Category Archives for "Happiness"

My experience learning to Kite Board in Cabarete Dominican Republic

Well, well, well… I left Costa Rica and am currently in Cabarete on the Northeast coast of the Dominican Republic.

…and you guessed it, I’m doing something else adventurous.

I’m learning how to kite board with Kite Club Cabarete.

I invested in the 3 day training course because, well, that is what was recommended that I do.

Day 1 Recap)

You start off getting a brief introduction to kiting, the “wind shield” and how the kite reacts to the wind and how to properly use the wind to maneuver the kite. We started off by using a smaller kite, not as small as the kites I used to fly as a little kid, but not nearly as big as the ones you see in the picture below:

Chris Hughes kite beach Cabarete Dominican Republic

According to my awesome instructor, Max, we were supposed to pretty much fly around the small kite the whole day.

If you’re familiar with how I do things, I tend to observe the teacher very well and then implement what they teach relatively quickly. I’ve been blessed to be able to pick things up faster than average.

Which for me, is awesome 😀

So flying around the little kite, I got the concept down quickly and we went through all the basic maneuvers. You’re supposed to picture a clock above you while flying, most of the time the kite will be at 12, so when I explain some of these little maneuvers just picture the clock.

A few of the maneuvers were just moving the kite from 12 to 2, back to 12, repeat. Others were 12 to 10, and back, repeat.

Then it started to get a little more interesting.

SPEED maneuvers. This is where you do the same thing, 12 to 2, but with quicker cut backs to gain speed.

We did this for a bit and Max told me we were going to switch to the bigger kite, excitement immediately came out 🙂

Alright, so now we’ve got the bigger kite.

We did the same activities with the bigger kite to get used to the power difference between the small kite of training and the kite I would eventually use in the water.

DAMN.

It’s quite different. The maneuvers from 12 to 2 would pull you a LOT more than on the small kite.

I could tell that it was about to get fun.. and that’s exactly what happened.

We did some body drags, first where I went and held onto Max’s back to get used to proper form and then we switched…

and then I got to go by myself (without the board still)

We did that and it immediately clicked with me, so we ended up going back to the shop to get a longer cord. (more power)

While switching up the cords I spoke with the manager Dominique who was asking how it was going and then Max told her that I was bad for business because I was learning so quick! haha

Back to the beach we went with the larger cord..we repeated the body drags and it worked the same as the shorter cord, but when I did the power maneuvers it pulled a LOT more. Pulled up out of the water a few times and it was pretty awesome, similar to the feeling I got jetpacking in the Cayman Islands.

Chris Hughes Cabarete Dominican RepublicPicture of myself and my girlfriend on the beach before the lesson

Day 2)

Day 2 started off with some of the basic beach maneuvers with the big kite again just to make sure I still remembered it. We then did some body drags in the ocean and it was finally time to take the board out!

This was a little different than just having the body drags without the board… the main reason for this was because I had to figure out how to maneuver the board down to my feet and get my feet into the foot holes before I could attempt standing.

When you start out, they have you hold the board and go against the current holding the board under your arm so you can “carve” against the water to get out far enough.

After a few failed attempts at standing up, basically standing up for a second and not gathering enough speed, thus falling back down.

It was the third time I was out when it “clicked” I stood up and starting riding. I rode for about 20 seconds and then looked back to the beach to see how far I had gone…turns out I went pretty far out so I turned back around and rode back in.

My instructor Max seemed super stoked seeing me do it! It feels the same as riding a wakeboard, but you’re in control of your speed.

I did that about 2 other times and the lesson was over for the day..

Day 3)

Chris Hughes Kiteboarding - Chris Hughes

 

Chris Hughes on the beach in the Dominican Republic

Day 3 was entirely in the water and on the board. I’m not going to lie and say I killed it the whole time and was riding like a champ, the wind was a little slower and I ended up face planting about 3 separate times during this… it reminded me of some surf wipeouts.

All in all, it was a fun experience but once it clicked for me and I could ride, it wasn’t as much fun for me as I was hoping it would be. I imagine once I learned jumps and flips and stuff it would be highly entertaining, but for the most part I prefer surfing!

Here’s some other pictures from it!

Chris HughesChris Hughes on Kite Beach in Dominican Republic

Chris HughesChris Hughes kiteboarding in the Dominican Republic

On to the next adventure!

Jumping Into a Blue Hole in Freeport, Bahamas

 

Have you ever had that crazy little feeling rush through your entire body when you’re standing over a cliff looking off of it?

If you’ve ever jumped off a bridge into a river, jumped off a cliff into the ocean or done anything where you were jumping off a height you have felt that feeling.

The feeling where you think “oh shit, this is stupid

or

fu%* it, YOLO

This feeling happened to me the other day while I was in Freeport in the Bahamas.

We drove about 30 minutes out into the middle of no where. I mean literally out in the middle of nowhere. We were driving down a main road one minute and then we ended up driving off-road down this super narrow path (you’ll see in the video).

About 10 minutes of driving down this road that was all rocky and broken up, good thing we had a truck!

All of a sudden my buddy who is driving STOPS the car and says we’re here!

I look around and see nothing much…

except for another little path cleared out.

I immediately started walking towards the path and continued walking down the path until BAM there’s a huge hole in the earth.

I look down into the hole and sure enough theres water down there that is crystal clear. You can see something that looks like a wood platform that appears to be about 5 feet below the water. After jumping I learned that the wood structure was about 30 feet down under the water but because it was so clear that you can see so deep.

A few minutes later my friend who has been there many times before jumps in. Then it comes up to my turn… I walk over to the edge while holding my GoPro and said “fu&* it! YOLO!” and jumped in.

Yes, that feeling was running through my entire body but I faced my fear directly. I jumped.

and DAMN was it awesome. For 2 seconds you’re in free fall and then you hit the water to some of the most refreshing, although chilly, water that I’ve ever been in. It woke me up and made me feel alive and there is no feeling in the world like conquering your fear and then feeling the success of conquering your fear.

When is the last time that you conquered your fear? What was it?

Leave your comments below!

Stuart’s Cove Shark Dive in Nassau, Bahamas

The other day I decided to do something that was pretty frightening… and that was to jump into the ocean even when looking off the back of the boat you could see sharks swimming around… check out the view here:

Stuart's Cove Shark Dive Nassau Bahamas

This was what it looked like in the water after we finished and they took the sharks away from where we were so that we could load the boat up.

When we were diving in there was 7 visible sharks…yes I counted…. because I would be jumping in with these scary creatures.

Check out the video and let me know what you think!

What did ya think?

Jetskiing on 7 Mile Beach, Cayman Islands

 

The other day we went jetskiing on Seven Mile Beach here in the Cayman Islands and damn, it was a blast.

I haven’t ridden around on a jetski in a while. We had one at my house when I was living in Orlando but I haven’t been in that house in over a year. When my friends Patrick and Mhica said we could rent jetskis on 7 mile beach I was all over it!

Of course I grabbed the GoPro so I could bring you guys along with me on this fun adventure.

Have you done any jetskiing?