Sauble Beach Kitesurfing School is owned and operated by the father and son team of Daniel and Sam Medysky. The family travels extensively to beaches throughout the world any chance they get. Daniel, an experienced high school physical education teacher (B.A., B.Ed., M.I.St.) spends most of his spare time either kiting or teaching others to safely learn the sport. His son, Sam grew up on the beach and was introduced at a very early age to stunt kites. His love for the sport began with traction kites and in 1998 Daniel purchased one of the first inflatable 2 line kites (Wipika Classic 8.5). Soon afterwards, father and son began navigating the steep learning curve of kiteboarding. In March of 2002, the family travelled to Nag’s Head, North Carolina, where Daniel was certified as a PASA kiteboarding instructor. That summer, as the media began covering this new extreme sport, Sauble Beach Kitesurfing School was born. The first summer of business was spent teaching an overwhelming number of eager students of diverse ages from across Canada, the USA and as far away as Mexico and the Carribean. Six months later, Daniel earned the internationally coveted IKO Level 2 Kiteboarding Instructors’ Certificate in the Dominican Republic.
Now at the age of 25, Sam has grown into a capable and eager teaching instructor (PASA certified) and one who balances his pro riding career with hours of practice kiting on the water. As a result of his natural talent and dedication to the sport, Sam has developed a professional career as a competitive kiter. His hard work and effort during the past years has paid off for him. At the 2004 Velocity Games Sam (age 13) won the U.S. Open Kiteboarding Championship as a Junior. In the spring of 2005, Sam was selected to be a member of the Naish Team. As part of their development squad for young aspiring riders who ‘hold promise to take the sport to the next level”, Sam has no doubt put Sauble Beach Kitesurfing School on the map as one of the great kite teaching centres in North America. In 2008 Sam earned a spot on the Naish International Team. For many years now Sam has represented both his country and his sponsors in an honourable and victorious manner. After graduating from high school, Sam began competing full time on the world kiteboarding scene. Early in 2010, Sam signed on with the BEST International Team and to this day, with their support, is “living the dream”. His many accomplishments since then include numerous 1st place finishes in both pro freestyle and racing events. He is the reigning Canadian National Champion, a title he has won 6 times in a row. For a complete listing of his competition results and travels see his website http://medyskykiteboarding.com
LocalKiteSpots.com interview with Sam Medysky
March, 2010. We got in touch with Ontario kiting phenom, Sam Medysky to find out where he rides, and what it’s going to take to get on the podium at this year’s SSS.
How did you get into kiting, how long, what other sports are you involved with?
Since I can remember I’ve always spent my summers in Sauble Beach on Lake Huron. My family owns a cottage just five minutes south of the main beach in Sauble. My parents since day one have always given me as many opportunities as they possibly could.
I grew up playing on the Port Elgin baseball team, participating in school volleyball, school soccer, Orillia rep hockey etc. I enjoyed all of these very much but I hated always having to count on other team mates. At the same time as I was playing on all these “teams” my parents got me into skiing at 2 years old, snowboarding at 5, wakeboarding at 6 and windsurfing at 7. All of these board sports I took a liking to and always got such a rush out of them because there was no “win or “lose” For me these sports meant pushing it to the next level. Every time I’d learn something new, I would be stoked for a few days then I’d be back to square one working on the next step. It was a never ending streak of wins. All I had to do was work hard.
In the summer 1997 I began to take a real liking to windsurfing and joined the Barrie windsurfing club participating in local races. Near the end of summer in 1997 my Dad (Daniel Medysky) brought me home a windsurfing magazine to read. I remember flipping through the pages and came to an ad for “kiteboarding” The ad read “kiteboarding the sister sport to windsurfing”. The photo that they had in this ad not only intrigued me to want to get into kiteboarding but my Dad too!
That winter we picked up our first kite “3.8 concept air traction ex”. It was a foil kite on handles but that was really all that was available at the time. So Dad and I played with that all winter out on the snow with skiis and snowboards, constantly getting dragged all over the place. In the summer of 1998 we bought online our first inflatable kite a “wipika classic 8.5m”. This was the BIG kite! With only two lines, this kite was pretty scary…. I wasn’t alllowed to fly this one as I only weighed 60lbs. So the new inflatable was Dad’s kite and the 3.8 foil kite was mine. At this time we didn’t know anyone else kiting in our area or anywhere in Ontario that sold boards so we used an old windsurfing board for the summer of 1998. You can just imagine our progress with that…. slim to none…! In the summer of 1999 we met another kiter in Collingwood, Dan Trico. He had just started shaping kiteboards, “Epic Kiteboards” as any kind of board was hard to come by. We bought a directional which had foot straps and 2 “pickle forks” which had bindings. At this time directionals were considered your light wind board and the pickle folk your high wind board.
Over the course of the next couple of years our riding progressed, the gear progressed and the sport progressed. Soon I had a family of kiters most of which were like older brothers to me : Mika, Mike, Jesse, Rob, Andrew, Dan and many more. To the kiting community I was the youngster…
Where do you ride here in Ontario? Where do you teach? What spots do you recommend for your students?
Recently I haven’t done much riding in Ontario. Growing up kiting I lived in Orillia during my school years so I rode mostly in the Wasaga beach area (Beach 5,6 and, Allenwood) Also in the winters I’d kitesnowboard on Bass lake. During the summers I’d spend my time in Sauble Beach so I’d ride right out front of my cottage or in Oliphant once we found that spot.
