Mike’s a 37 year old kid who spends his winters dodging sharks, sampling the wine in South Africa, and spending lazy summer days cursing the lack of wind in the “Windy City”. Ah yes…a true kiter!
Favorite Colors? Black and Blue.
Fav Food? Lake Michigan Sea Weed, but only when harvested fresh from the swampy corner at Montrose Beach!
Mike is leading the development of the kiteboarding certification process in Chicago and will provide information about how to get certified and what level of certification you need to be able to legally kitesurf in Chicago.
Brandon ‘9 lives’ Cruz
9-lives got his nickname from another kitesurfer, Tim, when Brandon unsuccessfully tried to edge upwind hard to just clear the bird fence. A faulty wakeboard binding broke, forcing his mind to make a quick decision: drive into the fence and tear it out of the ground, or jump it. He chose the latter and made the jump…but the wakeboard did not!
Brandon was the first and only kitesurfer to ride from Montrose Beach, 3 miles around the crib, and back.
9-lives Status – 6 lives left…and counting…
One of only three people to kiteboard out to the crib and back, he’s seen here boosting at Waukegan in the protection of the breakwalls in early spring, 2002.
Vytas “V” Cijunelis
Pictured here with a couple of nice twists in the center leash of his kite, V is always succumbing to “Evil V” and cutting up kites and taking apart stock bar-sets to re-make the ultimate in equipment. V was a big Steve Austin fan back in the days of spiked hair and listening to Ministry while sitting down with a “fattie”. (make your own guess). Does this make him a better rider? Of course not! It took him 4 months to learn how to put his seat harness on properly so he wouldn’t get an “atomic” wedgie any time he rode.
Always willing to help and offer suggestions, V can be found chasing wind tirelessly to his girlfriend’s dismay. If you see him and you’re looking for advice, just ask.
Considered the “Godfather of Chicago Kitesurfing”, he’s pictured here with his father and son, Gareth. Tim’s an ARC man. This is a different breed, for sure. First of all, every sentence spoken must contain the word “arc”, so it makes for interesting conversation! So what happens when two ARC guys talk? It can get kinda crazy…
Tim got V riding on his first day at Montrose (on a mountainboard in Feb. on hard-packed sand) by taking the bar, making a few adjustments, then giving it back. V got his first ride…an entire beach length…on his first try! Good job, Tim! Nowadays he’s helping others, dishing out advice when not on the water, or showing up the Texans. When asked where he learned to ride so well, he’ll reply, “its the Maui training, dude”. When asked about the 6 inch tear in his 840, he’ll tell you, “that was before Maui…”.