Thanks to Tiago for first posting this. (its at the end) Skip to it if your bored of my rants!
Its dawned on me that debate on here polarizes itself along the lines of Kite VS Board riders. Of course there are plenty in between, but they are likely new to both.
Personally it was the introduction of the Kite that brought a viable boardsport to my region and for that, I thank the stars. (I windsurfed, but don't really call that a boardsport) These days I am a kiteBOARDer, in every sense. I have more boards than kites. Even when in relative need of a new kite, were I to fall into some extra cash, It's another board I would probably go for. I put a lot of stock in aspects of a board that have only to do with how they ride, (not only on edge), take off and land, and not so much how they fly. My board quiver is a collection, where I will turn over kites for convenience and can be nicely satisfied with any number of kites on the market. In truth, Im now holding out for deals that suit my aesthetic taste and pocket book, and will ride what Im on until the right deals pops up. But boards? If I like it, its likely never going up for sale.
This clip got me to really reconsider some of my stance on issues I have argued in the past. Its wake boarding (of which I do very little) limited to one pass of the handle. A limitation that ironically really suits my tastes. I see so much of what motivates me to kite in this clip, and I get that same motivation often from watching good riders instead of great ones. The best is of course great riders doing relatively easy or simple stuff. Im not saying its worth competing at, but I love to watch it. The lay outs, timing and magnitude of simple unsuspended board riding is absolutely timeless to me and it doesn't matter if its a wake, snow, surf, or skate. It all makes me wanna ride.
Top level kite or wake or even snow or skate can lose me for the same reasons it loses most viewers. Too repetitive, fast and complex and well out of reach and I zone out. Where a massive layed out single front with a stomped landing can keep my rapt attention and never gets old. Im certainly not against tech or multiple handle passes but think if the aesthetic is lost its not worth going for the double.
I do love big air, and in truth love kites. I tech out like everyone else and look for specific qualities in my kites, but its not flight. I like to boost big and do it whenever I kite, but big long glide almost annoys me so I won't pretend to see the sport from that perspective. I don't think Im alone. I think that all kiteBOARDers are also down with big monster airs and kite loops, its just not at the expense of the riding. Boots aren't about boots, its about having better board control than a strap with no heel hold. Big fins? Well they can help you edge a ton, but on a TT they're kind of a killjoy when riding the board a little flatter. Where kite oriented guys seem quite happy with straps cause their easy in/out. And fins.... the bigger the better.
I may still bark a little when people overstate the general public's appetite for boaroffs, but you kite guys can do whatever you want in the sport. The boardsport side of the world is massive and slowly waking (pardon the pun) to the potentials a kite brings. Events like the SSS, Ro Sham and the kite surf events showcase the board side of the equation and will continue to grow and thrive.
To all the KITEboarders out there..... peace.
To all the kiteBOARDers out there here is the clip.
Discuss/ rant/ whatever, but post some clips that show the less tech/ all style side of kiteBOARDing so we can get a little stoke going for SSS kickoff. Im gonna go hunt for a few more just to set the mood.
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:59 pm Posts: 162 Location: Homer Ak
I often say something similar to people, that I'm out to ride and not to fly a kite. That's why I'll always prefer a wing that becomes intuitive quickly, and I prefer conditions in which I don't have to pay attention to the kite at all (wind speed < 30, and I'm less tolerant of gusty/rangy conditions than some of my friends).
The best case scenario for me when riding is to get into the flow state of action and reaction, turn off the mental monologue for at least a few seconds at a time. Waves work for that, even if they're small. Doing tricks back to back will also work for that, like when you have a perfect fast landing and can scoop your speed into another jump or spin. Carving and looping the kite works for that, and in light winds carving and looping the kite on a skimboard or less stable platform. Wondering if strangers on the beach are optimally impressed by what I'm doing does not work for that, in fact it's poison to what I'm trying to get out of kiting. I'm not practicing and I'm not performing, I'm riding.
Don't get me wrong, I love to sky it. I don't want to think about what and when the trick is going to be while I'm riding though. It seems like it's much more fun to be opportunistic - like making a big inside carve after riding a wave and suddenly there's a perfect ramp and you happen to have the speed and just enough time to redirect the kite and Kapow!, even better if you're in this situation and make the decision to loop the kite while you're ascending.
I was the same way with snowboarding. When I started I was all about jumping off high spots. But then it became apparent to me that if the entire run is the traverse to and anticipation of the jump, and then the jump, and then that other part of your run which happens after you have had this peak moment, then you get less flow. Plenty of snowboarders and skiers have had very impressive photos taken of them when they snowmachine to the top of a cliff, assess the landing, dress the takeoff area, double backflip, ride into the flats, ask the videographer if it came out good. It's really not sour grapes that I can't double (ok, nor single) backflip, I just know that trees + powder deliver bliss. Every time.
I'll just keep delineating why I ride a bit more with another sport- paragliding (because this thread deserves to be at least one page if Big Kites Can Jump No. 1 had 8, maybe we can get Billie to chime in ). I haven't done a lot of it, just some ground school and a tandem and one solo off some bluffs 15 years ago. I'm truly impressed with the fact that people have achieved their dream of flight, accessible to the masses, without an engine. It's super ethereal and has some of the qualities of a lucid dream and has something in common with sent airstyle if you packed a board along with you and passed it behind your back and put one foot in and took it out and then the other foot. But contact with the surface happens at the beginning and the end and isn't the core of the experience. It's not riding, and when I was paragliding I found myself looking down at the contours below me and wishing that I could be physically interacting with the hillside, reading terrain, laying down turns, soaking up G-forces with my legs and core. (true, speed flying crosses it up perfect, that shit looks like fun but I'm just not getting on board at my age, even with Obamacare)
Nothing against PG, it's just that I started skateboarding 30 (holy shit!) years ago, it was my primary play for a long time and riding is how I'm wired for fun now. I like to run, like to bike, play racquet sports etc. but in my dreams I'm riding. There is a lot of room in this sport for a rider to have absolute peak lifetime fun without excelling or specializing in a sub-discipline. Out.
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:59 pm Posts: 162 Location: Homer Ak
Back in. Swear to god I'm not trying to tell anyone else how to have fun. I think all I'm really trying to say here is that I like you Starsky. Maybe we should just take this to PMs. I'm 42, height/weight proportionate, d/d free. Into Raleys, short walks on the beach.
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