Hey the article actually made it on the front and back page of the newspaper. Pretty sweet. The photos on the actual paper actually showed the expo/kites a bit too.
Kiteboarding is a relatively new sport that is a combination of surfing and parasailing, allowing riders to fly up to 40 feet in the air and appear to skim the waves effortlessly. It is similar to wakeboarding but a kite is used instead of a boat.
Choppy waves and dense fog kept attendees out of the water for most of Saturday, but many got a feel for the promotional kites by anchoring them to their bodies with lines attached to a padded belt or harness, while standing on the wet sand.
Grant Cook, 20, of Arroyo Grande, has been kiteboarding for about a year and said he loves the versatility of the sport.
“Every day, every kite, every board is different,” he said, while being pulled to and fro based on the whim of the wind and his flighty kite. “It’s like surfing in four dimensions. It feels like a dream where you’re flying.”
Cook was using equipment from Epic Kites, a kiteboarding company based out of North Carolina. The owner, Dimitri Maramenides, said he comes to the exposition every year to promote his products because kiteboarders from all over the area come to the event.
Cook is majoring in aerospace engineering at Cal Poly and he’s a member of the Central Coast Kiteboarding Club, made up of mostly Cal Poly students.
The club members were in charge of setting up the event, blasting music and a hosting a barbecue for everyone involved.
The three-day, free event hosted by XtremeBigAir
.com — out of Shell Beach — and Kiteboarder Magazine — based out of Los Osos — continues from 9 a.m. to
5 p.m. today, when better kiteboarding weather is expected.
Organizers estimated more than 500 people had registered to be involved in the exhibition.
Cal Poly student Haley LaFleur, 20, has experience wakeboarding and snowboarding, but she decided this year to give kitesurfing a try.
“I’d definitely recommend it to other people. It’s fun, but challenging. It’s multidimensional,” she said Saturday. “It’s difficult to learn, but interesting because you need board skills plus kite skills.”
For those interested in water sports, but are wary about being yanked around by a giant kite, stand-up paddleboard demonstrations are available at the event.
They are shaped like surfboards, come in both long and short sizes, and riders can use a long-handled paddle to balance or increase speed out on the water.
“Life is better when you surf,” said Jason Miller, repeating the philosophy of his company, Global Surf Industries, which has several paddleboard models available at the expo.
“You feel free when you’re out on the water,” Cook said, trying to explain his fascination with water sports. “If I have a rough day at school, it takes away every type of fear or struggle. I just get to ride with the wind for a few hours.”
For more information about the annual Pismo
Beach Kite and Stand-Up Paddleboarding XPO, visit www.xtremebigair.com
To learn more about the Central Coast Kiteboarding Club, visit centralcoastkiteboardingclub.com.