Every time I jog along the beach near my house, I see kiteboarders out on the bay, and I think to myself “That looks like one rad sport.” That thought quickly progressed to “I should learn that rad sport!”, which is how I ended up in Baja, Mexico at a week-long kiteboarding camp.
I learned all about kiteboarding, which I have nicknamed “TMDSE”, “The Most Difficult Sport Ever”. It’s kind of like trying to wakeboard, but your friend who is driving the boat is passed out, so you have to both drive the boat and wakeboard…at the same time.
First, a word about kite camp. It was organized by Royce, of KGB Kiteboarding, based in the Bay area. Judging by Royce’s ability to pull together a training camp in a foreign country (sort of #Mexico) and his very organized emails, I was not expecting the incredibly drunk and generally terrible Royce we were greeted by in Mexico. He immediately starts hitting on the women, and spitting out some of our favorite Royce-isms:
- “To manage your expectations…”
- “KITE CAMP!”
- “That’s what’s up”
- “You guys cool with that?”
Stringing most of those together, this was one of our first group conversations with Royce:
Royce: “Okay everyone…we try to ride when it’s windy from noon-4. We’re not here to waste your time. But I want to set expectations, sometimes the wind isn’t generous. In fact, we may not kite at all! You guys cool with that?!”
Royce: “Let’s take a tequila shot!!“
(takes tequila shot) “That’s WHAT’S UP, ya!!”
(looks at a girl) “You’re hot! Look at those dimples!”
Aside from Royce, the instructors and other campers are all great, our camp is awesome (#puppies #hotshowers #STARS #curtainsfordoors), and we all spend quite a bit of time bonding over our Royce frustrations.
The first day, we are told to meet at 8:30am for breakfast. At 7:15am, myself and 2 girls take a stroll on the beach. 30 minutes later, I see one of our instructors baralleing toward us, on his ATV. Turns out he had been searching everywhere for us, as our watches were still set in PST and we were 45 minutes late to breakfast. Classic.
The rest of the day was basically spent flying kites on the beach, b/c Royce couldn’t get his act together to actually get us on the water. BUT, then we went to a restaurant for dinner and I met this little gal, who I got real cozy with.
After Mike, one of the other campers, teased me about kissing up on a homeless Mexican street dog, I had this conversation with the dog’s owners, to prove she is a loved dog with a loving home, who gets bathed regularly:
Me: “How old is she?”
Owner: “7 months”
Me: “Aw, a puppy! Where did you get her?”
Owner: “We found her, on the street!”
Me: “That’s so nice you rescued her. It was a while ago, right?”
(sigh of relief that I wasn’t kissing up on a recent homeless Mexican street dog)
Owner: “…like, last week”
Me:“Ahhhh soap, someone get the soap!!”
After the dog incident, we realize it’s almost 10pm (#bajamidnight), which is late for our early rising camp. We all head to bed and gear up for the next day’s kiteboarding lessons. I will sum up my kiteboarding progression in a few sentences:
Kiteboarding is so effing hard. I landed on rocks. I swallowed cups of sea water. I face-planted. I flew through the air and crashed on the water. I was dragged 5 miles down-wind. BUT eventually, I did get up and successfully ride (for ~20 seconds before crashing)!!!
Besides getting up and riding, the best part of kite camp was finding the volleyball camp a few blocks down the beach! A group of Canadians live in Baja and spend the windless mornings playing volleyball and the windy afternoons kiteboarding. Not a bad life. If I could ride for more than 10 seconds, I’d be tempted to quit my life as I know it, and join them.
But then a Baja Booboo happened, eliminating all desires to move to Mexico.
I woke up one morning with sharp foot pain. I couldn’t putting pressure on my feet, meaning walking turned into a very unattractive hobble. In my typical fashion, I ignored the pain for 4 days, until I mentioned it to a friend who said “What if your foot needs to be amputated”?
I was in urgent care 12 hours later.
The doc stuck a needle in one of my toes, poked around, agreed my “Mexican bug bite and allergic reaction” theory was probably the most realistic scenario, prescribed me antibiotics and later called to say “By the way, it could be a viral infection known as HandMouthFoot disease”. A very clever name for similar symptoms as me, except a) I’m not 5, which is the typical affected audience of said disease b) I don’t have any mouth or hand sores c) I don’t have fever symptoms. Also I prefer not to think I have a contagious viral disease. So Mexican bug bites it is!
Please enjoy all of the photos I took during the week:
Now enjoy these photos I paid for, b/c I don’t know how to take photos: