Well said there Mike.....I couldn't agree any more with your assessment of the kiting "community" in the Chicagoland area. We are always on the lookout for others in need, it is not like that everywhere, if anywhere...I will always remember a day at Michigan City about 10 years ago when I was still in the process of trying to stay upwind...I got slammed, dropped my kite in the water and lost my board; I finally got my kite back up in the air, only to find out that I was unable to bodydrag back upwind to my board...try as I may I could not get there. I was the last one out, it was a spring day, gusty and side-shore and I began to get cold....Lo and Behold, V put his wetsuit back on, re-launched his kite and came out to aid me.....I have always tried to emulate that same watchful, helpful spirit!!!
Our waters are often COLD, and our beaches desolate...Other kiters are usually the only means of help available..... I think that is one of the reasons we are always "hammering" newcomers to the sport with the IDEAS OF SAFETY!! I must say that I echo your sentiments about being proud of those that continue to learn, excel and help their "fellow kiters" on the BIG LAKE!!
Strength in numbers that add up to ONE.... it sure makes the beer taste better when you are toasting another magical session with your kiting buddies that you know "have your back" at all times!! Keep your eyes peeled, and your hearts open.......CHEERS