Rocky Chatwell is one of those young men who, when you meet him or see him ride, you can tell he’s going somewhere. I came across Rocky while kiteboarding at our local spot in Portland, Texas. He was trying to teach himself how to windsurf on some ’80s rigs he picked up at a garage sale. Although he was interested in kiteboarding, he had to convince his parents to help him with the money side of things—as well as mow some lawns.
After a short while he showed up at the shop dying to get a kite. At that point, the local crew took him under its wing and taught him how to manage the kite, but that didn’t take long at all. The next thing we knew he was ripping up wind and trying all the latest moves. The key to Rocky’s success is great supportive parents, living walking distance from the water, and being home-schooled. Since starting kiteboarding, his mom says he’s up early every morning to get his school work done so he can ride, and if you know anything about the Corpus area, there’s always wind.
Two years and many lawns later, Rocky is now ranked one of the top riders in the world. His first-ever pro competition he took first, which qualified him for the PKRA, and out of 30 top riders he came in ninth. Not bad for a home-schooled Texas boy. With his passion he’ll be world champion soon enough. —Jeff Howard
Age: 16 Years riding: 2.5 years Years sponsored: 1 Sponsors: prokitesurf.com, CrazyFly, Da Kine, Bare wetsuits Boards: 2007 CrazyFly Pro Model 125 x 41 Stance width: 15” inside to inside Harness: Da Kine Tabu Kites: Airush Lift for freestyle Hometown: Portland, Texas Off-water activities: Bluegrass with the family, mow lawns for kite gear Partners in crime: Portland Wildcat Crew Kiteboarding hero: Aaron Hadlow Scariest kite moment: Kite Loop to rock face plant with no helmet Best result: First place pro men’s freestyle Canadian Open, ninth PKRA Îles de la Madeleine Favourite trick: Mobe 7 Last trick landed: Kite Loop Slim to Switch Flat 3
This article was published in the 2007 Buyers' Guide and Rocky finished the 2007 World Cup ranked 11th overall.
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