July 24, 2014

Is kiteboarding is the new golf?

Two or three years ago I began doing business with a fellow entrepreneur named Philip McNamara. Philip told me about his passion – kiteboarding. I didn’t really think much about it until earlier this year when I was in the Florida Keys and I took a lesson. Afterward I mentioned to Philip that I had tried out kiting and he immediately reached out to Bill Tai and suggested that he invite me to this year’s MaiTai event in Park City, Utah. MaiTai is invite only, but getting an invite is pretty easy if you really want one (i.e. start kiting).

MaiTai is a gathering of entrepreneurs, innovators and athletes who contribute their energy to a shared experience centered around the kiting lifestyle. Friendships are formed in an informal setting as kiters learn from each other’s successes and failures in all endeavors as everyone attempts to master the sport of kiting. The event was started by Susi Mai (pro kiteboarder) and Bill Tai (venture capitalist from Charles River Ventures).

The attendee list was amazing – a veritable who’s who of entrepreneurs – I felt very lucky to be there. That being said, the first morning I spent on the kite I was miserable. Facedown in the snow over and over, I crashed my kite into a couple of other kiters and got pretty demoralized. By lunch I was convinced I would never figure out how to fly the kite, much less figure out how to do it on skis. But Philip wouldn’t let me quit. Instead he pushed me and somehow I managed to start flying the kite. It was soon after that I was able to do it on my skis and all at once it clicked (I have video to prove it). I’ll have to admit I am hooked.

If you haven’t read the Forbes article titled, Kiteboarding: The New Golf, you should give it a read. If you are interested in giving kiteboarding a try, a small group of Dallas entrepreneurs are going to be getting together each month to kite on one of the many lakes in the area – email me.

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