Our Kite school Kiterider (www.kiterider.ca) that was established in 2001. We started out with most of our teaching in Wasaga beach but only during the spring and fall and then North Sauble Beach during the summer. We found it really hard teaching in North Sauble due to the number of beach goers so we started to explore different areas further north on no wind days. That’s when we first came across South Oliphant. It was perfect – no beach goers, HUGE open beach, flat water, waist deep and, zero kiters. Shortly after, we discovered Sandy Bay (North Oliphant) Since then Oliphant has been our teaching grounds and riding area. I think the reason Oliphant became such a largely known spot is because of our students. They would always want to come back to where they learned because it has perfect conditions, it is very safe and most of the time Daniel and I are around to lend a hand.
Have you been on any good trips recently? Where?
I’ve been to a ton of killer spots over the course of my kiteboarding career: Brazil, Texas, Hatteras, Florida, Aruba, Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, Coche, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Hood River, Vancouver, Nitnat, Michigan, Quebec, Baja, and a few more. Every spot has its own unique characteristics but at the end of the day it comes down to “is there wind or not?”
My Top 3 Favorites are number 1 Taiba lagoon, Brazil. First, Brazil is a gorgeous country on its own. It’s fairly cheap to stay there for long periods of time and last but definitely not least there is flat water everyday and wind for either a 9 or 11m kite.
My second favorite spot to ride is probably the Slick at Real in Cape Hatteras , North Carolina. I have a lot of good friends who work at Real so it’s always nice to ride with them and also hit some sliders!
Number 3 favorite spot is probably Oliphant Ontario. I grew up teaching and riding there. I always get to ride with friends and it’s nice to have my Dad out there with me on the water since it was him who has supported me every step of the way.
Congratulations on your recent invitation to SSS? What will it take to win this year? How important is consistency, or does the best trick walk away with it?
It’s always hard to tell what will win Triple S. The event is judged by the riders, photographers and some members of Real. I think keeping the kite low, riding as powered as possible, hitting the features with speed and just maintaining a smooth steezy style will take the event. Consistency is definitely important, but I think it’s important to have a little luck and maybe stick a big one in somewhere while riding, something that will stoke the other riders out there. Triple S is by far one of the best events because there is no pressure like most contests and you can just feed off of the other riders. They stick something sick then you get motivated, you get stoked.
What’s your favorite trick? What’s project tricks are you working on? Who’s riding has inspired you in the past, or impresses you today?
I don’t really have a favorite trick right now. I’ve been having a lot of fun with sliders. When I don’t have access to sliders though I enjoy working on the tricks I’ve got dialed now but trying to get the kite lower and lower. Not too many project tricks right now, lately I’ve been trying a few switch passes, switch back mobe and switch blind judge.
When I first got into the sport way way long ago, I always was in awe of Lou Wainman. The tricks that we are pushing today are those he was doing on two line kites and over 10 years ago. Today a couple of riders who keep me stoked are Ruben Lenten just cause he’s got the balls to loop in some insane winds and Aaron Hadlowobviously because he’s 5 time world champion and has killer style. Also any of the guys out there who are starting to push more for features sliders, kickers etc. I admire.
Any new 2010 gear / products you are excited about?
I’m pretty excited for 2010. The gear that is coming out is just incredible since I started and is really helping to progress the sport.
Balance boards (balancekiteboards.com) for 2010 is releasing a “Medysky signature board” It’s very similar to the 2009 board I was riding last season the “Peter Tyskvyi 137” Except the Medysky signature is a 138 and just slightly wider. The Medysky being a 138 may seem big to most people. With its length and width, the Medysky provides huge pop and butter soft landings. The board’s also got some super sick graphics to go along with aggressive performance. Also the material used on the base is very durable which makes the Medysky 138 excellent slider and kicker board.
Best kiteboarding (bestkiteboarding.com) is going to be releasing the Kahoona V2. I got to do some testing on the Kahoona over the winter and this kite is wicked. I mainly ride the Best Team C kite but I loved the Kahoona in the stronger winds, when the wind wasn’t all that stable. The Kahoona was able to eat up the gusts, had a ton of depower, water relaunched no problem and loops amazing!
Dakine (www.dakine.com) released for 2010 the Renegade waist harness. I’ve been on dakine for several years now and every year they find some way to improve their harnesses. The 2010 Renegade is super comfortable, easy to put on, and the handle on the back for your leash has been reinforced for 2010 so you don’t have to worry about blowing that handle pass and losing your kite.
Rogue Wave (www.roguewavecustoms.com) Lee at Rogue Wave has been there for me since the start and has also been building boards since the start of kiting and since the early days of windsurfing. Lee shaped for a number of years with Jimmy Lewis on Maui and makes some damn fine boards. In 2008 I won the Canadian National on a custom shaped race board from Lee. By far one of the fastest race boards on the market. Lee for 2010 has had a ton of input from not only me but also many other riders on what can make the race boards even faster. So if you’re ever looking for a board to race on or a board to get you up and planing in super light conditions, check out Rogue Wave.
Sauble Beach Kitesurfing School is dedicated to teaching the sport of kiteboarding and promoting its safe growth in Ontario. After exploring kiting destinations around the world, we know that Ontario’s best kept secret, Sauble Beach, is bound to become the premiere kiting destination in the province. The beach spans for miles and its renowned onshore winds create this awesome setting. What we have loved for years has just become better with the sport of kiteboarding.