"Boots enable me to practice aggressive tricks."
Pacific Beach resident Dan Larsen and his buddies usually kiteboard in Tourmaline Surf Park. Larsen, 49, has been kiteboarding for 15 years. “My personal style of riding is more focused on freestyle and wakestyle tricks with big air jumps thrown in. Riding in boots enables me to practice much more aggressive tricks. Because of the inability to kick off your board when things go wrong, you’ll usually only see advanced and expert level riders riding in boots.”
Had a recent injury during a “gnarly yard sale.”
Larsen’s favorite air trick is an inverted front roll with a boned out tail grab. “To do this trick you go as fast as you can, and load as much against the kite as you can before jumping to maximize your height,” he said. “On the way up, you throw your body over your front shoulder to initiate a front roll and at the same time bring your feet high above your head to get completely, vertically upside down — at that point you can grab your board, wave, or throw a shaka to the crowd.”
"Beached for five weeks while my ribs healed."
He remembers a recent injury during a “gnarly yard sale” (wipeout): “I blew the handle pass at the end of an s-bend and got yanked hard backwards as my kite crashed causing my harness to ride up my ribs — which was enough to send me to urgent care for x-rays. I didn’t crack them, but was beached for about five weeks while they healed.”
Maui "was truly a bucket list moment."
Larsen has travelled for kiteboarding competitions. “I’m most proud of my third place finish in men’s freestyle at the Maui Kite Fest in June,” he said. “My age was the same as the sum of the first, second, and fourth place competitors combined. It was truly a bucket list moment to jump up on the podium at Maui, where kiteboarding was pioneered.”