Alex Brown hits Delray Beach, Florida ...
Posted Saturday March 17th 2007
For the video version, click here. For the full un-edited report, read on ...
Words by Alex Brown
It's always a nice feeling knowing that around the corner, I can escape the crap weather in England and go shoot media in USA. I spent the last few months preparing to fly back to the USA after my last trip on the Best Kiteboarding RV, to finish up Drill 2, the advanced landboarding instructional movie, compete at the NABX in Las Vegas and start work on my new movie, PUNK.
My trip started on the 13th March, where I was freezing my nuts off at 5am in London. Little did I know a range of flight cancellations and bad weather was in front of me, before I landed in sunny Miami to spend a week kiting in the "tropics"with the team at the warehouse in Florida.
Tuesday 13th March 2007 (12:30PM)
I just flew over Knoxville, yeah Johnny Knoxville's home town! He invited me round for dinner. I'm listening to our captain and my connection in Houston has been cancelled due to bad weather so we are flying to Okalahoma to re -fuel and get back on track. I've been flying for 11 hours and I'm over it. They can throw as many cancellations as they like at me I'm just too tired to care now.
But at the end of my plane problems is Stacey, waiting to collect me from Miami in Florida. How nice! I already have shorts on as I'm that excited about leaving the cold in England. I'm also looking forward to spending some time in the sun and getting rid of my "I've been drinking tea with bleach" look.
Sun ... yay :).
Wednesday 14th March 2007 (1:20AM)
"OK Mr Smart," I wish I had said. The unhelpful airport-personnel guy told me that I could find all my flight information on the board above ... the only problem was that my flight had left 2 hours ago for Miami, and had taken my bags along with it. I think I walked over the whole of Dallas International Airport to speak to someone who knew what he was doing, well kind of.
So my bags are going to Miami, I'm sitting in TGIFriday's waiting for my steak, and Stacey is waiting for me to give her a decision in Delray. First off I was told no flights till the next morning, and you can guess what I was thinking. I suggested an alternate airport, close to the Delray/Miami area, "Maybe Ft. Lauderdale?" testing my luck. "No, your ticket doesn't allow that," I was told. I flipped, but in the end I got my ticket.
So I've ordered a fat steak and I'm going to sit here and think of drinking beer, as I'm not "legal" in USA. Biatches!
So my steaks done and I've been explained the rules of American Football by some over-keen Miami Fan. Now I'm at my gate with my fingers crossed, hoping that a spare seat is available. My name is first on the waiting list, and if they don't put me on the plane, I will post a picture of me crying. Planes suck and I'm now 22 hours into my trip with zero hours of sleep.
I got on the plane in the end, and had a pretty good seat with lots of room. The guy two seats over moved away, and I ended up passing out for the whole flight. I had been travelling for 26 hours when I finally arrived in Miami, but it was cool ... Stacey was standing there outside the gate jamming a camera in my face from the start.
A few hours later the next morning I woke and we headed to the Miami airport, where my bags had been sent. I wasn't too happy having the 10 grands-worth of equipment that was not in my possession being handled by an airport staff that doesn't care what's in your bags, the swines. We got attitude from pretty much the whole of the American Airlines staff ... maybe they didn't want to be on camera? :) After not being able to find one of the bags and waiting for two hours for yet another plane to come in, I finally found the missing bag in some far-off and forgotten office ... where finally I was told that my bag had been there all night, thanks.
After, I visited the office to catch up with the staff I met in Fuerte last year and meet all the people I haven't met in person yet. I had a meeting that afternoon Ian, the CEO, and it was great to catch back up with him and throw some ideas about. Just wait for it: we have all sorts of mastermind ideas that will take over the world with kiting that's for sure ;)
Thursday 15th March
We stayed in the office for a little while, and then decided that it was way too windy to pass a kite session off at the local beach. I hired Keri to come work at B(est)TV, she's such a peach!
Stacey, Keri and I went to the beach in Delray. The wind was light but smooth; blowing from the south, the temperature and the sun was just awesome and was just what I needed. I got out for a little while but didn't have the best ride. Stacey managed to throw down some neat tricks before the wind gave up on us. It was so relaxing to chill out on the beach in the sun with my twins, I love Florida!
The three of us went into town in the evening to a nice restaurant. The town was pretty busy, but the food was real good. Even though it was an oyster bar, I managed to find something good on the menu ... porkchops!
I'm not old enough to rent a vehicle in the USA, so I treated Keri to a ride around on my 19th century RV. She wants me ...
Friday 16th March
I was sleepy so didn't wake until REAL late but I did wake in time to fire up the twins: my specialist film crew (Keri) and riding partner (Stacey). Keri left the office faster than we could, and she didn't even have the camera! I built up the girl board that had been sent over from the RV in Texas (thanks, Bucky!) and got the rest of my kite gear together. The wind was reportedly a solid 20mph side shore and the sun was out which made it all just perfect. We rocked up at the beach and I pumped a 9m Yarga.
After landing some dude's kite and watching his buddy fly away and rip his kite apart, I was ready and jumped in. I managed to throw down a couple of kiteloops ... it's just good to thrash it out on water and not get pounded like when you crash on the land! Stacey had one especially funny crash, which we got on camera, and then the wind soon blew out.
After a busy day giving advanced seminars on C-kite water relaunch techniques and helping people who'd gotten their kites stuck in trees, Brandon "Customer Service" Briggs shot right down to the beach after work, and stuck around waiting for some evening action.
Brandon, by the way, is also founder, president, and king of his very own Save A Fish Foundation, a non-profit rescue organization dedicated to the salvation of beaten & battered Best equipment. It's kind of like an animal shelter ... only for kites! The two items pictured above are rescued items themselves: one edge of his 133 Float is held together with red electrical tape, while the canopy of the kite, with hundreds of repair-taped holes, closely resembles a patchwork quilt. Although most of the rescued kites are unsalveagable, Brandon ... never one to destroy a fish ... still manages to give them all a good home.
Tonight is my last night in Florida for a few weeks though; I'm off to Antigua tomorrow to sail with the Best Odyssey around the Caribbean with Clinton and Stacey. My flight leaves in an hour, and I still haven't gone to bed for the night or packed. I just got to be careful not to pack myself in ... I'm in that much of a rush!
To read more about what Alex has been up to, visit his team rider page at www.bestkiteboarding.com/Alex-Brown.