MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Social distancing has us maintaining our house, but additionally spending extra time open air.
And possibly even making an attempt one thing new.
Kitesurfing and hydrofoiling have been in Minnesota for about 20 years, however this 12 months extra persons are making an attempt these sports activities than ever earlier than.
It’s a pressure of nature you may’t see, however you may really feel. And on Medication Lake in Plymouth, the wind is all the time welcome.
“It’s an all-encompassing feeling. In the event you get into kiting you’ll by no means have a look at a flag the identical means once more,” mentioned Mike Kratochwill.
Kratochwill is a kitesurfing instructor at Lakawa, however he was as soon as a pupil – again when the game was getting began in Minnesota.
“I used to be a horrible pupil,” he mentioned. “I might say I used to be the worst pupil out of everyone on the market that day.”
You’d by no means guess that watching him right now as he gracefully navigates throughout open waters, and generally above them.
“Persistence is a superb phrase. I additionally use finesse,” mentioned Kratochwill.
These two phrases are the kitesurfing keys to gliding and getting air. It’s what he’s been preaching to all his college students throughout what’s been his busiest 12 months ever. College students like Paul Erickson.
“You don’t understand it if you watch any individual however it’s all about driving the kite,” mentioned Erickson.
That’s one thing he’s nonetheless engaged on and he’s removed from alone. Circumstances need to be good to even strive. Wind speeds needs to be at the least 14 miles an hour with gusts that double that pace. After getting that, then you’re tasked with making an attempt to primarily develop a sixth sense.
“You’re related to the management bar, the strains, and the kite and we’re manipulating all this whereas utilizing a board to carve up into the wind similar to crusing,” mentioned Kratochwill.
Kratochwill tells his college students that the training curve is anyplace from 30 to 50 hours. However he really believes it’s one thing anybody can be taught.
“It’s simply, how do you clarify it? Why do folks wish to ski? It’s pace. It’s a thrill,” mentioned Erickson.
No motor. No noise. And an opportunity to go whichever means the wind blows.
“In golf it’s hit. In tennis it’s an overhead slam. In volleyball it’s spiking or digging. For kiting, it’s the identical deal. Generally you don’t have the timing down. However if you do it retains you coming again for extra,” mentioned Kratochwill. “Having an exercise I can do the remainder of my life, it’s feeling to pursue.”
Kratochwill says he teaches college students of all ages and all walks of life.
He anticipate snow kiting will even be a busy exercise on Minnesota lakes this winter as folks follow social distancing.