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Surfing Winds

Merell Lystra L. Recta

The fresh breeze of the sea is the best way to start the day. The gushing winds against one’s face, the swirls of waves approaching the surface, the specks of sand covering one’s feet, and the kiss of sunlight on one’s skin relieves even the depression one gets from failing grades. Around the corner, a rider drifts on the waves and heads for a spin in mid-air then splashes back on the water.

Local and international kite surfers gathered at the perfect spot for kitesurfing in Negros Oriental last Feb. 11 for a freestyle exhibition of stunts while they ride the waves with their kites. A local brand designer and producer, Daniel See and Ian Flanders of DSD Intel, also showed off their high-quality kitesurfing products.

Kitesurfing is an extreme sport where the rider hoists the kite up with strings attached to a harness around their body. With power and balance, the rider tries to surf the tide using the kite as its steering wheel. But in order to ride, winds must be strong enough. The equipment in kitesurfing also consists of a kite, a kiteboard, and the harness.

The organizer of the event and instructor of the only kite school around Dumaguete, Francois Toullec, said, “The younger you start, the best.” He also emphasized that kitesurfing revolves around the concept of physics. It might look difficult, but once you get the hang of it, you might not want to get out of the water.

A renowned Filipino kite surfer, MJ Cahilig, started kitesurfing in the year 2008—when he was around 22 years old—and it was through the influence of his peers that got him into this sport. Their association with other kite surfers involve looking for perfect places for kitesurfing. “Wala pang masyadong nag-kitesurfing,” said MJ. He believes that if people start to expose themselves to the sport, there would be more riding the waves with their kites. DSD Intel is also trying their best to lessen the cost of their products to make it even more affordable for the Filipinos.

Age doesn’t matter when it comes to riding waves. At age 35, Jay Putzi started kitesurfing. However, he also had other sports, such as snowboarding, which made it a bit easier for him to actually learn kitesurfing. Nonetheless, anyone can still learn this sport without any background on others. As long as one is fit enough to endure the heat of the sun, the power of the wind, and the balancing of the board, then they are good to go. The only difference it makes is that it will take a longer time for one to learn kitesurfing if he or she is not exposed to other sports.

Kitesurfing is for everyone. You don’t have to be sexy to do a stunt in the air. You don’t have to consider your age to start learning to surf a kite. After all, the happiness that Mother Nature can give us is beyond compare—even beyond the fascination we experience riding the most expensive car in the world.

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