Jesse Poulin On Kite Surfing
1.) consistent and strong breeze 2.) water* 3.) good food 4.) good friends
*until recently I would have said warm water. However, some of the best sessions I've had were at 5am covered in rubber riding in a freezing NE @ Napeague.
Having said that, here are my all-time favorite top-5, in no particular order
1.)Jericoacoara, Ceara Brazil Jeri is a small town that can only be reached by 4X4. It is hidden in a valley surrounded by huge white sand dunes. The trade winds offer side-on breeze consistently during the day, cooling breeze at night, the water is warm and the food is spectacular!
2.)Napeague Bay, Amagansett NY USA This is more of our local hang during the summer. Living in the city offers another option (Sandy Hook, NJ) which is closer and sometimes has more wind.
3.)Outer Banks, NC USA I just recently drove down here with a friend for a 4 day trip. There is almost always good breeze and some of the best local kiters in the world and they have a great attitude. NOTE: Don't drive down with drugs in your car. We were pulled over and searched intensely by a dog named Spliff!
4.)Mui Ne, Vietnam Breeze is strong but gusty, strong beach break so is sometimes difficult for beginners to get out. Also, the hospital there is a cement building with dirt floors and no electricity. I received 8 stitches in my hand without anaesthesia. Thank God Eb was there with beer. There's a great downwinder from Mui Ne to Phan Thiet and the locals are some of the most honest, giving people I have ever met.
5.)San Francisco Bay, CA USA During the summer, this can be the best place in the world. There is a kiteboard racing league here run by the St. Francis yacht club in the middle of the city. Where else in the world can you have a real job in a cosmopolitan city and, after work, go race 30-50 other kitesurfers underneath the Golden Gate? Also, Sherman Island is 1 hour inland and is one of the windiest spot in the US during the summer. Be like Don Quixote and kite amongst the windmills!
Best place close to NY to learn kitesurfing?
The best teacher I have ever seen is Skatoor. Skatoor is mysterious. He lives in a camper in Napeague Bay, has a wife in Vietnam, pulled a knife on me once, and is probably the most experienced kitesurfer there is. Lessons with him can be intense (think Pai Mei crossed with Mr. Miyagi).
He can be frustrating at first, but you'll be a better kiter for it. Make no mistake, kitesurfing can be dangerous. Skatoor makes sure you're always conscious of that and always ready to react to trouble. Also, with him, 'once a student, always a student'. He's the first one on the beach to tell you what you're doing wrong when you come in. I've been kiting for 5 years, was an instructor, and still learn new things from him. Also, he's got another instructor, Stevie, who plays good cop for those that can't take Skatoor.
Another option is to head down to Real Kiteboarding in the Outer Banks, NC for a week. They have a great, though more 'commercial', program and it's a great spot to learn. www.realkiteboarding.com
Favorite neighborhoods in NY?
I love my neighborhood. I recently moved to Greenpoint from the UES and am surrounded by some of the best food and music I think is available in the city. Check theburg.tv for details on the scene. Apart from Brooklyn, I like the W.Village and Soho in Manhattan because that's where my friends live and thus where we happen to frequent.
Is kitesurfing a sport women can easily learn?
Actually, yes. Most women look at kitesurfing and think it takes a lot of upper body strength. This isn't true, the kite is attached to a harness that distributes the pull of the kite to your back or butt (depending on the type of harness used). Kitesurfing is mostly about the kite, and the kite reacts to a very delicate touch. Men tend to over-muscle the whole thing and tire themselves out while women just kind of let things happen. Also, for the physically conscious, kitesurfing beats the hell out of pilates for a core workout.
check out http://www.realkiteboarding.com/