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Soaring To New Heights

Story: Kelly Walker | Photo: slapics
Feb 20, 2019
Soaring to New Heights
From the time he was just ten years old, Harrison Browne has been kitesurfing the waters in Sandgate and beyond. Starting with his very first lesson - from veteran instructor Padi Kotwall at Sandgate’s own Surf Connect – to now teaching at Surf Connect himself, Harrison has come full circle.

“It feels really good to instruct at the very place where I first learned to kitesurf,” Harrison said. “Sandgate is the only beach I’ve been to where the kitesurfers and all of the other water users have come together to form a very caring and united community.”

Although school and work commitments have meant taking a few breaks from the sport over the eleven years since he started, Harrison instantly feels that love and connection to it each time he goes back out on the water. “I remember my first time on the board after being away from the sport for a few years,” Harrison recalls. “As soon as I got out on the water, all of the muscle memory flooded back to me and I realized that this was something I loved.”

Now, with over ten years of traveling, teaching and reaching new heights in the sport, Harrison’s love for kitesurfing has evolved into a true passion, and he has gained a new respect for the sport along the way.

There is an incredible sense of freedom that comes from being out in the wind on the open ocean — as if you’re gliding like a bird,” Harrison explains.

“Your kite can act like a teddy bear or an absolute monster - but it’s an amazing feeling either way.”

As kitesurfing is at the mercy of wind and weather conditions, it offers a lot of versatility. For Harrison, it’s the thrill of being lifted up out of the water that really gets him excited. “I love being ridiculously overpowered by the wind,” he said.

“Those first few moments leading up to a jump can be so tense - and then all of a sudden, the pressure is gone and you find yourself ten metres up in the air. The feeling of floating up there and looking out over the shoreline is such a rush and offers a whole new perspective.”

Whether it’s kitesurfing under the Indonesian moonlight, mastering a big jump, or enjoying the silent serenity of drifting downwind on a foil board, Harrison has endless stories to tell and he loves to share his passion with others.

“I absolutely love teaching,” Harrison said. “It’s an incredible feeling to see everything click for a new student and to see their face light up that very moment that they start to fall in love with the sport.”