Anthony Kiteboarding Experience
by Juan Carlos Morales (head instructor and owner of 15 Knots Kiteboarding School)
On August 31, 2011, I was challenged to teach Anthony, an amazing 12 year old teenager, to go Kiteboarding-Kitesurfing with me. Anthony was born blind, nevertheless, with the support of his parents he has grown and developed as any other kid.
When the family arrived to the school to meet me, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve been teaching Kiteboarding for the last 10 years, but never taken on a challenge like this. I was working on modifying an old big kite board so that both, Anthony and I could ride at the same time. This way, I would be able to control the kite and board steering while he experienced the thrill of the ride.
When I got introduced to Anthony, I noticed he had a great attitude and was all excited about trying it. He also, told me that he had done some research on how kiteboarding works so that he already understood most of the wind window theory and how the kite propels the rider. I was amazed! While I was finishing the adjustments on this custom board, Victor Bruno (instructor) showed him how to run the lines and to connect them to the kite and a little bit of the feeling of flying the kite on the ground.
Then, I put a go pro camera on the kite lines to film the whole experience.
From left to right: Juan Carlos Morales (15 Knots instructor), Anthony on the right (the star)
We flew a 2012 11m Cabrinha Swithcblade. I reviewed some basic kite flying concepts on the ground.
Then we went for a few body drags to get him used to the steering and the power from the kite.
Then we went for tandem rides on the board. During the ride on the board, Anthony was fearless, asking for more speed and asking to take full control without my assistance and when the right moment arrived, I did.
When I look back, I can’t believe that what started as a hobby and now is my work, allowed me to provide this experience for Anthony and myself.
Juan Carlos Morales & Anthony riding together on the kiteboard
Anthony takes full control of the ride to allow the instructor to let go of his hands