Maybe Kiting Isn’t So Freaky After All? Confidence in Coronation Beach

Where the wind blows, kitesurfers and windsurfers follow. Since I’m one of these wind-chasing kitesurfers now, and happened to be on a kitesurfing tour, we set off in a convoy from Lancelin to Coronation Beach. Gloomy with a tinge of wind gusts, I quietly harbored a secret of hoping that the wind would be too light to fly my kite.
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New places scared me.

Sharks scared me. (One had recently washed up onto the beach because it choked on the torso of a sea lion.)

Getting wrapped in my lines and having my head pop off like a butcher cutting meat with a wire scared me.

I guess you could say that I was a little anxious.

But during our stay, the wind bellowed. The rest of the tour ran to their kites, pumped them up, and set sail into the bay. Windsurfers jumped, flipped, and sped between the boat harbor. Kitesurfers on surfboards zipped through the waves out back. Dogs ran up and down the Coronation Beach, barking whenever their owners rode near.

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Brian and Martina, the sibling duo who started Adventure Kiting WA

Brian and Martina, the sibling duo who started Adventure Kiting WA

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HOW does this look so effortless?

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Cornations Adventure Kiting WA Wipeout
After a few minutes of watching, I went out myself. With these mortals having fun, it couldn’t be that frightening after all.

I got onto my board and tacked towards the waves. After a few minutes of feeling the cool water rush beneath my feet, I forgot all about the unfamiliarity, sharks, and inevitable decapitation. I surprised myself by staying upwind, linking turns, and navigating around the others. Finally, I was independent!
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Chantae Cornonations Kitesurfing Sitting in Water

Mmm yeah, rockin' that kook squat

Mmm yeah, tryin’ to overcome the kook squat

The kite tugged at harness fit tightly around my waist. I loved pulling the bar and feeling the slow reaction of the kite sail me over the water. Like with surfing, snowboarding, and every nature-powered sport, there’s something untouchable about harnessing the energy of the earth in a way that you can control.

I used two buoys floating out in the water as a spot marker, aiming to stay upwind of them to avoid having to walk laps back up the beach. This worked brilliantly, except for one big crash when my kite took its sweet time relaunching.

Don’t mind me, I’m just sitting here patiently. Blowing downwind. Probably into rocks. Likely directly into the middle of a shark convention.

After a while, I went out to where the waves were breaking – to conditions that would usually be firmly on my, “Oh hell no!” list of mental things of I can and cannot do. I cut through the whitewash and onto the face of the wave, where it felt like I was gliding over smooth butter.

As the sun fell slowly over the ocean, I wondered if I was starting to grasp this elusive “hook” on the sport. When fun overpowers fear, is that when you feel it?
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Moritz and I walked through the red dirt campsite up to a wooden balcony that overlooked a spectacle of tents, RVs, and campervans. Each site had kite gear strewn about it. Our tour consisted of a wine-making Frenchman, two Germans, a few native Western Australians, and a brother and sister duo who decided to quit their 9-5 lifestyles to start a kitesurfing tour business.
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In the middle of nowhere, at a beach that happens to be breezy, people from all over of the world gather to be blown across the ocean.
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Kitesurfing is a strange way to spend time… but I’m starting to really like it.
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Have you tried kiting? Are you a kiter? Any tips for getting better quickly?

Follow the whole trip:

WA Kitesurfing Safari Starts in Lancelin
Kitesurfing with Sharks in Shark Bay
Western Australian Road Trips: The Weird and the Wonderful

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10 Responses

  1. Brent says:

    Another great article Chantae. Those two guys are intense. What a great sport. You will have to teach this ole man how to do that when I visit there.

  2. Katie says:

    I knew basically nothing about kitesurfing until the last month, when I was travelling with a friend who’s a big kitesurfer in Thailand. Between him and your recent posts, I’m definitely interested! Definitely intimidated, though — it does NOT sound easy. Happy to hear that after your investment in the sport, you’re starting to have fun with it!
    Katie recently posted…Three Offbeat Museums to Visit in PenangMy Profile

    • Chantae says:

      You should definitely try flying a trainer kite and see how you go! Come to Perth and you can try flying a little one 🙂 It’s not easy mostly because there’s so much equipment to think about, IMO.
      I didn’t know there was good kiting in Thailand – I’ll have to look into it 😀

  3. Dan says:

    Very nice article, great pictures! I too have a fear, irrational fear of sharks?? luckily for me up here in Canada the great lakes don’t hold any shark conventions 🙂 Although while standup paddle boarding in Florida I had a shark encounter (I still have all my fingers and toes), so maybe it’s not so irrational after all!

    • Chantae says:

      Haha! I can relate. Fear of sharks are irrational… but in Western Australia, are they really? This is an inner debate I have every day hahah. The great lakes sound like a very awesome, cold, and peaceful place to kite! Glad to learn you made it out of your Florida shark encounter unscathed!

  4. Amila says:

    Awesome article!!! and sharks! the word even scare me.
    Haven’t done kite surfing before, but hoping to do it at least once. There is a good kite surfing location “Kalpitiya ” in my country SriLanka.
    🙂

  1. April 16, 2016

    […] big break from keeping up with my regular blogs. Still, a few posts caught my attention, especially Chantae Was Here’s kitesurfing breakthrough (traveling with a kitesurfer opened my eyes to this sport for the first time in Thailand!) and The […]

  2. July 6, 2016

    […] our stops at Lancelin and Coronation Beach, we finally made it up to stunning Shark Bay. Perfect conditions for a downwinder (where you start […]

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