South Padre Island : Kiteboarding

Last summer, Drew and I tried a new sport that a friend of ours has been talking up for years – kitesurfing! South Padre Island in Texas was the perfect place to learn too because there’s a huge bay with very shallow water, great for beginners! We booked lessons for the week, but everything was contingent on weather, or wind to be exact. No wind, no kiting.

Sunsets on the bayside were gorgeous though. You can walk out for miles during low tide it seems.
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Our instructor was excellent. Very step-by-step guided instruction and all about safety. Day 1, we stayed on land and practiced controlling the kite. It took a little getting used to, but was easy once we got the hang of it.
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We felt like we were on call the whole week, depending on when the winds were cooperating, and when our instructor had time for us. Sometimes we’d take nice long strolls on the ocean side while we waited. We ended up seeing the most beautiful sea creatures washed up on the sand. Portugese man-of-war. So Wikipedia just schooled me because I thought they were jellyfish since I knew their tentacles are poisonous.

“The Portuguese man o’ war is not a jellyfish but a siphonophore, which differs from jellyfish in that it is not actually a single multicellular organism but a colonial organism made up of many highly specialized minute individuals called zooids.” – Wikipedia

Got that kids? Good. Thanks Wikipedia. Now I know this one animal is actually made up of a bunch of living organisms, which the nerd in me totally appreciates!
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What was really cool was that some of them were still alive and moving on the beach. You had to watch where you step, but they are such strangely beautiful creatures, it was kind of exciting looking out for them as we walked.

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On Day 2, our instructor had us practice flying the kite while standing in knee deep water. Day 3, we went body dragging. That was kinda fun! You hold onto the kite and let it drag you across the water while controlling your kite. If you wanted to, you could make the kite lift you up out of the water for some air!
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Unfortunately, Day 4, where we would’ve learned how to get up on the board and actually ride never came. No wind. But we still had a GREAT time learning and will be back to pick up where we left off – some day.

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