Wind is an incredible thing when it comes to playing outdoors. It creates waves far out in the ocean, whips up snowstorms in the mountains, and provides raw power for the entire category of wind sports such as kiting, windsurfing or sailing. Despite my strong affinity for surfing and skiing, I’d never tried kitesurfing (also called kiteboarding, but I’ll be referring to the sport as kitesurfing or kiting here).
So with a week in the Canary Islands I set out to learn. In the Bay Area, where I’m from, wind sports rule, allowing surfers to have fun during the breezy, waveless summer months (along with complaining and anxiously checking the surf forecast). In the hopes of doing more of the former and less of the latter, I wanted to learn to kitesurf. It was a difficult, exhausting, and ultimately rewarding experience. The high-octane power of kiting isn’t for everyone. But harnessing the wind in some capacity (kiting, wing foiling, sailing, or windsurfing) is something I’d recommend to any board-riding enthusiast (i.e., don’t be a snob, looking at you surfers).