Learning to Kite


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What started as an idea in Mykonos, Greece has turned into an full-on obsession. A bit like chasing someone who is ‘just not that into you’. She has given us every opportunity to walk away, in fact she has told us repeatedly that we were not meant to be, and still we keep coming back begging for a second chance. She has tested our dedication and we have responded with throwing more and more money at her. This sport is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Our brief ‘theory’ lesson in Mykonos ended shortly without winds powerful enough for the small trainer kites. On our 2nd attempt in Tarifa, Spain we had one successful day on sand, but were disappointed the following day when the winds weren’t strong enough for our in-water lesson. Free from our 9am-5pm (or 5:45am-11pm in Matt’s case) routine, we came to Australia determined to  learn this sport. Our original plan of settling in Byron Bay quickly changed after Matt found that Yorkey’s Knob, a beach 20 minutes North of Cairns, was ideal for learning to kite. We started doing research once we arrived, quickly bought a kite and signed up for lessons at $200 a pop. Let me just add that full price lessons are normally $300/day and a new kite is in the $1200 – $2000+ range. We opted for a used kite and got a screaming deal, but the investment definitely brought our commitment to the next level. This is not a common sport for frugal backpackers.

We found successes in our first lesson here, though we were fighting rain and shivering cold all day. Matt progressed from body drags to riding the board and was looking great. I was getting the hang of kite-control and body drags. Since our lesson we’ve been back everyday we’ve had off work, and spent most of that time waiting for the wind. It’s a brutal fight getting the kite re-launched out of the water without wind, but it hasn’t stopped us from trying… And trying again and again. Matt’s much more patient with this whole ‘learning curve’ than myself, no surprise. The Yin to my Yang. As we watch kiters in the ‘deep end’ of the beach gliding effortlessly along the water and launching into the air with flash and style, I’m dying to fast forward time to the day I will be that good… If that day shall ever come.

With one month left in Cairns, we will not be discouraged! We will continue to drive to Yorkey’s Knob everyday we can and wait for wind or fight through rain, if that’s what it takes.  We will continue to show her what we’re made of and hope that she learns to like us. We’ve got nothing but time, sweetheart, and we are fully committed.

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Categories: Australia

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