The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Athlete Profile: Arthur Bernadi surfs and splashes

Aidan Pazdera
Arthur Bernadi balances on his kiteboard, utilizing his current skills and building toward future expertise. Kitesurfing is a sport based on flow. While it may look easy, mastery takes skill and patience since only perfect wind and wave patterns can successfully be ridden.

The wind whips through the air, mingling with the crash of waves against the shore, sounds that have become a familiar symphony for Arthur Bernadi, a sophomore at Carlmont High School. Since the age of 11, his passion for kitesurfing has driven him to excel at the sport, which, despite its recreational appearance, demands rigorous discipline and mental resilience.

“Kitesurfing is one of the most physically demanding sports, it takes a lot of skill and relies on having a good balance, strength, and awareness. It’s definitely not something you can learn overnight,” Bernadi said.

Kitesurfing is a surface water sport where a kitesurfer uses a kite and a board to move across the surface of a body of water similar to surfing. The kitesurfer can control the kite using a bar and lines which can be used to steer and also monitor the speed. The sport, although most common on large bodies of water like oceans, can also be done on lakes and rivers.

“I’ve been kitesurfing numerous times and although it can be done on any body of water, the ocean has always been the most fun and convenient,” said Nicolas Bernadi, Bernadi’s dad.

Kitesurfers like Arthur Bernadi may make the sport seem effortless, but in reality, it requires days of training to learn, and often years to fully master. 

Beginner kitesurfers start by learning to control the kite through body dragging, where they lie down on the board, and let the wind steer them along the water.

After getting comfortable with catching the wind, a beginner would then progress to board starts, where they stand on the board and try to catch waves while the force of the wind on their kite pushes them forward. To truly master the sport, riding upwind is crucial, utilizing your kite in a backward motion to ride the water in the opposite direction.

Apart from the hard learning curve, the gear itself can also be a barrier for new kitesurfers, as equipment such as kites, boards, bars, harnesses, and wetsuits, can cost hundreds of dollars each. The gear also needs to be replaced every few years in order to ensure safety and optimal performance, adding to the ongoing expenses for those committed to the sport.

“Let’s just say the cost is not like playing a school sport, especially if you want good quality gear,” Nicolas Bernadi said.

Nicolas Bernadi was an influential piece in getting his son into the sport, wanting to share his lifelong joy with his family.

Let’s just say the cost is not like playing a school sport, especially if you want good quality gear.

— Nicolas Bernadi

“I started windsurfing after I graduated high school, my friend introduced me to it and it’s like a sail attached to a surfboard. After I started windsurfing, I saw other people kitesurfing, and it was a lot more fun, especially since you can do jumps and tricks a lot easier when compared to windsurfing,” Nicolas Bernadi said.

The sport tends to be more common in the spring and summer months with the warmer temperatures and sunny conditions. During these months Arthur Bernadi goes to the beach about two to three times a month and kitesurfs for about a couple hours each visit.

“Since kitesurfing relies a lot on the wind you can’t really do it year round. The best time to kitesurf is from about March to September, and since going to the beach can take around an hour or two I tend to do it a lot more in the summer when I’m less busy with school,” Arthur Bernadi said.

Competitions are another focus point, with local events happening only a few times a year, because of the precise conditions necessary. This means kitesurfers not only surf for the thrill but also to win, which, when added to the sport’s difficulty, makes the experience incredibly rewarding. 

Arthur Bernadi placed top 10 at Grom Fest in 2023 while on his trip to La Ventana, Mexico, for the sole purpose of kitesurfing.

“The competitions I mainly do for fun, there’s no prize, and it’s not very official, but it’s always cool to see others who enjoy the same hobby as you,” Arthur Bernadi said.

Although the sport has gained popularity because of its flashy nature, the dangers are still apparent.

Santa Cruz native Mark Cohan has witnessed both the thrill and danger the sport embodies. 

“I see a lot of kitesurfers around here mostly because of the wind and the big waves. Although I haven’t seen anyone get hurt to the point of needing to go to the hospital, every once in a while you’ll hear about it from a neighbor or on the news of some injury,” Cohan said.

Throughout his time in the hobby, Arthur Bernadi learned a lot from kitesurfing and has integrated his love for the sport into other sports as well.

“A lot of the skills used in kitesurfing can also be used in other sports, the balance that you use for kitesurfing can also be used in like snowboarding or skiing, and really any sport where you rely on your balance and coordination,” Arthur Bernadi said.

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About the Contributors
Aidan Pazdera
Aidan Pazdera, Staff Writer
Aidan Pazdera (Class of 2026) enjoys volunteering, wandering in the woods, and trying food in the wild. You can find him with his friends or playing sports around San Carlos.
Nathan Paris
Nathan Paris, Staff Writer
Nathan Paris (class of 2026) is a sophomore at Carlmont High School, he is a first-year writer for Scot Scoop. In his free time you can find him listening to music, hanging out with friends, and eating ice cream.

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