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Old 05-12-2005, 08:50 AM
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The following appeared in the June 13, 2004 "Time Magazine" authored by Isabel Gonzalez.

"Go Fly A Kiteboard
By Isabel C. Gonzalez

Never heard of kiteboarding? Don't worry--20 years ago, people said the same thing about snowboarding. One hundred and fifty kiteboard riders and thousands of spectators are expected to descend this week on the town of Cabarete on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic to participate in the Bestkiteboarding.com Cabarete World Cup 2004. It's one of the most popular events on the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association World Cup Tour. Yep, there's a kiteboarding circuit now.
The pastime — in which riders on small boards are propelled by large kites in order to glide over or jump atop bodies of water (and sometimes on sand, grass or snow)--is the extreme sport of the moment. "Four years ago, kiteboarding was just for a few determined and durable extreme athletes because the equipment was unevolved and you had to teach yourself. But now there's good, inexpensive gear, and people can take classes from certified pros," says Trip Forman, co-owner of Real Kiteboarding of Cape Hatteras, N.C., a kiteboarding school. Forman's outfit boasts 18 full-time coaches, and 6,000 people are registered to take lessons this year, double the number from last year. Students — including presidential candidate John Kerry — have traveled from as far away as Japan and range in age from 8 to 70.

The sport has risks. According to Rick Iossi, director of the Florida Kite Surfing Association, which promotes safety awareness and maintains an accident database, there have been 21 deaths associated with kiteboarding since 2000. "The vast majority of accidents are avoidable if you know what you are doing," says Iossi, who collided with trees and suffered a brain hemorrhage while kiteboarding in unstable weather three years ago. He is now fine and still kiteboards. "People need to take plenty of lessons and, as in any other sport, be cautious."

Despite the perils, however, the sport can be relaxing. Says Laura Meyers, 39, a sponsored kiteboarder from Miami who competes against women half her age: "You can ride leisurely or make it as extreme as you want.""

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Last edited by RickI; 07-20-2016 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:22 AM
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