What’s very alluring about the sport of kitesurfing is the fact that it has a multi-faceted appeal. Sports like snowboarding, skating, gymnastics, wakeboarding, and paragliding combine to give kitesurfing a penchant that is addictive to the core.
“What’s the real danger involved in kitesurfing?” I asked Joseph, who is an experienced kite surfer from Canada.
“The real danger?” he laughed, “Well, it is a very, very addictive sport.”
Joseph taught me the basics of kitesurfing—pumping air into the kite, laying out the lines, attaching the lines to the kite using a slip knot, setting up the harness, and launching the kite. Once inflated, the kite becomes highly unstable and one has to be careful with moving it around. A slight misstep can land the kite in an unsteady position, and the strong winds at the shore can fly it away never to be retrieved again. Once the lines were attached to the kite, Joseph adhered to the board, and with a swift launch, he was in the middle of the sea!
Within a matter of seconds, Joseph was away from the shore, nearing the distant island which was an exclusion zone. With a calculated maneuver, he could easily change his directions and control the kite. It was amazing to watch him ride the rough waves at the nearby reef.
Joseph is a kite fanatic in true sense of word. A successful businessman, he likes to travel around the world, chasing the wind. It was his pursuit that had brought him here to the extreme southern end of India on the island of Pamban. He describes the place as a paradise for kite surfers, but at the same time, admits that it would be unfair to publicize the beauty of this place to protect it from the effects of commercialization.