Riders of the Western Wind

Homer resident George Overpeck, 39, hits a wave while kiteboarding Sept. 25 near Deep Creek State Recreation Area. Overpeck has been kiteboarding for more than six years and also teaches the sport.

“I was hooked as soon as I realized I could ski or kitesurf with no engine and no lift in my front yard and go out and do it for free,” he said. “There is a lot of energy with the wind.”

Sean Hogan, a Homer resident, glides into Deep Creek while kiteboarding Sept. 25 near Deep Creek State Recreation Area. Hogan, who owns Cosmic Kitchen in Homer, first learned to kiteboard in Oahu, Hawaii. He started kiteboarding in Alaska in 1999, but said he is often too busy with his business to get out.

“I was the first one doing it up here for a long time,” he said. “They used to think a plane had crashed and someone had parachuted into the water.”

Thomas Appelhanz, 22, a Homer resident cuts a corner. Appelhanz has been kiteboarding for about six months and goes out “whenever there is wind enough to do so.”

“As much as possible,” he said. “It’s just that you can’t get much more acceleration and speed from free energy than that. That’s one and it’s just freakin fun. A big adrenaline rush.”

Although Hogan said he has only been out kiteboarding twice this year, he still loves the feeling he gets from it.

“It’s nice to get out on the water and it’s great when it’s windy and you’re skimming over the water,” Hogan said. “With the kite, it is like flying but with water as well.”



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