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    Posted August 12, 2012 by
    ecotraveler
    Location
    Rodanthe, North Carolina
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Human to Hero: Sports Photography Master Class

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    Beauty. Strength. Skill. Endurance

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     ecotraveler captured photos of kite boarders in Rodanthe, North Carolina, on Hatteras Island. She says when she captured these photographs in October 11, 2011, the beach was essentially wiped out because of a recent hurricane that hit the area. 'Among the devastation and sadness this group of kite boarders had come back to do what they love,' she said. She says it was nice to see people enjoying the water once again, especially after the storm. 'I tried to manage one of the kites and did a little surfing to get a feel for it, but this sport is way above my abilities and strength. I will have to be a content observer and admirer of these athletes instead,' she said.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    Enthusiastic Kiteboarders met and generated a new life and energy into this North Carolina beach, formerly devastated by Hurricane Irene in 2011.
    Kiteboarders (or Kitesurfers) must maintain extreme control over every muscle in their body, as they keep their Kites on a course compatible with the ever changing winds, and balance on their Boards while precariously maneuvering the water currents.
    They strapped on the heavy and enormous kites in the shallows, and carefully positioned their feet in the hopes they would be able to maintain the Board to navigate unpredictable waves.
    It's thrilling to watch these enthusiastic athletes, reveling in the cool salt water. And the vividly colored kites, gliding and floating, brighten even the cloudiest sky.
    It's been reported that there are over 250,000 known participants in the sport, so it's no surprise that Windsurfing was eliminated in the Olympics and Kitesurfing will replace it in 2016.
    After warming up and when the tide was just right, some more experienced in the sport tried jumping in the air, or doing flips, in the hopes of landing upright on an unlevel and unstable current, all the while maintaining control of the kites.
    At the end of the day, only two surfed out into deep water to catch the setting suns rays, while others caught a wave and rode it back into the shallows in an eruption of cool salt spray.
    And what better way to end the day, than to glide successfully into the waiting arms of a friend.

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