“I’m the guy you want to be stranded on a deserted
island with a roll of duct tape because I can make anything
Home: Key West, Florida
The best thing about thing about Key West is being able to ride
a bike everywhere and be out on the water in a couple of minutes.
Some people go for a walk in the park; I go for a dive in the
Birthdate: March 1, 1966
Born in Philadelphia, most people wonder how I got into this
sport since there’s no water in Philly. Concrete is a
substitute for water and when it gets hot all you can do is
get in trouble. In the summers I went to the Jersey shore for
surfing and to the rivers for waterskiing.
How it All Began
I became a Pro Kiteboarder at the ripe age of 30 making me the
oldest pro on tour. Starting out later in the sport, I had a
different mindset than my fellow pro riders. First off, I had
a son to think about and had to treat it as a business. A bit
different than being 20 years old where you get to drink and
check out chicks. Instead I had to figure out an income and
really check out the sport. So I created a business plan written
around Kitesurftheearth.com in 1998.
At that time, the Internet had exploded and I made Kite Surf
the Earth to chat and share information with other people in
the sport throughout the world. I traveled to find the spots
to do it in and documented it on my site. After traveling around
the world twice, I found out it could be done in several places
but the biggest challenge was people learning how to do it.
I saw instruction as a better business opportunity and spent
the next two years being a chef and running my kiteboarding
Encountering all walks of life from celebrities to senators
80 year-olds to a 10 year-old child. I’ve taught them
Considered a “Guru” and “Pioneer”
in the Sport
I changed a lot of things about the sport. Most times I would
go in one direction when people would not agree and think I
was completely wrong. A year or two later, things I was doing
would be incorporated into the sport. Read below:
The reason is from all of the traveling and teaching. I had
my pulse on the sport by talking and meeting people all over
the world. The companies can only get a certain amount of information
from one area. I got it from worldwide. From the instructors
I was training and the students I was teaching. Feedback came
from different sources.
As a result, I’ve written two manuals for PASA on Water
and Snow Kiteboarding in the USA. I’ve also written and
been an advisor for Kiteboarding Magazine, the Kiteboarder,
SBC Kiteworld Canada, and KiteWorld UK.
Holds the Guinness Record for Kite-Surfing the Fastest From
Key West to Cuba
Riding against 15 to 17 ft waves was a challenge and like the
support boats, the riders had to constantly throttle up and
slow down to keep control in the midst of the heavy breaking
waves and gusting winds. I was frequently trying to take visual
range points to run on based on the support craft. I would see
the 56 ft. Bertram only every third wave and it would vanish
the rest of the time, since the seas were so high. Read more:
Into the Air: A Kiteboarding Experience
I was the narrator and a featured personality for the movie
“Into the Air”, which has been shown all over the
world. Created to show a lifestyle and bring more people into
the sport; it has been featured in film festivals, theaters,
on television and shown on airlines as the in-flight entertainment.
Watch the trailer : www.cineforcefilms.com
Producer of Kiteboarding Events and Competitions
I’ve produced two years of the Velocity Games and numerous
events that included marketing, event production, event set-up
The Velocity Games consisted of kiteboarding, skateboarding,
BMX, skateboarding vert ramp, and a fashion show. Production
involved everything from organizing all venues, troubleshooting,
physically building the courses and working with city and government
officials to make sure the event was safe. In a three to four
day period, over 100,000 people attended the games. Some photos:
Craziest Place I’ve Ever Kiteboarded:
Lake Atitlan in Guatemala
Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is at the base of three volcanoes
at just above 10,000 feet. The water was pure. The bluest blue
I had ever seen because of the sulfur content.
I hired a local fisherman to take me out and I launched off
the roof of his boat. The guy was looking at me like I was insane.
It was a wooden boat with a wooden cover that was shifting everywhere
when I was on top of it. Before I launched he was holding the
roof of his boat asking me what I was about to do.
At 10,000 feet plus, the altitude was getting to me and I had
the worst sickness and feeling in my stomach that I had ever
had. I did however learn how to launch off boats. I later used
this for teaching and innovated using boats to launch from instead
of beaches. www.world66.com/centralamericathecaribbean/guatemala/lakeatitlan
Most Memorable Kiteboarding Session
In Front of the Ruins of the Wind Gods in Tulum, Mexico
No one had ever done it and after touring the ruins with my
best friend, we wanted to kite in front of where the Wind Gods
were worshiped. It was very spiritual experience.
After kiting and talking to the caretaker of the ruins, he
took us later that night to meet with a Shaman for a cleansing
ceremony after paying homage to the Wind Gods. It was one of
the best experiences I ever had.
I have a special relationship with marine predators, one of
respect, understanding and frequent exposure because of my time
on the water. Sharks have bitten me twice while I was kiteboarding
and most recently, a rare but serious barracuda attack while
spearfishing. More on this story here: http://fksa.org/showthread.php?p=20519#post20519
One time was the shark’s fault. One time was my fault.
The first time I was attacked while kiting near dark. The shark
went after my kiting lease during feeding time. The second time
I landed on the head of a shark. I thought I had hit a rock
and reached down to see what I was on. It was pinned and snapped
back to bite me.
Catching the Next Wave: Paddlesurfing
Paddlesurfing is becoming a very popular thing. You can paddle
in waves and surf with it. Do an eco-tour through mangroves
and keep your body in shape for doing other sports since it
gives the best core strength workout. And I like it because
there’s an easy learning curve. Anyone can do it. http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=3934
Things I Do in My Free Time
Kiteboarding, Surfing, Spearfishing in Blue Water, Freediving,
Stand up Paddle Surfing, and spending time with my son.