You know, I do like the Californian weather. All that sunshine, girls strolling along the beach not wearing much? anyway, the weather. It?s not been that great recently, but my latest investigation lent itself well to your occasionally sub-standard weather.
Having been introduced to Ben, who I was reliably informed has been kite-surfing for nearly 8 years now – a quick run-down of how the kites are set up and how they work followed. If I was shown one of these on a movie set I?d probably think that the upcoming scene involved jumping out of a plane for two reasons. Firstly, this kite looked more like a parachute with an inflated leading edge, and secondly, I never read scripts so wouldn?t know what was going on in the film anyway. Let?s face it ? I only get the occasional line of dialogue here and there and I?m quite good at improvising.
He made flying the kite look so easy, casually sliding across the beach and then floating, suspended in the air around 10 feet from the ground for a while. These kites certainly pack a punch.
In the sea, I was harnessed up and strapped on to the kite. If you?ve flown a big kite before, this kind of kite is different, so listen up. To reduce the power, push the bar away from you. To increase it, pull forwards and pivot the bar left and right to steer. Let me tell you, pulling the bar in when the kite is catching the wind really makes a difference, it?s a serious piece of equipment, so I did the only thing any self-respecting movie star would do and yanked the bar into my chest. Launching me straight out of the water I didn?t have time to think about steering the kite and the wind no longer filled it quite as ferociously, resulting in a faceplant and desperate fumble for the emergency release mechanism I?d been told about earlier. How did it work again? Never mind, the kite crashed into the water and stopped dragging me along quite so much, which was lucky as I needed to breathe.
After a few goes being dragged through the water my thirst for kite-surfing grew and now I want to learn more, being quite envious of the twelve or so people out there around me making it look so easy.
Of course, being a seasoned action hero it only took another ten minutes before I was flying around making up all kinds of tricks, just look at the photos. Yah, 100% Arnie.*
*A stunt-double may have been used for, er, all of the shots seen here as despite his endlessly talented ability, kite-surfing isn?t the kind of thing that even the Governator could pick up in one afternoon!
Many thanks go to the Jersey Kite-surfing Association.
For more information about kite-surfing or getting started visit www.jerseykitesurfing.co.uk