Kite surfing the perfect blend for excitement
MAT Colefax was the first Australian to be intoxicated by kitesurfing - the combination of the thrill of surfing, the speed of motocross and the serenity of sailing mixed in to one sport had him hooked from the first time he tried it.
Nearly 20 years later the drug hasn't worn off and its addictive affects are more powerful than any chemical combination.
There was not one thing Mat could say that had him coming back day after day for about 20 years, but the cocktail of ingredients made the high extremely powerful.
"Kitesurfing is a really awesome combination of the elements - the wind, water and surf," Mat said.
"Adding that to the miracle of getting out in nature; it's my reason to get out of bed every day."
Mat quit his job in 1998 to pursue kitesurfing and each day is an adventure on the water.
He met up with some old friends, Bundaberg's Andrew Ward and Caleb Spain, at Elliott Heads for a weekend of kitesurfing.
With winds over 20 knots for the two days Mat, Andrew and Caleb were treated to some of the best conditions imaginable and he said the trip still had lingering effects on Mat's mood.
"I was still smiling from that weekend. It was pretty special because Elliott Heads is one of the best places to surf in the state," he said.
There is a group of kitesurfers who take advantage of the local beaches and rivers, and they can be seen all year round cruising the waterways chasing their thrills.
Caleb Spain is one of them and after getting his taste for the extreme with motocross and wakeboarding he is qualified to comment on the sensation of kitesurfing.
Whether he is in the surf or on the flat water Caleb said he enjoys every second he is attached to a kite, and there was one advantage kitesurfing had over one of his other passions.
"I don't really know what got me hooked to kitesurfing, I guess it was the thrill of everything combined," Caleb said.
"One good thing is I don't get gravel rash when I come off.
"Plus, even if I'm in one metre of swell with light winds it still feels good."
Caleb works as a builder and on some jobs high winds can be a problem. When the wind gets up and sheets of iron are blown around the site his mind starts to wander.
He said since he was infected by kitesurfing, any day where there was a strong breeze there was only one thing he wanted to do.
"I got the bug the first time I started kiting. As soon as the wind blew all I want to do is go kitesurfing," he said.
Mat and Caleb are like every other kitesurfer in the world; they are looking for the next perfect day on the water.
With dozens of great spots in the state open to them, Mat had one piece of advice to anyone who wanted to try the sport.
"There are endless places to go, all I can say is if you want to, have a go," he said.
Qld's top spots
- Elliott Heads
- Town of 1770
- Port Douglas
- Brighton Beach