quote "At a popular spot at New Road just outside of Dewey Beach, he said people are often pulled into parked cars in the parking lot."
some like a great place to ride
DEWEY BEACH -- On any given day, motorists on Route 1, just south of Dewey Beach, can look toward the bay and find colorful displays hovering above the water as sports enthusiasts practice one of the area's most popular water activities -- kitesurfing.
While it's often considered a dangerous sport, kiteboarders of all ages and skill levels agree, it's worth the risk.
"It's just a thrill," said Stan Iwamoto, who considers himself a novice kiteboarder. "It's a great free ride. You can jump high in the air or ride waves (in the ocean). You can do so much."
Dave Loop, owner of H2Air -- a kiteboarding manufacturer based in Dewey Beach -- compares kiteboarding to a mix of surfing and motocross. While you can stand in the bay and enjoy jumping up to 75 feet in the air, he said you can also take to the ocean, where skilled kiteboarders can ride the waves like a surfer before letting the wind take them back up for more.
Although it may look simple enough from the shore, Loop recommends learning about the sport before buying gear and trying it out.
"It can be very dangerous if done wrong," he said. "Some people buy second-hand gear from e-Bay and try to do it. You can really get hurt that way."
If done incorrectly, Loop said the wind pulling an inexperienced kiteboarder can be comparable to hooking up a rope to a trailer hitch of a truck and pulling someone behind. At a popular spot at New Road just outside of Dewey Beach, he said people are often pulled into parked cars in the parking lot.
Despite the potential dangers, Loop said the fun factor is off the charts once the sport is learned correctly. Although he does offer lessons, he often recommends people to other instructors.
"The caliber of people who have come in here looking for lessons in the past couple of years scare the hell out of me," he said. "It's not the kind of sport for someone who comes in and just wants to do it."
On average, lessons run about $125 an hour and beginners usually need two to six hours of training, he said.
He recommends that people have some sort of background in water sports, whether it be surfing, skimboarding or wakeboarding. He also said people who take up the sport should do it for the long haul.
Iwamoto, who is also a windsurfer, agrees that some prior knowledge of watersports is a huge help. While he opted to learn from his experienced friends, he recommends soliciting help from an instructor before diving in.
"It's a great sport and it keeps growing," he said. "It's fairly easy to learn if you get lessons."
It's also a fairly inexpensive sport to keep up with, Loop said. After initial costs for a board and kite -- $1,800 to $2,200 -- Loop said the upkeep is quite low.
Travel also shouldn't be a problem for kiteboarders in the Delmarva region. New Road, just south of Dewey Beach, is a great location for kiteboarders of all skill levels. The waist-high water, Iwamoto said, is perfect for beginners. When they fall, he said, they can just stand up and give it another firstname.lastname@example.org
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