Fifer, and former Bell Baxter Secondary School pupil, Ian Sanders, spent Christmas day walking the beach beside the balmy waters of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.
A fortunate man, readers may think, except it was all part of a day’s work for Ian, kitesurfing instructor and co-owner of Exotikite Kiteboarding School in Los Barriles, Baja Sur.
“Although we’re in the winter season,” Ian explained,” temperatures are in the 70s with strong winds out of the north. This makes Los Barriles the ideal place for kiting and windsurfing over the Christmas holidays.”
Water sports enthusiasts from America, Canada, even from far off Europe, arrive in droves this time of the year at Cabo San Lucas Airport – one hour’s drive to the south.
Many end up at Exotikite in Los Barriles, taking their first lessons in kite-boarding from Ian and his team of instructors.
“First, we give students on-land orientation,” Ian added, “then progress to body-dragging on water (when the instructor holds on to his student as the kite pulls them through the water), and finally let them go solo.
“However, instructors keep in radio contact with students through a walkie-talkie fixed to the kiter’s helmet. That way, we can walk along the beach at the kiter’s pace, feeding them guidance and encouragement while they’re on the water.”
Naturally, Christmas Day becomes just another day for student and instructor alike.
“Both myself and my wife Megan are very hands-on in the business, which is a bit tough on our two sons, Kody and Rhys,” Ian added.
“ Present opening has to be done early in the morning and can be a bit of a rushed affair.”
But Ian is quick to admit that, apart from the ultimate satisfaction of watching his clients’ sense of achievement as they master the skill of kiting, there are plenty of fringe benefits.
Ian laughs: “Blue seas, blue skies, warm sunshine, beautiful sandy beaches and awesome scenery – what’s not to like?”