It must be Friday, because I’m feeling particularly pathetic today….

If you’re wondering why I’m the “Wimpy Kiter“, there are a few things you should know about me…an impressive resume, I know.

Day two of my 2-Day Kite Camp started out a little chilly. I bundled myself up like I was headed into the Siberian Tundra, like idiot I am. We met at the MACshack at 10:00 AM and reviewed safety systems. I looked like a polar bear in a sweater, barely able to get my harness around the layers of insulation.

With wet suits, boots, and helmets on, we practiced board starts on the beach, sitting on our butts, power-stroking, and letting the kite lift us to our feet. Chris and I had both worked with trainer kites, so we were familiar with this motion. Chris performed the power-strokes with ease. Grace, not being in my genetic make-up, was severely lacking from my performance, but I managed to successfully pull myself to my feet several times.

Colin, our instructor, then had us begin to run with the kite as we came to our feet. Once we were moving, it was easy to feel how effortless kiteboarding could be! Just you, the wind, kite, board, and a face-full of sand…apparently de-power only works if you actually do it…oops.

The beach began to warm up, and as it did, the afternoon thermals kicked up and the wind grew stronger. I switched from the Cabrinha Vector 12 M to the 9 M, much more comfortable in decent winds for a pile of skin and bones like me.

Kiteboarding eventually comes down to just five elements:

  • You, the Rider
  • The Kite
  • The Board
  • The Wind
  • The Water

You can face the last in a number of ways. I was probably going to face it head first, but I was going to face it!

kiteboarding’s pathetic poster girl

Let me tell you friends…nothing, I mean NOTHING prepares you for the shock of that  ice-cold mind-numbing cool Lake Michigan water after a week of East winds! No amount of layers, coffee, or mental preparation will do (and let me tell you, I had plenty of clothing and caffeine). Into the arctic waters I went.

How cold was it? Let’s put it this way–I’m glad I’m not a dude…

Once I had shocked all my internal organs into submission, I began to focus on the kite. I held the Vector at noon as I sat down into the water to strap on the Liquid Force Edge (146 cm). I kept the straps loose so that they would be easy to get in and, inevitably, out of. Once the board was on, it was time to grow a pair…of gills, get your mind out of the gutter!

I tried to do a power-stroke and did lift slightly out of the water, but I could feel that I was going to have to be more aggressive.

A few tries later…

I dove the kite into the power zone,

then back to the other side of the window,

and I was up!

I was riding!!!

And then…

I was not.

In fact, I was what can only be described as, “trolling for salmon”. My mouth and nose were plowing through the water at a rate that dolphins would be impressed with. Have I mentioned how talented I am….? Truly, I’m kiteboarding’s next big thing.

After force-ably learning that you cannot send the kite all the way to the edge of the window, I was actually doing some short rides! Hard to believe, I know…

Friends, if this pitiful excuse for a human-being and kiter can do this. I assure you, you’re up to the task! I have every excuse in the world:

I have the physical strength of parakeet.

I’m about as daring as a chicken.

I’m about as athletic as a cow.

I maintain an IQ so low, it’s probably only rivaled by the now extinct Dodo bird.

I don’t need to hear your excuses. I’ve got plenty. In fact, I’m sick of excuses all together. Grab a towel, clothes, some SPF, and get over here! Don’t let another season go by watching everyone else kite! You could be out there too! In fact, you could be out there making fun of me! If I can do this, you most certainly can!

I’ll see you out there!

Tune in next week as I try to go riding by myself for the first time and we learn that kiteboarders are selfish–no such thing as a friend on a South-wind day in Muskegon.

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