Updated: Mar 21, 2022
For years I’ve been hearing stories and reading articles about the Jupiter Kite Invasion. For East Coast riders, it’s one of a handful of contests that have become part of the region’s kiting culture. Even though this was my first time at the event, I’ve always felt a small bit of regional pride when reading the coverage of epic conditions, innovative events, and great parties that Jeremy Green and his crew at Jupiter Kiteboarding put together every year. Looking at the forecast a couple of days before I took off, I debated whether or not it would be worth the trip. To say that it looked like Jupiter’s 7 year stretch of perfect event conditions was coming to an end is a bit of an understatement. If it were possible for the forecasters to predict negative wind speeds, I’m pretty sure they would have done so. However, all it took was one look past the wind forecast to compare the weather in Jupiter with what the week ahead held in Virginia, and I was packed and headed to the airport. What’s the worst that could happen in 75 degree weather with crystal clear water, right? Well, the wind didn’t really cooperate this year, but that doesn’t mean that the event wasn’t a success. Jeremy’s experience in hosting the Kite Invasion was the key factor in ensuring that everyone had a great time with or without the 20+ knots & head high waves that the event has become famous for. Add to that experience the new gear that’s available to us all, and you end up with a pretty happy crowd of kiters. Neil Hutchinson and Dimitri Maramenides took turns showing off the incredible range of the newest light wind kites from Slingshot & Epic. For East Coast riders, this is an important part of the quiver, and the crowd was definitely talking about the fact that with these kites & some awesome new surf designs from Jimmy Lewis riders were doing a lot more than mowing the grass while the rest of us stood around next to our 14’s & 15’s waiting for a little more breeze. Mid-day Saturday saw the wind pick up enough for Cabrinha rider Jon Modica to take a couple of short downwind runs on his 14 and show some sick style in the small surf. For the rest of the riders, Jeremy and his crew turned out a fleet of SUP’s to fuel our competitive fires. Team SUP races & an impromptu surf competition showed that this mix of kiters was determined to enjoy their time on the beach rather than gripe about the conditions. Jupiter Kiteboarding delivered on the party promise as well with great cookouts, movies on the beach, and a chill vibe throughout the weekend. So, while my kite stayed in its bag this weekend, I’ll definitely be back for the 9th annual Jupiter Kite Invasion... whether the wind is or not.
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