When I go on vacation to kite I hope the weather will be windy and the water warm or the snow powder. To get more specific, I like strong steady wind with warm turquoise water or 18” of 1% powder with smooth moderate wind. This recent trip, to Maui, was the former strong wind and pleasant water. I have found myself pumping the 5-meter kite day after day. If you do not kite a 5-meter kite is the size of well, a napkin, it looks like a speck or a hummingbird up in the sky, it is plain tiny which means the wind is honking if some chooses such a small piece of fabric to pull them around. I went out a few times on my twin tip just for amusement sake but I find the surfboard is what kiting March Maui is all about. There is something to be said for being pulled into a head high wave by a juiced up hummingbird. Heck, it is hardly any effort at all and the kite just drifts down the line because the wind is so strong, I think I would call it ego kiting and right now, just so you know, I feel pretty good about my kiting ability. Yep, doing all this in a bathing suit just adds to the experience, no frostbite here, just flaming pink sunburn, pure kiter bliss.Over the 3 years of my kiting career we have gradually moved east along Kite Beach to Naish Beach and finally to Kanaha. When I first started we set up and rigged from Kite Beach. Kite beach is a long, narrow strip of sand squeezed between the road, a small swath of dunes covered with scrub trees and the aquamarine of the Pacific. If a kiter has a spastic moment (usually me) or the wind gets a bit fluky (my husband’s excuse) someone was climbing a scrub tree (usually my husband) to get his or her kite. I clearly remember the elation of launching and landing mishap free as being a major part my Kite Beach experiences that was a very good day.
We are now launching from the beach park, by the lifeguard stand, at Kanaha. This is a major step up in the class department, no more stinky, plastic “blue rooms”. Kanaha has flush toilets and a shower stand to rinse with, it makes me feel more appreciated, like Maui thinks my kiter dollars are just as green as any other tourist’s, it is great. Oh guess what, there is grass too! Last year’s tsunami cleaned up the invasive underbrush that helped make this beach creepy, leaving a healthy and revitalized dune zone complete with birds and other wildlife (not just the chickens or shady looking campers). Every day we kited we found a comfortable and shady “kite camp” to stash our son and extra gear and the other kite tourist at this end of the beach are more accomplished, friendly and helpful.
Yesterday we drove by Lanes on our way to a friend’s house for dinner. The waves looked great but the launch is tricky. I am not sure if I am ready to waddle out on the knar-knar coral, in ankle to knee-deep water, to launch my kite. I am especially weary of the gamble of someone just hanging around on that same knar-knar coral to land my kite when I get tuckered out from a wave surfing frenzy. We still have a few days to decide if this is could be an option but Kanaha has been so fun and windy I am not sold, although those wave at Lanes did look pretty amazing.
As you read this you a probably wondering at the lack of mention of my favorite kite buddy, my daughter Frances. Frances is on tour of Europe, lucky girl. She is hoping from art museum to art museum, I know some day she is looking forward to a kite tour of Europe, me too.