**Background: I quit kiteboarding and sold all my gear late last fall.**
One of my favorite things about blogging is that I sometimes get interesting questions from readers. Today was special because two different people separately asked me the same question.
Person #1- Hi James, Do you ever think about returning to kiting? Do you miss it at all? Just wondering. [Person#1]
Person #2- James, do you miss kiting at all?
Here's an excerpt from what I wrote back:
Hi [Person #1],
Yeah, I think about it sometimes. There are some conditions where it's easier to get powered and have fun with a kite, and it almost always looks more impressive than windsurfing to the people on the beach. But I feel that I've satisfied my curiosity about what kiting is like, and proven that I have the ability to do it pretty well. So the only question I ask myself now is, "Is the added joy, compared to just windsurfing, enough to justify the added trouble, expense and danger?" And my answer to that, at least for now, is a fairly clear, "No." Windsurfing gives me basically all the same thrills, challenge, and exercise I got from kiting.
Person #2 asked an interesting follow-up question...
I asked because I saw something you posted on the iWindsurf forum saying that you would look into the [brand x] kite if you would kite again.
In this area there are very few windsurfers left, everyone seems to have switched to kiting. I envy their camaraderie, if not their sport.
I love it that I can windsurf in offshore winds or go out in a really light breeze for a leisurely cruise. I just wish there would be more of us.
...to which I replied:
Well, in Florida, peer pressure was one of the main reasons I tried kiting. My local spot was very popular with kites, but I would usually be the only windsurfer. There's no reason you can't hang out with kiters as a windsurfer, but trying kiting did give me a little head start with the camaraderie there.
If I had tons of money I might pick up a 13-15 meter kite and a big twintip for the sub-15 knot seabreeze days where there's no waves to SUP and I just want to plane without working hard.
So there you have it. I don't miss it much, but if I had all the time and money in the world I would still do it when conditions were good.
Just to put something multi-media in this post, here is the video from my last kiteboarding session EVER, November 30th 2010 in Nahant. (This doesn't count once or twice on buddies' gear when I visited Florida over the winter.)