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:
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.
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.
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..
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!
On to the next adventure!