Key West Kiteboarding trip
Key West Kiteboarding Trip – Click here for Previous Article
We arrived in Marathon and met Chris at his sailboat, which is where we were camping out for the next 9 days. I am not sure Chris knew what he was getting into when he extended an invite to Derek and I. He got to experience the sport of kiteboarding by looking at our insatiable desire to chase the wind wherever it was blowing. We not only chased the wind for those 9 days, we also talked about the wind, where the wind would be, or how long the wind would last. Our conversations were always 3 words away from interjecting wind into them, which can be challenging for others. Chris was a good sport, helped out by his easygoing demeanor. We even got him out for a Kiteboarding lesson early on in our stay.
Surprisingly, this was the first time I had ever stayed on a sailboat. When we went to bed that night Chris closed the cabin in case it rained. I went to sleep easy, road weary from all of the recent travel. I awoke at 2:00 am needing to use the restroom. I walked to where the doorway once was, but it now seemed to be some sort of cage like contraption. I clawed at it in the darkness and stumbled around making a lot of racket. Unable to see anything, I had to feel around and figure out how to open the door. Seemingly a simple task, I thought I was done for. Finally, I was able to figure it out, and got a good dose of humility in the process. There was a period before I got out that I felt like a caged animal helpless in the dark. It’s funny how you can react in foreign situations. Luckily, the only people I woke up were those on our boat, or at least those within a 100 ft. radius. How far could my hysterical screams travel anyway?
The following day we headed to Horseshoe on Scout key, formerly known as West Summerland Key. We would spend 5 of the next 9 days riding at this location. I would recommend heading to this spot if you are going to be staying in the mid to southern end of the Keys. Another place we kited was Sombrero beach. This place has a sandy set up area with a variety of different conditions. A small island blocks the waves creating some nice flat-water riding. If you venture outside of the island, you can experience some little rolling waves, which make great kickers to play on. We only spent a little over an hour at this location: being forced to land our kites because of some heavy rain. After looking at the radar, we decided we were ready for a change of scenery. We packed up in a downpour and headed for breakfast to plan where we were heading next.
After breakfast, we pointed Derek’s truck south, aiming for Key West. We rode a total of two days in the area. The first day we headed to Smathers Beach, which is one of the few beaches you can find in Key West. We were surveying the area when we noticed a good-sized thunderhead approaching. We saw a kite racing in our direction trying to outrun the storm. The wind continued to increase as we watched the storm approach, first 5kts, then 10kts, and finally 15kts. We watched the kite get engulfed into the darkness right in front of us. Before we knew it, the kite was flying low over the beach and we ran to wrestle it to the ground. As we made our way to the kite we were pelted by large drops of rain, which stung, but possibly worked well for exfoliation. The person on the other end of the kite was Alex, who we met a few days prior at Horseshoe. He had a big smile on his face and a wild look in his eyes. I think he had a small amount of adrenaline running from narrowly dodging the storm. 15 minutes after the storm had arrived, it was gone and the radar looked clear. It was time to set up and set out for another session in a new area. We were stoked!
Wasting no time at all, we headed out into the churned up sea for an amazing session. We rode for nearly 3 hours at this location. There were around 6 to 8 other kites on the water. It was fun interacting with these people in short little glimpses. We didn’t know who most of the people were, but we would pass near them and give a holler, which would be returned by a smile, or the shaka sign. This is the kiters way of communicating. Alex and Lorne were also a part of this group. Alex was boosting some big air, while Lorne was pulling some nice megaloops. We rode until our bodies forced us to stop, then we rode a little bit longer. After exhausting all energy supplies, we begrudgingly packed up and headed to meet some friends that were exploring Key West. We walked around town, saw some crazy sights, and then headed back to Marathon. We would come back again to explore Marvin Key, but for now, it was time to leave the interesting people of Key West behind.
To be continued…