Last week I spent two days at the NY Kite Center in Amityville, Long Island, taking my first stab at Kiteboarding, the hot new-ish board sport out on the water. I had been wanting to give it try it for a while, seeing the sport evolving and gaining in popularity. As it turns out, one of the premiere kiteboarding locations in the tri-state area and the largest schools in the Northeast, is located just an hour train ride away from Penn Station in New York City.
For those unfamiliar with the sport, it’s not parasailing, where you are pulled behind a boat while hanging from a parachute; nor is it paragliding, where you are attached to a large hanglider which you fly. I mention those because when I told people what I was doing, those were the sports they referenced. Kiteboarding is sailing a very large kite while riding what is basically a wakeboard, and using the power of the wind to pull you across the water. It’s an adrenaline sport for those who like to catch air, chill for those who just want to ride, and addictive for anyone who has gotten the hang of it!
Getting the hang of it, however, does takes some time. There is first learning to fly and control a small trainer kite on land, then moving on to the regular sized kite. The next step is flying the kite while standing in the water. After two days of 3 hour sessions, I got as far as “bodydragging”, where you let the kite pull you across the water in figure 8 formations. Except for the awful name, I have to say that was pretty fun in itself. Next step is the board, which I am ready and eager to put on.