Club/Intramural Sports, Sports

Kiteboarders fly high in new club sport

Thomas Fields, vice-president of the kite boarding club, hangs upside down in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Courtesy Thomas Fields

One of the newest trends to hit the beaches of South Florida is a form of wakeboarding called kiteboarding. The sport began in the 1980s, and really took off in the 1990s.  Kiteboarding had its inaugural year as a club sport at the University of Miami last year.

“This club is young, but it is becoming well known quickly in the extreme sports community,” said Rhonda DuBord, associate director of UM’s recreation programs.

The water sport consists of a board strapped to one’s feet and a kite attached around the waist by a harness. The rider controls where he wants to go with the use of  bar that helps him steer in a certain direction.

Since boats aren’t used to drag the boarder around, weather conditions are important. Wind is the only propulsion available.

Based on wind speed and skills, a kiteboarder can reach up to 20 miles per hour and as high as 30 feet in the air. The more wind, the higher and faster a kiteboarder can go.

“If you like catching rays and being out on the water, this sport is for you,” club president Ivan Zorn said.

The club is led by Zorn and professional rider Tom Fields.

In Miami, kiteboarding can be seasonal due to the minimal wind during the summer months.

“Before class, after class. Basically whenever we get a chance, or when the weather is good, we go out and spend the day at the beach,” Fields said.

The club currently has 10 members and is growing quickly.  There is no experience needed to join the club. Beginners are welcome; in fact, most members had never kiteboarded before joining the club. The team provides new members with gear and the opportunity to take lessons.

A local board shop supplies the instructors and equipment for all beginners.

The club has monthly beach days where members spend the day on the water. These beach days also welcome new members with a shoreside barbeque at the end of the day.

“Our overall goal this year is to expand our team and have a great time out there on the water,” Zorn said. “Hopefully, we can return to the events we went to last year and win a few tournaments.”

August 31, 2011

Reporters

cesarferreiro


Around the Web

University of Miami students share their thoughts and impressions as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris take the helm. ...

Following Wednesday’s historic event, University of Miami experts in various fields provide their insight on the biggest challenges facing the new administration. ...

As part of the “Roadmap to Our New Century” initiative, the University of Miami advances the art of teaching and the science of learning by partnering with students, alumni, and others to offer options throughout the entire adult learning life cycle. ...

University of Miami experts weigh the merit and consequences of amending or repealing the communications law that provides a legal shield for service providers from the words, images, and videos posted by their users. ...

The United States Postal Service features Emilio Sanchez, the first Cuban American visual artist to be recognized in a new series of Forever stamps. ...

TMH Twitter
About Us

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.