Sunday, March 8, 2015

Kiteboarding Adventures on Ambergris Caye

Kiteboarding  Over the years I've seen plenty of crazy people doing this sport and thinking they were bat shit crazy. Likely they are - but I hope to count myself among them!  I had many preconceptions about this sport that have vastly been proven wrong. An absolutely enormous thank you to Andy with Belize Sailing Center and Audrius the KiteXplorer instructor in San Pedro, Belize. Thank you so much for the invite - awesome experience and I will continue my kite education. There are so many great learning opportunities through this great organization -

I've always been into some semi-extreme action sports; snowboarding and mountain biking.  So putting a board on my feet and going fast is nothing new - and water is softer than snow right?!  Not so much.  Audrius said, during my lesson, that I had the best kite control by a first day student he had ever seen.  Was this a move to boost my ego and get a good review?  If so - it worked.  But I was amazed at how well I was able to feel the kite and know what to so to get it where I needed it to be.

I've decided to tail the tale via my busted misconceptions about this sport.

Super easy and super quick rigging
Misconception 1 - Stupid amounts of gear, stupid amounts of set up (kinda like a baked potato if you know me at all).  Even as a guy that had to be walked through everything we had the kite setup and ready to fly in maybe 15 minutes.  The gear fit easily into packs, was REALLY light to carry, and not at all the cumbersome mess and cords and crapola I had been expecting. One trip to the boat is all it took; I took more junk to work most days in my previous life. - Audrus keeping her from
taking flight!
Misconception 2 - You have to be skinny and sexy and in great condition.   I'm a big dude, decent shape for my size, but still big.  My classmate on this day was - the skinniest person I've ever known.  I was sure she was gonna disappear into the sky forever...she did not.  Though she did some pretty gnarly face plants.  The way the kite is attached to the harness takes the pressure off your arms and allows your whole body to feel the kite.  Your arms essentially hang free - only used to control the kite.  I was expected a huge pulling force on my arms, and it doesn't exist.  I can see how even a non athletic person can kite for hours.  Caye Caulker here I come!
Taking a stroll on the beach with 'teach'

Misconception 3 - I'm gonna slam into Caribbean Villas trying to learn this thing.  HECK NO.  We were taken to the back side of Ambergris Caye to this HUGE area in the flats.  There was a beach, sand bar and endless amounts of real estate to allow the kite to body drag us in waist deep water.  No hotels or docks to worry about, no deep water to struggle in.  Tons of space where we didn't have to worry about people or things - just us and our instructor.  Something else missing - NO Sargasso!!  The water was clean and free of the evil weed.

Embarrassing moment of the day - during one of my body drags I hit a shallow part of the sandbar, drug my waist on it...shorts hit my knees.  I'm happy to say I maintained kite control and got my pants up before anyone noticed.

No one around to worry about - can
learn all over this place!!
So if you've ever even fleetingly considered this it. Head down and do some sailing in Belize at the Belize Sailing Center at Caribbean Villas, and schedule a lesson.  Here's the caveat, let me know when you're going cause I want to come too.  I need to work on my kite control and body drags so I can graduate to a board!


  1. Hi! your work and its posting with pictures is appreciable. It is totally full of important information.I just buy kite hand pump from bravo pumps australia And this work very good.Thanks for sharing this post.

  2. Hi Kendall. Cool blog. Im in the process of learning Kiteboarding. Ive never taken a lesson so I just in research stages of my jouney. It is comforting to know that you do not have to be in PRIME shape to enjoy this sport, so I appreciate that tid bit. Good luck to you, I may be in Belize this summer.

  3. Hi Kendall. Did you ever take more lessons?

    1. Hey Wendi!! I did take another - it is an awesome sport and for me was easy to pick up, lots of experience sailing so I know wind and lots of time on wake boards, water skiis, snow boards. Just too much gear! I live very modestly and don't have space for the gear (or the desire to buy it), and I can't justify renting it often. But I highly recommend giving it a try!