CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Living in a coastal town has its perks and one of them is being able to take part in the many water-based pastimes, like fishing, surfing and kiteboarding.
However, because of popular hotspots and unique environmental factors, the Coastal Bend kiteboarding community isn't just made up of locals, but tourists too.
“I chose to come here because kiteboarding is my favorite thing to do,” Corpus Christi resident Conor Hendi said.
What makes Corpus Christi such a hotspot for kiteboarders is that it is home to two prime launch sites. It's like, as kiteboarder Francisco Dao puts it, "if kiteboarding was skiing, (then) Corpus is Aspen except they didn't build any ski resorts."
"There's only a handful, and I literally mean under ten spot in the entire country where it's good to do this," Dao said. "Of those spots, the northwest corner of Oso Bay and the Laguna Madre shoreline of Flour Bluff are literally, no exaggeration, the best spots in the continental United States. Only Hawaii has better spots."
Corpus Christi also has the ideal conditions for kiteboarding that makes people from all over the state and country come down to visit.
“There’s a couple that usually comes down from North Dakota. I’ve seen people come down from Michigan and a couple regulars from Austin and Dallas will come here,” Hendi said.
When tourist come here, they look for a good spot to launch from. As Dao told Action 10 News, there are only a few places.
“There are zero launching sites in the city of Corpus Christi. The only public one is across the Bay in the City of Portland,” Dao said.
Dao said the city could really benefit from having more launch sites.
“Not only do we have a group of people who have to travel to here," Dao said. "We also have a group of people who have a fair amount of money who have to travel here and we’re not competing against every other city.”
Tourists bring money and that brings more opportunities.
“More jobs, your property value goes up. It benefits everyone,” Dao said.
With the help of city officials, Dao and his friends hope to be out on the water, doing some tricks in the air - hopefully from their very own public launch site.