The man who went kitesurfing during Hurricane Florence
- 19 September 2018 | Kiteboarding
Dimitri Maramenides, the founder and owner of Epic Kites, rode his kite a few hours before Hurricane Florence hit the East Coast of the United States.
Federal authorities were pleading with everyone along the coast not to underestimate the hurricane strength. But Maramenides believed he wasn't doing anything wrong.
"This gives me the opportunity to test the kites and see how they handle in very strong winds," explained Maramenides before hitting the stormy seas.
"I'm not crazy. I won't be riding in Category 4, 3, 2, or 1. I'm going to kite before the hurricane hits, between 25-30 and 70 knots of gusts, depending on the conditions."
Soon, and despite the heavy rain, Maramenides was hitting the waters of Jennette's Pier, Nags Head, in North Carolina's Outer Banks. The conditions were extreme, and the ocean looked like a washing machine.
After pulling off big airs, kite loops and riding a few waves, the professional kiteboarder born in Athens, Greece, returned to dry land where he was cheered by dozens of curious bystanders.
The stunt also attracted news reporters, and the word spread out quickly that a man was kiting while Hurricane Florence was approaching the Carolinas.
For some, Dimitri Maramenides was setting a bad example, and disrespecting the officials' warning to stay away from the coastal areas; others enjoyed his stunt.
"News media has exaggerated. It was like normal North East conditions we get here on the Outer Banks with strong winds of up to 60 mph," replied Maramenides.
Whether you're a beginner or advanced rider, make sure to follow the top 10 safety directives for kiteboarders, and avoid taking unnecessary risks.