As soon as the wind is up, the guys are kiteboarding. With our son, Devan, visiting, Dave decided to teach him how to kiteboard. I made a video of his lesson. It may look like he fell a lot, but he caught on really quickly and was standing on the board on his first day! Amazing! He’s a natural.
If the Guna Yala had gotten their act together and decided what to do about kiteboarding, we may well have spent the rest of the season there. The guys found a great kiting location at “The Hot Tub.” Totally protected by islands and reef all around, there were no boats anchored in these shallow waters and our kiters had it all to themselves. Without boats to dodge (or to bother if they don’t like kiteboarders), it seemed like the perfect spot. However, the Congreso of the Guna Yala had decided to charge a permit fee for recreational water sports –which the guys would have happily paid if the Congreso had not changed their mind. Unfortunately, they decided to ban kiteboarding until they could get a better grip on the economic value of the sport. With kiting banned, our time in the San Blas was limited. Of course they still kited some and only got busted once. Rebels!
Kiteboarding is ruling our cruising now. Steve from Slow Flight is learning and Dave is totally addicted. Now that we met up with Vidorra and Bruce is even more addicted than Dave, kiting also monopolizes the conversations and planning. I am interested in watching Steve’s progress because he is basically teaching himself through trial and error.
This was a rare photography day, because I usually am on dinghy support. However, the guys didn’t need me in these shallow waters. So, of course, they started showing off for the camera.
Bruce is a daredevil and tries anything and everything. His jumps are getting pretty high, though he crash lands a lot of them. He just shakes it off and and tries again. By pushing his limits, Bruce is encouraging Dave to do the same.
So they try to jump higher or loop the kite or do back rolls…
…all of which result in a lot more crashes.
Sometimes they know they can’t land it. Here, Bruce kicks off his board in preparation for a big wipeout.
Sure enough, Bruce landed flat on his back. After getting his breath back, he took off again.
Steve was staying upright more this day. The breaking waves looked dramatic behind him, but those reefs were what made the water conditions so good for kiting — all the wind without the waves.
There’s a sweet spot for the kite where it powers right up. Steve was a little below it here, but it was a cool view. He raised the kite some and off he shot.
Undeterred by their crashes, Dave and Bruce kept jumping. Dave had some great jumps.
And so did Bruce. Nice landing!
We heard San Andres has good kiting, so guess where we are headed next?