I was born in Athens June 11th 1969, and I was raised in Cameroon , France and Greece.
I started kiting April 2000, here in the USA. First I thought that kiting was just a waste of time and from seeing all my friends getting hurt or dragged across the beach, the sport did not initially attract me. Until one day when it was blowing 25 mph and no one was around to make fun of me. I had been windsurfing for 22 yrs, competing as a professional in numerous events. Kiting at the time was not very important but I had to try it and see what was this sport was all about. I started on a piece of junk, foil kite. I almost got killed. I did not know how to stop the sucker until I crashed it on a tree. I told myself: "forget it, this sport sucks!" Then 5 days after some friends came to the islands and watching them kite for at least 2 hrs, I asked if it was possible for them to let me try their kites. They asked me if I knew how to kite, and of course, I told them "Yes." Bad idea..., as soon as I got the kite, a gust of wind hit and there I was getting dragged across the beach on my stomach. I had to let the kite go. That was the end of my friendship with those guys. My stomach was so red, that I could not lie on it. Two weeks passed before I thought about kiting again when some other friends visited. I decided to give kiting another shot!
I got on it and start going. I traveled a straight line, this time on the water rather than the beach. I ended up about five kilometers (km) downwind and could not get back to the launch site. However, I was so happy that I kited without getting hurt. The beauty of the sport is that after you travel downwind, all you have to do is pack your equipment and walk or hitch a ride back up the beach.
I live in Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, NC in the USA. This is the place I train. In the winter I travel to the Caribbean.
I have 2 kids and it is very hard to leave them when I go to trips. The oldest is Olivia , who was born in 1998 and the other is a boy whose name is Cameron, and he was born in 2002. Olivia loves dance, singing and tennis. Cameron loves kiting , skateboarding and skim boarding. He is the youngest kiter in the world as we speak. People ask him what he wants to do when he gets older, and his answer is: “I want to be better then my dad in kiting”.
What moves do you like?
Getting dragged on my stomach across the sand or bushes. I like to work on new things and try to create new moves. People always ask me how do you call this move you just did, I never seen any one do that. Well the answer is simple: It was probably a mistake and naming then doesn’t interest me. Usually my photographer names them for me.
What is the most dangerous thing that has happened to you while kiting?
I don’t know how to answer this question because I had a lot of close calls. I do have plenty of bad memories, for example, jumping and having my harness lines slide out of the bar. Then plummeting inverted from 20 feet in the air into two feet of water. Also, pinching a nerve in my back due to a bad landing. However, the worst experiences were breaking my ribs while trying a very hard move in very gusty winds. Another time was when my kite landed on the power lines. I took the electricity out for 2 hrs. The town wasn't very happy with me. In OBX I collided with a windsurfer while both of us were wave riding on a big day. In Greece I got lofted and almost landed on the parking lot, and then there was the time when I landed on a tree and broke my back and heels, should I continue??? Kiting can be very, very dangerous. I've had friends lose their fingers and ears, get cut by their fins, and get hit by the board. I also have a friend who died while kiteboarding. Please respect the power of the kite and always have someone there to help you.
What other activities do I do?
Martial arts, soccer, tennis, surfing, snowboarding, working out, and spending time with my wife, daughter and son.
Describe your ideal kite conditions?
When it is blowing 20 to 25 mph and I am out inventing new tricks. The only down side is that I will not stop kiting until I get the trick dialed which can take up to six hours and lots of ADVILS. I also like kiting during the sunset and among friends. This sport is about freedom and about expressing yourself so if you are ready for the ride of your life, buckle up and lets do this.