Just four days into the new year and we scored a nice kiteboarding session in Emerald Isle, NC. Many of us were watching the forecast (this is something kiteboarders do to a fault) to see if the rain would hold off long enough for us to play. On Sunday morning I woke up and noticed a text message from my friend Derek, he wanted to know what the conditions were looking like. I honestly didn’t know because I had just opened my eyes. I decided to check the forecast in the most accurate way; I walked outside and looked up into the trees. They were swaying and I immediately felt giddy. It was going to be a good day. Plus it was nearly 70 degrees, a warm day for North Carolina in January!
Sarah and I set out to load our truck we named the dune warrior. It is a 1985 ford that has more rust than paint, the perfect beach craft. Once the gear was loaded we headed for Coast Guard Point in Emerald isle to pick up Jamie and Derek. We arrived to some heavy rain, but that did not deter us in the least. They threw their gear in and we piled into the cab 4 deep plus a dog. As we drove out onto the point you could see the rain was letting up and it was windy. There was already someone out there waiting for more kiters to arrive. After chatting with Greg for a bit about the conditions we all decided on kite sizes and set out to set up.
We were fully rigged and ready and the wind was whipping. One by one kites started to get launched into the air and people were heading into the water. There was some fog off in the distance, but it started off pretty clear. As we raced back and forth through the waves more people started to show up. We had an impressive little gaggle of vehicles on the beach. Once everyone was out in the water we had a total of 12 kites in the air. As we continued to play in the surf, the fog started to settle back in and it was getting harder to see. Out of our own safety we all stayed close to shore so we could see land and also be seen.
The day wore on and the fog grew thicker, usually this would kill the wind speed, but it was not the case on this day. The wind continued to increase and most people went in to pack it up for the day. There were a few of us that kept riding through the thick fog. You could see the lines of the kite cut through the fog and could almost see it trying to grab ahold of the lines. While staying within sight of shore I repeatedly jumped as high as I could. You ride and look for the perfect wave to launch off of and then once you are on top of the wave you sling the kite to the other side of the window, while releasing the edge of your board. When you have done this correctly You get ripped off of the water and feel the sensation of being pulled up into the air. Prior to lifting off of the water you can hear the wind howling in your ears and the water splashing at your feet. Once you are airborne those sounds become silent and it’s just you and your thoughts floating silently in the air. This is a sensation that will never get old. For me, the higher in the air that I am the better!
The fog continued to suppress our sight until it was hard to see the shoreline at any distance. We decided to pack it up and head on home. It had been a rare day with heavy fog and wind. One amazing thing about this sport is how often it changes because of the conditions. Surf, flat water, high wind, light wind, it is all a little bit different. There are so many avenues that you can take this sport. I have been kiting for nearly 8 years and I am still just as excited about the sport as I was on day 1. I would love to show you that excitement by getting you out for a lesson with either myself, or one of my staff. We have an excellent teaching location, patient instruction, and helmet radios for communication. Feel free to email us with any questions you may have at email@example.com