Monday, December 28, 2009

Go Fly a Kite on Sanibel

There are dozens of active sports to pursue on Sanibel and an earlier post detailed the adventure of parasailing.

But for those of us still reticent about being up in the air, there are other activities that may be more appealing.

Kiteboarding or kitesurfing uses wind power to pull a rider through the water on a small surfboard or a kiteboard . Generally kiteboarding refers to a style of riding known as free-style or wakestyle.

I first watched kiteboarding in Cabarete, a windy seaside resort in the Dominican Republic. That was years ago and the sport has grown in popularity since then making Cabarete one of the most frequented locations in the world.

Now, apparently, kiteboarding has become quite popular in Florida---as well as other parts of the country---and kiteboarders are a frequent sight on Sanibel, especially in the months from October to April when the temperatures are cooler and winds are stronger. Lighter thermals blow from May through September but these are less predictable.

But let's not connect the sport of kiteboarding with the previously mentioned parasailing. Kiteboarding is complex and needs both special training and equipment.

Perhaps a little tamer, the new kite sailing, offers some fun possibilities.

The new kites made for adult use are often huge, and a strong blast of air can pull even a grown male right onto his face.

And then there's the possibility of the kite blowing back into the user.

You know, this all sounds a little too adventurous for me. Next time I'm on the Island, I think I'll just stroll over to Bailey's, buy a child's kite and run with it along the beach. That is just about my speed!


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