I was not at all planning on blogging about Kiteboarding when this day started.  In fact, I had never even heard of it.  Most days when I head off on one of my adventures, I have a goal in mind.  

I’m usually looking for a particular bird, a certain type of landscape, or I’ve heard about a cool trail that I just want to hike.  On this particular day, I was headed off to one of the many parks on Lake Lewisville.

As always, I had my camera with me, thinking I would hopefully see some birds, probably ducks, since I’d be near the lake.  Stewart Creek Park, located on the edge of Lake Lewisville, was described as having some really nice shoreline trails which I was interested in seeing and hiking.  And along the way, I was sure I’d get some good pictures of birds.

I was pleased when I finally got there.  Not only was it a beautiful day, but the place looked like lots of fun.  I arrived at the gate, paid my $10.00 entrance fee, got my map of the park, and I was on my way.

I was totally impressed with them when they were just Kiteboarding on the surface of the water. Once I saw them catch some major air, I knew I had to stop and watch for a while.

First stop…the trails running along side the edge of the lake.  What a beautiful view.  As I walked along with my camera, it didn’t take long to realize this was not going to be a very successful birding day, so thank goodness for the views.

I’m always happy with a new and interesting place to hike, and as I was heading back towards my car along the trail, I noticed some really cool kites off in the distance. I decided to head down to that end of the park to see what was going on.

There were about 5 or 6 of these giant kites, but they were so far off in the distance, that I couldn’t see who was flying them.  Once I made it down to the dock near the kites, I realized I had found something almost as good as birds to photograph.

I had stumbled upon a group of about 5-6 guys who were Kiteboarding. Yep…that’s exactly what I said…Kiteboarding.  I didn’t even know that was a thing.  

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I was instantly fascinated, so I found myself a nice vantage point on the floating dock, and I sat down to watch.  About an hour and a half after I first sat down, I packed up my gear to head home.  Had I really just spent more than an hour there?  Time had flown by.  

Watching these guys was mesmerizing, and just as I thought I would pack up and head home, they would do another cool trick that I just had to see again and again.  They were “skateboarding” across the lake.  How cool is that?

If you’ve never heard of kiteboarding before, the best way I can describe it to you, is that it is a cross between snowboarding, skateboarding and parasailing.  

Well…I’ve never been parasailing or snowboarding, but I was quite a good skateboarder back in the day…  And because of that, I just have a feeling that I would be a pretty good Kiteboarder!  We’ll get into that later…

According to Wikipedia, Kiteboarding (or Kite Surfing) is an action sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, skateboarding and sailing into one extreme sport. A kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water, land, or snow.

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Sounds like fun, right?  Well, if you’re interested, you need to be prepared to spend some money!  I looked up what you needed to try this sport, and the list of equipment is quite extensive.  

Just a few of the things you need include a kite ($1,000 for entry level), a board ($400-1,000 and up), bars ($350 and up), harnesses ($300 and up), and some boots and straps (ranging from $500 and up).  

In addition to these things, there are pages and pages of accessories!  And of course, you know that I’d be needing some of the accessories like board handles, fins, traction pads, and more…

So will I consider trying this?  I’m not sure.  It looks like a lot of fun.  I feel like I’d be up to the challenge, but any sport that requires an impact vest gives me some pause…  And heights when you catch some air!  Not my favorite.  I also read on the Kiteboarding Website, that it is very important to take some lessons before beginning.  

All I’d have to do to take some Kiteboarding lessons from my friends over at the Kiteboarding Website, is drive down to Corpus Christi for a few days, and then I’d be good to go.  Here is what they have to say about lessons at Kiteboarding.com

Get a Lesson – We’ll say it again: Get a Lesson!! This is the essential step. Kiteboarding is a blast, but it can be dangerous. Your risk of being injured or injuring someone else goes up ten-fold without proper instruction and knowledge of how to control a kite this size and full understanding of operating its safety systems effectively.

Look for lessons through a professional and established shop with PASA (Professional Air Sports Association) certified instruction. This should guarantee that you’re getting all necessary information on safety, set-up, flying, control, and (again) safety.

Yes, learning about this sport is all about safety. Getting a professional lesson will assure you that this area is fully covered, and it also ensures the equipment you’re using is well-kept, checked, and up-to-date.

Impressive video, right?  In my mind, I’m still 29, invincible, and can totally do this.  But unfortunately, my body is saying something else…  And after reading about the lessons, I’m not convinced this is gonna be added to my bucket list.  Not yet, anyway.

Maybe I could just travel to some of the places in the video above and take pictures of these guys doing their thing.  Sounds like a good compromise to me.  Be the photographer for this sport, not the athlete!  Almost as good…

After learning that most kiteboarders wear a piece of equipment called an Impact Vest and the instructors say “it can be dangerous,” I’m not sure I’ll make it a part of my next adventure.  As much as I’d love to have an excuse to go to Corpus Christi, I think I’d better start looking for another reason to go…

Maybe I’ll go on a birding adventure in Corpus Christi one of these days, and just plan to drop in to see the instructors from the Kiteboarding Website for one of their 3-Hour Beginner Kiteboarding Lessons.  Hmmm….  I’ll have to think about that.

The video above was one I took using my cell phone.  I didn’t video much, because I prefer pictures.  But I thought you might enjoy seeing just how close I was to this exciting sport.

For now, I think I’ll continue my normal, boring hiking and birding adventures around here, and just have memories of my day watching kiteboarding out on Lake Lewisville!  

I’ll always have the photos & videos, and who knows…maybe one day, someone will get a photo or video of me kiteboarding.  But probably not.  You can see more of my photos on my photography website, paulamasonphotography.com!   Until next time…

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