Zen and the Art of Kitesurfing (Hainan Island)
How long have you been looking at your phone today? How many times did you look away from the person you were speaking to, so as to direct your attention back to your device? How are you reading this article now, on your computer, iPad, or phone? Aren’t we all looking for a little bit more engagement, a little more connectivity? Let’s try something else.
Asia Bay, Boao, Hainan Island, tucked away in the South China Sea, is home to our friends at Kitesurf China. Now whether or not you are a pro rider, or have never heard of kite surfing before is irrelevant- let’s take a little look at Boao.
I’m always happy to be heading back out here. It is in a way, a kind of nowhere, famous for various things but nothing in particular, which is what really holds the appeal. It’s an undiscovered treasure, thick palms spread throughout the countryside only clearing for small towns, and stretches of white sandy beach.
There’s certainly something very ‘zen’ about the whole experience. Let’s talk about kiting. No engines or motors, no fuel, just the minimal tools you need to ride the wind and waves. The kite is your engine, the wind your fuel, and the board your sedan. As soon as you hit the water that’s it, your mind clears. It has to be one of the most effective relaxation exercises in the world.
When I first moved to Hainan Island, the kite surfers at Asia Bay were the first and best friends I made. Having barely any knowledge of kite surfing, I wasn’t sure what to expect from my first visit. I have to say, it was the community that first made me fall in love with the sport. All of these people from all over the world, who travel almost obsessively based on where the wind is going. It sounded like the most romantic idea in the world to me, pack up your kite bag and follow the wind. The friends I met on that first day told me stories from all corners of the globe- from Morocco to Cape Town, Taiwan to Sri Lanka, West Indies to the West Coast of America.
From that first day I was hooked. It was impossible to curb what was sure to now be my new greatest passion. Each trip back to the school was more intoxicating than the last. The thing about kite surfing is that as soon as that kite is attached to your harness, it’s almost impossible to think of anything else. In today’s hectic world, few are the moments of calm where we can find the means to leave our constant struggles behind. Out on the water though, we can finally allow ourselves to be completely present. This is total engagement.
The next greatest thing about kite surfing is that you don’t have to be anyone or anything in particular to be able to kite. Asia Bay has seen every type of rider, from age 6 to 76, girls, boys, men women, big, small, and with varying degrees of athleticism (personally I was at the far lower end of the spectrum when it comes to athletic ability…). This is what’s so great- kiting is for everyone.
So put down your device. Thankfully, nobody has made a waterproof iPhone yet... So turn off your phone. While everybody else says “later”, be the person who says “now”. Pump a kite and come to the water, just bring your sense of adventure and Kitesurf China will take care of the rest. We’ll see you there.
We are Kitesurf China, a team from all around the world, brought together by our passion for kite surfing. We are based in Hainan Island, on a beautiful stretch of white beach in the palms. Sound good? Thought so. Pack your bags and come play, we'll be waiting for you at the water....
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