Kitesurfing has carved an extreme niche in the water, and the sport's increasing popularity is making waves. Breezy as the pros make it look, newbies shouldn't just throw caution to the wind; they should throw it to Captain John of Treasure Island's Kite the Bay.
John has been a kitesurfing instructor for the past eight years and offers an innovative approach to his "Fly & Ride Intro" lessons. Dry-land lessons are ditched in favor of getting straight out onto the water.
"The rush is unlike anything you'll experience in your life," he said, describing his midair magic once he was back on land. "All the sounds go away, and it's just silent up there. You really feel like you're flying."
Welcome to the world of kitesurfing, a fledgling sport that adds a dimension to ordinary surfing and gives new meaning to the phrase "hang time." The sport, sometimes called "kiteboarding," burst onto the scene in 1999 and has grown gradually and quietly since then.