Wednesday, May 20, 2009

North Shore Kites

The Mokuleia Coast, west of Oahu's fabled big-boy surfer beaches, is now a big draw for kiteboarders. Toe straps hold them on the board and a waist harness fixes the kite to the rider. The key is to have enough sail size for propulsion, but not so much as to go exploring into the wild blue yonder.

Kiteboarders ride the faces and backsides of the swells, going airborne with a pendulum action off the crests. Getting started is a bit of a task—they fill the sail at the shoreline, with just enough water under the board to take off. Getting blown onto land is not a smooth ride.