Flagler club scene gets windy

Kiteboarding club is in the works at Flagler, awaiting SGA nod

By Gian Louis Thompson | gthompson@flagler.edu
Photo contributed by Katie Davis

The Flagler College club program looks to expand with the addition of a new kiteboarding club.

Led by Flagler freshman Chaz Lawrence, the new club expects to bring kiteboarding to Flagler students.

“We want to help expose the sport of kite boarding to college life and to help the Collegiate Kiteboarding Association grow,” Lawrence said.

The new club sport is waiting for its official inclusion into the Flagler College club program. However, interest in the sport at Flagler is anything but sparse.

“We are in a waiting period,” Lawrence said. “We had 71 people fill out their contact information and we are going to hold meetings in the upcoming weeks.”

Kiteboarding is a sort of hybrid sport characterized by elements of surfing, wakeboarding and kite handling.

The kite’s purpose is to catch gusts of wind and propel the kiteboarder, who controls it with a series of ropes. It is hard to imagine, but a kiteboarder may sail up to 30 feet above the ocean before descending on a wave of his or her liking. The catch is the waves can last as long as the kiteboarder wishes.

Lawrence hopes to build the club from the ground up and to expand with a steady flow of resources and support.

“We hope to achieve a solid foundation, get really committed members, and to raise money for club gear to help people,” Lawrence said.

The main problem with the sport, according to Lawrence, is the cost of the equipment. Kiteboarding gear can cost as much as $3,000, Lawrence said.

“People always say, ‘I want to learn but the gear is too expensive,’ ” he said.

However, Lawrence hopes to overcome this obstacle for newcomers with fundraising events, donations and sponsorship discounts to purchase club gear. Once on its feet, the Flagler College kiteboarding club plans to travel extensively around Florida to compete in events with other CKA schools.

One event Lawrence plans to attend is the Tampa Bay Kite Masters race. Each year the event gives its proceeds to a different charitable organization. Lawrence encourages all Flagler students to sign up and give the sport a shot. He assures it won’t be anything less than exciting.

“Kiteboarding is a sensation that everyone should experience,” Lawrence said.

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