The thing I love about the kiteboarding community is everyone is so open and friendly. I travel around the world a lot by myself and when I get to a new location one of the first things I do is look for the locals who kitesurf either by word of mouth or via media. Every time I email random people or facebook friend requests to strangers in the area they usually accept or respond right away. They are warm, friendly and helpful. I’m not sure if it’s because i’m a girl which makes people more open to talking to me but whatever it is, i’m stoked.
I just arrived two days ago in Merida, Mexico and last night I came across a competition / party happening close to here on Saturday. I took my chances and friend requested the people who were attending. Within an hour, half of them accepted. One of the attendees who also lives in Merida chatted me and after talking for a bit decided to hang out. He didn’t speak english and my spanish is not great so it was very difficult to chat via facebook. He picked me up one hour later and took me to meet half the kitesurfers in town. Everyone I met was very receptive and even invited me to ride with them anytime. This is not something i’ve encountered in snowboarding, surfing or anything other sport to this extent. It makes me proud to be part of such a great group of people. There is just something different about people who kitesurf. It is such a unique sport, completely solitary but very communal too.
When I thanked my new friend for being so kind and picking me up, he said “you kitesurf, we take care of each other so its no problem”. So true…… 🙂
We got up early and headed from Austin to Texas City to go kitesurfing. It’s a pretty long drive so thank god the wind was good there in the afternoon. When we arrived to the lagoon the wind was only 13 knots. Not quite enough for my 9m but it was all I had so I decided to give it a try because not kiting was not a possibility. I had to borrow someone’s board here because the airline would have charged me over $100 for luggage if I brought mine so I had this huge 139 Liquid Force board to ride. Low wind, big board…..oh well the challenge will just make me better in the long run. The riding area there is awesome. There is around 500 feet of thigh high water and it’s really warm. Perfect spot for teaching and fishing. While I was riding I kept running over fish and some of them were so big they would made a thud sound as they hit my fin. On one tact a fish jumped up, hit my thigh, bounced up and smacked me right in the mouth. For the next 20 min all I could smell was fish. What are the odds of this happening? I wish I had my GoPro on for that! We ended up riding for just under 3 hours until the wind was just too light for my kite. It was an awesome experience for me to ride flat water as it was my first time ever!!