call it kite surfing, flysurfing or kiteboarding, but it's fun!!!!!
well, i was sort of scared about it before i headed south to tainan this past weekend for a 2 day lesson at TKS (taiwan kite surfing). i mean i'm not a strong swimmer, and i barely surf, can do some boogy board, not a very athletic person overall... plus i've seen amazing fotos of what people do on kiteboarding sites. all this made me wonder if i can even begin to imagine doing this sport! they say u don't hv to know how to surf, cuz it's very different sport! it's tru!
the instructors at TKS were amazing. they explain the whole thing about the kite, the wind, the gears. and then u learn to fly kites. from the smaller practice sizes (so u can figure out the wind) to flying actual kites. then u learn to fly it in the water (body draggin)... well, that's as far as i got. i've not conquered the kite just yet. plus, i really do think 14 meters kite is a bit large for me (for my wt, i only need to use a 5 meter in strong wind condition). i can barely control the pull n the weight! n one wrong move, n i'm lifting off the water or the ground! quite scary. with this bit said, when i succeeded in keeping the kite above the water, it was an amazing feeling flying in the water, being dragged by the kite. the speed and the feeling of lifting from the water n moving thru it. wow! very different the surfing and riding the waves which is also very fun. or even wind surfing. tho my muscles ache now....
and i broke i kite :-( (well, not actually my fault! it fell onto the sand where the was a pc of broken glass from locals who party n trashes the beach!)
it's an expensive sport, and so far only about 5 or 6 women in taiwan does it. but i like it a lot!!! i want to learn some more.
they say 80% of this sport is learning to control the kite n understanding about the wind. so i guess i'll hv to arrange time to go n learn n practice more.
it is dangerous sport.
they said 200ppl were killed last year doing the sport, so understanding the safety part is crucial to this sport, ur environment and the wind current. and not do stupid things.
i saw for myself how dangerous it was.
i was learning to use the larger kites and camil was behind me. lending me his weight n pull, keeping me from flying off. but i accidentally pulled the bar n flew out forward, n he wasn't able to keep his hold on me. i dragged him forward w/me n when he lost hold of me, i tumbled forward. lucky i had helmet on, else i'd b in hospital... OUCH! tht bump on my head really hurt!
tho nothing was as bad as Anton's case... this guy we met kitesurfing ther from austria (ok, kitesurfers r all very nice community of ppl, very friendly n helpful)
anyway, he was flying his kite on the sand, waiting for stronger winds. n he tried jumping. he succeeded, but then the wind carried him higher than he intended n he lost control it. he flew up nearly 12 ft? n came down falling on his back. no helmet (he's been doing this for over 3 years) he seemed fine when he came to sit w/us after he landed. but... after lunch we came back to find that he's lost his short term memory. he has no clue how he fell. he kept asking us if we saw his fall n how high he was... wher his things were. it was a little like that movie momento.
he wnt to the hospital later on n he was ok, but a concussion, but wow, dangerous.
never go kitesurfing alone either!
anyway, the rest of the weekend was amazing.
driving down to tainan, i had a taste of how bad the traffic in taiwan on vacation weekend can get (this is also weekend of spring scream, spring break music festival in kenting, which i went last year w/rob n other friends)
we were stuck in traffic for hours.
on a normal day, driving to chung hwa, just south of taichung, wd take 3 hours tops? it took us nearly 5 hours!!!! Morgan & wife (Grace) gave camil n i a ride down ther and we met up w/Chris & wife + baby at his parents' house ther. then another 3 or so to arrive in tainan. we stayed at a hotel called WELLCOME, 1180 per nite for 2 ppl. not bad. tho u can tell, it's also a "rest" hotel... cuz by the bed ther's a little kit for guests... with dental picks, cotton swabs n codoms in it.. (hmmmm...) but it's clean n includes in-room breakfast (chinese or western style)
one nite we ate stincky tofu for dinner from right outside our hotel and gone back to pass out. on the second nite we ate at the dadong nite market, yummy foods. so many stalls of just food!!! not much shopping, it's great. and cheap. i think i ate everything possible that nite. it's good i can share food with ppl. else i'd hv one thing n b done w/for the nite.
nearby the nite market, ther's some nice mix use apt-like bldgs reminding me a lot of the nice apt bldgs in LA/OC areas. very neat and organised. all the shops on first floor have very unified signages. good use of outdoor space. too bad it's in tainan, else i'd totally get a unit for myself.
on sat, camil n i hv to cut our lessons a little short to catch the plane for taipei at 6:10. lucky for us, jenn showed up at the beach n took us to the airport. got ther in no time n after chk-in, we all sat in the airport cafe and had a little snack & coffee n chatted for a bit. she's got interesting job in tainan, working for the mayor. wow! but she's quite busy!
she'll b getting her own apt soon!!!
yipee! cuz then i def hv a place to crash if i want to go back to TKS to take more lessons! which i def will need.
camil is a lot better at controling his kite than i! :-( i i wil catch up. anyhoos, then we flew up to taipei (rain again!) n took my brother's car n drove out to Dasi for tom's last bday party in taiwan. by the time we arrived the party was in full swing. ate too mch. drank too much. many fun ppl. then we jumped into the hottub. 12 ppl in the little tub. amazing! then i wnt downstairs n was suddenly feeling very very dizzy. fell asleep on the stairs! camil came by n found me n put me to bed in the living room. i didn't even notice when ppl wnt to bed.
sunday is nice n chill. rainy still but it cleared up, tho not enough for beach. still, it was nice n fun just hanging out on the deck and hearing all the fun things that happened after i passed out.
the drive back in the evening was nice cuz we took the mountain pass n bypassed all the traffic.
it was a fun-filled weekend.
abi & horia flew in from HK. they're moving to sao paolo in june for three yrs. wow! great news, cuz i'm planning on visiting brazil in novemeber!