a kite boarding magazine laying on his coffee table. Over a beer or three we talked about it. He talked it up and than immediately forgot about it thinking I’d never do anything with it. Which was a pretty safe bet. I’m old, out of shape, and was dutifully pursuing my career.

But, several years ago I decided to take a Hawaiian vacation with a friend. We compared bucket lists and we were both surprised to learn kiting was on both. We took a couple lessons on Oahu’s north shore. We both got ganked around and as lessons go they were pretty horrible. But, we were both hooked. Here’s a tip they never told us – Let go of the bar when you are out of control.

Than I e-mailed my long gone neighbor and told him I’d taken a lesson. He responded with some videos I should look at. Thus, I was introduced to Bones and Tophat.

I’ve had the pleasure of talking with Bones several times on Kite Beach on Maui. He’s always been encouraging and helpful with tips, even when I was a clueless beginner. And this last year I got to tell him his video was one of my inspirations for taking up the sport. I’m now decent enough I can ride SOME of the same conditions as him. Though I would say he always seems to be at the perfect spot on those waves. I guess that sense of timing comes from 30 years of experience. And yes, I aspire to some day reach that skill level. He makes it look so easy.

While attending the 2012 KSP World Tour at Ho’okipa I bumped into TopHat. He was one of the local wildcard riders. I took a risk, walked up, and told him I was a nameless and random fan who was inspired to begin kiting because I’d seen one of his videos. He got a huge smile, shook my hand, and told me to keep on kiting. We chatted a bit and than I wandered on. We both made each others’ day I think. Thank you Kevin!