Working with Mother Nature
Last week I took a trip down to Long Beach, NY to shoot some pictures of the roaring waters and rough waves that were pounding the shore in late January. The wind was roaring and the clouds were moving quickly through the sky, making the sun look incredible. While waiting for the perfect sunset, this fellow walked down the beach and got started scouting the surf. It’s not abnormal to come across a surfer down on the South Shore of Long Island, NY – but this guy was different. He wasn’t out there in 30 degree weather looking to surf the shore; he was a kite surfer looking to trek miles off the coast at high speeds by being pulled by mother nature’s deep breathes. I struck gold on a sunset photo shoot (and was freezing my ass off during the entire thing).
Setting Up Shop
In hindsight, it didn’t take him that long to prepare his gear – but during those kinds of conditions it felt like I was watching paint dry. However, it wasn’t paint. It was this thrill seeking stud who broke out the gear and chased that feeling we all strive for. As the anticipation grew, more people gathered as he set up for launching off the shore into the Atlantic Ocean.
Seeing him get ready to mount into position was an experience. I’ve surfed, wake boarded and water skid, but I never wind surfed before. The gigantic sail (basically a kite made to drag people) started rising in the air, blowing in the wind and pulling this man by the harness he was strapped in to. Before Mother Nature pulled him any further, he dropped his board down into the salt water and strapped his feet into his bindings. Then he took off like a jet.
Atlantic Ocean Lovin’
Immediately after take off he flew off the coast line and dashed out 20 yards past the jetty. Within thirty seconds he was carving waves and throwing himself into the air while the kite simultaneously pulled him into the air to give him even more height above the ocean water.
Experiencing this happen was eye opening to me. After growing up on the South Shore of Long Island for over twenty years, I haven’t been lucky enough to observe something this cool before. With bitter cold hands and the wind blowing into my ears, I could only smile at this man working his magic with Mother Nature. It was very impressive to see first hand.
Who is he? We don’t know. With the many photos that were taken, this thrill seeker was miles off the coast within minutes and I did not get a chance to speak with him face to face. This bitter cold, enlightening photo shoot lead me to this fellow who was chasing glory that day and gave me more of an experience I could have expected.