Kiteboarders take over SF Bay

August 5, 2009 7:32:33 PM PDT
The San Francisco Bay has always been a great venue for sailing, but this week kiteboarders have taken over the waters off Crissy Field.

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"It's a great sport, it combines all the board sports into one super sport where you get a little wake boarding, a little surfing, even a little bit of power sports mixed in to it, it's a blast," kiteboarder Rob Kindt said.

San Francisco is hosting to the first ever Kiteboarding Course Racing World Championship, and the Bay is the perfect place, according to Floridian Damien Leroy.

"I love it here you have ebbs, you've got floods, you don't know what going on, the boats are going through, some days its gnarly windy and some days it's like this -- beautiful; that's what makes it so good," Leroy said. Leroy was the 2008 national champion.

The sport has exploded the past decade, with the equipment in a constant state of flux.

"It's constantly evolving, a lot of people tinkering and trying to figure things out week to week, month to month, it changes dramatically," kiteboarder Chris Brown said.

Kiteboarders wear a harness which their kite is hooked into; there are four lines for control.

"Two lines to steer with, two lines you power up or depower it," Kindt said.

The kite is inflatable and can relaunch easily when it hits the water. The boards have two fins for control.

The course is simple with two buoys and three laps. The kiteboarders reach speeds of 30 mph.

"Kiteboarding in general is the most fun sport out there," Brown said.

Racing runs through Saturday at Crissy Field.

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