USA45 member and kite board enthusiast John Wallace tells of the team’s experience learning to kite this past week…
USA45 found themselves sailing much further inland than they are used to this week when they did some cross training via a team kite lesson in the river delta at Sherman Island. Sherman island is a very popular kiteboarding destination due to it’s relatively warm temperatures, fresh water and consistent breeze.
Sherman did not disappoint as we were greeted with a solid 20 knot breeze when we arrived at 8:30 in the morning. The crew of Brooks, Matt, Sam, Peter, Jake and Jake took a ride upriver in jetboats with the instructors while coach Charlie along with myself (John) spent about an hour and a half kiting upwind to meet them at their launch point. Although this was a long and tiring upwind we knew that the payoff of watching the action would surely be worth our time and effort. The team members received plenty of land instruction on the basics of how to fly the kites, lash the strops together, and keep it safe before hitting the water to let the real shredding commence.
Despite the minor setback of waiting for Matt to squeeze into his slim fit v-neck Ralph Lauren wetsuit, the boys were off and shredding led by PK (Peter Kinney) who was forced to be the first victim due to boasts of instant success by himself earlier in the week. We would soon learn that football players do not float.
While Charlie and I reaped the benefits of our morning upwind workout catching unmeasurable alt(itude), the beginners were towed downwind by their kites with the instructors in hot pursuit offering words of encouragement. The squad proved to be quick learners, however, and led by the Jakes, were up and riding in no time. The instructors were very impressed by how easily the team picked up kiting thanks to their sailing knowledge of the wind and waves.
We left Sherman at about 6:30, tired, sunburned, hungry but most importantly stoked and enjoyed some well deserved super burritos while reflecting on the long eventful day.
A video chronicling the experience will be coming out shortly! Stay tuned!