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…… 🙂
Sometimes I feel like no one understands me. The amount of time and energy I spend thinking about kitesurfing. My friends all smile and nod when I tell them about a new trick I want to learn or a cool new film on youtube. In a sea of surfers, I stand alone. Constantly explaining to people how I would rather be 20 feet in the air then pinned to the bottom of the ocean or how I enjoy riding for hours at a time rather than sitting and waiting for a wave. I miss living in a place where at the end of a session we sit around and talk about what a great day we had. No matter how cool it is to be first person to make a kite surfing business in a country, it can be lonely. My only saving grace has been a couple kite obsessed junkies I’ve met in the last month and facebook. It’s given me an outlet to connect with other kiter’s and learn about other riding destinations. It’s funny to be feeling this way because 2 years ago when I lived in Jericoacoara, Brazil I felt like the whole world kite surfed and now here, most people haven’t even seen it before. Being in the situation has also really made me think about relationships. After many failed attempts at dating non-kiter’s, I think it’s impossible to really be happy with someone who doesn’t share this passion. I wonder if men feel the same way? If so, it must be hard for you considering it’s still such a male dominated sport. You’d think with that being said I should have not problem finding a match but in my experience with kiting the average age rider is 40 – 50. It’s a really strange point to be at in life, living abroad alone, trying to start a kite club with people who have never rode and being surrounded by surfers. I wonder is there anyone else going through this?