VIDEO: Go fly a kite... or ride oneWindsurfing and kite-boarding have melded into one sport - kite-surfing. It's hit the shores of Alexandria lakes.
By: Crystal Dey, Alexandria Echo Press
Curious lake dwellers spied something high in the sky over Lake L’Homme Dieu on a wind-whipped September afternoon. A few folks cruised over to Rotary Beach on Monday to watch Nathan Borer catch some waves – it was prime surfing weather.
Borer navigated a 14-square-meter kite, catching air currents up to 90-feet above. When a good wind would come into the bay, Borer was whisked off to skate across the water.
“It’s a powerful thing, the wind,” Borer said between gusts.
Borer vacations in the Alexandria area and owns a surf shop in the Twin Cities. He is certified by the Professional Air Sports Association (PASA).
Surfing in Minnesota? It’s more common than most people think. Borer was demonstrating kite-surfing. Using a twin-tip kite board, like a wakeboard, Borer skied across waves while propelled by air currents.
Borer’s shop, NorthStar Surf, specializes in paddle-boarding, kite-boarding and wakeboarding.
“Really anybody can do it,” Borer said. “There’s a kite for every shape and size.”
Kites are measured in square meters based on a person’s physical power and experience, Borer explained. He emphasized learning from a PASA-certified instructor.
“A dedicated person can pick it up in a couple months,” Borer said. Generally, a person will be ready for a solo run after three or four lessons. Harnesses are equipped with a safety release to limit injury.
Already experienced in wakeboarding, skiing and snowboarding, Borer was introduced to the hybrid sport of kite-surfing by a windsurfer friend 10 years ago.
Some of the lakes Borer recommends in Minnesota are Mille Lacs and Superior. He said Mille Lacs is a great learning environment.
In Douglas County, Borer said Ida and Miltona are great locations, but kite-surfing can be done just about anywhere that has a coastline and a sheet of water. It can also be done year-round. Snow-kiting, is performed on ice in the winter.
To learn more about kite-surfing and NorthStar Surf, visit www.NorthStarSurf.com or call (612) 940-6639.