Saturday, July 24, 2010

Recreation: Keys Style

Angela Salcito, 23, has been kiteboarding in the Florida Keys for two and a half years.

Kiteboarding is completely new to me. I guess I’ve been living too far inland for the last decade because I am blown away by the novelty of this sport. Watching kiteboarders slice through the top of aquamarine water and pump into a ten foot vertical, I get the same awestruck feeling of when I first heard about squirrel suits. Off Whale Harbor on a windy day, you can see anywhere from ten to twenty brightly colored parachute kites tacking across the horizon. It’s a relatively new sport, which requires incredible core strength and precise timing.

Adam Chasey makin wakes off Whale Harbor

Last weekend with winds at 20 to 25mph the conditions were perfect so my friends Adam, Joe, and Angela called me to join them for an afternoon photo shoot. Adam and Joe are still earning their wings while Angela, who’s been boarding for two and a half years, plays the role of teacher.

Angela is about seven feet above the water here.

Imagining a photo of a starburst sun peaking through puffy white clouds with the silhouette of a kiteboarder in the foreground, I asked Angela to start timing her jumps to leave her soaring above my camera. We tried this a few times with minimal success. She was scared to get too close, but I wanted her directly over my head for the image. I thought protecting my camera from the saltwater would be the most dangerous part of this endeavor, that is, until her knee came two inches from clipping the side of my face. Shortly after I put the camera up, but I'm not giving up. I still want that photo.

A little close for comfort.

In the meantime, these will have to do. 


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