Looking for an excuse to seek out the last rays of summer? Want to learn an edgy, envelope-pushing sport that's also a blast in winter winds? Then a trip dedicated to mastering the increasingly popular sport of kiteboarding - or its close cousin snowkiting - could be what you're looking for.
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Multi-day camps in exotic locations throughout the world can teach you how to kiteboard, the adrenaline-pumping sport where an oversized kite pulls a rider on a wakeboard through - and often high above - the water. Or maybe you want to learn to snowkite - just replace that body of water with snow or ice and swap out the wakeboard for a snowboard.
Who's doing this new sport? The young, the old - and anyone near an open body of water. (In winter, it's anyone with access to wide-open, snow-covered fields.)
Real Kiteboarding, one of the best kiteboarding schools in the country, runs three-day camps through November at its school on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. If that thought gives you the shivers, Real - heads south in December, to Cozumel, Mexico, where it runs camps until early March.
If North Carolina is too far north and Mexico too far south, South Padre Island Kiteboarding - may be your spot. South Padre boasts year-round warm weather and an average daily wind speed of 18 mph - perfect for kiting.
Does snowkiting experience interest you? Tahoe wouldn't be a bad place to learn, and Lake Tahoe Kite Boarding - offers a two-day snowkiting camp that starts at $500.
Not interested in the cold? Then try the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic is a well-known kiting spot, and Kitexcite - offers state-of-the-art teaching practices including radio helmets (for easy teacher-student communication) and wakeboard training. Nearby (regionally speaking) is - a kiting hotspot on Antigua.
If you're looking for an even more exotic location to learn the sport, the International Kiteboarding Organization - has created a network of kiteboarding schools in more than two dozen countries around the world, from Antigua to Vietnam.
Do you already kiteboard but wish you knew what the wind speeds were at your favorite beach (or one you're traveling to)? Look up http://www.ikitesurf.com and try a free membership. Access wind readings at beach spots around the country.
One of the windiest spots in the United States can be found in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge, a popular spot for years with windsurfers. New Wind Kiteboarding - is helping to make sure those in the area are learning to master kiteboarding.
In Hawaii, check out - Kiteboarding School of Maui, advertised as the island's first and only exclusive school for kiteboarding.
Want to read up on the sport? Learn where to kite, where to buy gear, or just enjoy the jaw-dropping photography at - The Kiteboarder Magazine.
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