When it comes to extreme sports, Joshua Ossinger will be the first to tell you he’s an adrenaline junkie.
Growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and moving to Seattle, he developed a passion for snowboarding. He wanted to find an activity that would keep him out of season and learned to kitesurf.
But when he moved to Gulf Shores, Alabama a few months ago, he noticed not many people knew how to kitesurf and saw an opportunity to offer lessons.
“If you want to learn to fly, kitesurfing is just an exhilarating sport. It’s fun, for sure,” Ossinger said. “Especially if it’s done correctly. There are people trying to learn on YouTube, and I don’t recommend that. There’s a lot to do, and the surest way to learn is through a instructor.”
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Ossinger breaks down his program into three lessons, which also include a one-hour introductory kitesurfing lesson as well as hourly lessons.
“A full 10 hour lesson, and it’s up to the student whether they want to do the full 10 hours, or split it into two, five hours or even three days,” Ossinger said. “The first four hours we will focus on all the introductions. Setting up the kite, parts of the kite, understanding wind theory, all on a practice kite.”
As soon as the basics are covered, you can also try the regular kite and get in the water.
“It’s not something you can learn in a day,” Ossinger said. “You have to be patient and stick with it. Most of my friends are athletic, snowboarding, skiing and mountain biking. But after a while I could tell they were getting frustrated. not to plant the kite over and over again. I had to remind them that it will take time.”
Although on-site lessons are offered from Perdido Key, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and surrounding areas, the wind will be the ultimate factor in finding the right spot.
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“If the wind is good, the next step will be to find a shallow water spot,” Ossinger said. “At the end of the day, I see my business as completely mobile. I can come to them. There are so many places to choose from between Perdido Key and Gulf Shores, but it really all depends on the wind direction.”
Ossinger is the only instructor giving classes, but hopes to hire more instructors, provide materials for his students, and eventually open a physical supply store.
“I’m really excited to share my passion for kitesurfing with as many people as possible and expand the kitesurfing community,” said Ossinger. “It’s the perfect time to book your first lesson. January and February are by far the coldest months, but in March it will be more comfortable to enter the water. If you book your lessons now, in October , you will be ready to kitesurf.”
For more information, visit gulfshoreskiteboarding.com or call 206-355-1717.
Kalyn Wolfe is a freelance columnist for the News Journal. Send new business tips to [email protected]