Wild child, pro-kiteboarder and kite instructor, Laurel Eastman
The most compelling writing compositions are the ones that come from extensive observation and research, rich, superfluous imagination and actual experience. Words come out more fluidly and in exceptional detail from pen to paper, well from keyboard to monitor in my case. Though I have yet to meet our Ripping It feature this week somehow there is excitement each time my finger taps the keyboard.
Who is Laurel Eastman?
I’ve heard and came across Laurel’s name multiple times in my early learning days of kiteboarding. Kiter friends and acquaintances ask me “have you tried Laurel Eastman’s school in Cabarete, Dominican Republic?” I didn’t think I would be ready for Cabarete for the simple fact that kiteboarding is taught in the roaring ocean with big waves and sharks. After reading about her school and learning about her approach to teaching, I most likely would have made a bee line for Laurel Eastman’s kiteboarding school.
Laurel Eastman is a pro-kiteboarder and one of the pioneers of the sport. She flew in the air and did blind man raileys when kiteboarding was considered extremely dangerous. Her pursuit of the sport began when she landed a job in Oahu. In 2002, Laurel joined the World Cup Tour in 2002 thus started her quest for the World Championship. Laurel’s kiting journey took her to places including Austria, the North Sea, rivers in Oregon, big waves in Maui to the pristine coastline of Brazil, Hispaniola in the Caribbean and of course, Cabarete, Dominican Republic.
Teaching the sport
After years of competing, Laurel was approached by Hotel Caracol to establish a kiteboarding school in Cabarete. The love for Cabarete and teaching the sport took over her focus for years to come. After seven years of running the school and building her team, Laurel is ready to expand her in Cook Islands and another location in the Caribbean. She is also an anchor and a huge supporter of women in kiteboarding and kiteboarding charity events, including Kiteboarding 4 Kids, a charity event growing in popularity.
Life before kiteboarding
A natural outdoors person, athletic and adventure girl, prior to being one of the foundations of kiteboarding as a sport, Laurel was a Volleyball champ in her high school year. The wild life kept on calling,