The second time I hitched myself to a kite, I made the mistake of glancing down to see where to place my foot. In the split second it took me to look up again, I’d made a Superwoman-like leap about four metres into the air – much to the amusement of all onlookers.
As I hurtled about 10 metres forward, I had time (in that slow-motion vortex you experience in the grip of an adrenalin rush) to look down and hope, helplessly, that I wouldn’t land on the coral below, before I face-planted into deep water.
With the wind blowing a little over 20 knots, the kite took off with me attached, being ‘body-dragged’ through the water: just as I was supposed to do. Woo-hoo!
Whenever we’ve been in Musket Cove and the tides (exposing the sand bar) and winds (15 knots or more) have aligned, kitesurfing guru Lionel has been giving us kiteboarding lessons. We started out with a one-square-metre training kite on land. Damian then sustained his golf wound, and couldn’t progress to the next step, so the class came down to the girls: Michelle, Suzie and me.
Suzie started earlier in the season and bought her own gear. She’s a step ahead of Michelle and me and, in the last week before we left, managed to crack it, getting up on her board and tearing across the bay, flat out.
Michelle and I are still at the body-dragging stage, where we fly a seven or nine-metre kite and get dragged through the water without the board attached to our feet and the added complication of having to steer the board as well as the kite.
I’d tried body dragging only once before my Superwoman act. This time – once I landed and the kite took off – I quickly steered the kite into the fly zone, lay on my back with my leading arm extended to act as a keel, and managed to body drag up-wind, with (according to the guru) perfect form. I was quite chuffed.
The interesting bit came when I tried to tack and the kite momentarily passed through the power zone, launching me into the air again…
Maybe next season we’ll get board-borne.
*Thanks to Graham Keating, Maunie of Ardwell for additional pix.
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