Catching waves — and air

Life-long kitesurfer takes sport to higher level after first competitive victory


Peyton Bunch | With Permission

Sebastian Green kitesurfs on the Columbia River at the 2019 annual Kiteboard for Cancer event at Hood River, Oregon. Green placed first in his division and is now looking for sponsorships as he takes kitesurfing to a more competitive level.

By Bailey Parent and Anshsing Ghayalod

Every chance he gets, competitive kitesurfer Sebastian Green heads out to Ocean beach, buckles on his harness, hops on his board and grips his control bar as the wind carries him across the waves.

“It’s pretty much surfing,” Green said, “but you don’t necessarily need waves. You are powered by the wind using a kite that’s 25 meters away from you, and you’re able to control the wind to get power.”

Green has grown to love the sport after years of practice with his father and recent entry into the competitive kitesurfing world.

“I do it probably six hours a week, and then every day on the weekends,” Green said. “I coach myself — and then at competitions we have mentors, and there’s other kids that you can learn from.”

Green took first place in his division at the KB4C, the largest amateur kiteboarding competition in North America that benefits Project Koru, a nonprofit that helps adults with cancer to find peace in outdoor adventures and community.

“It’s a whole circuit in Hood River, Oregon,” Green said.

Green says he is looking to take kitesurfing further than recreation and start rising in the competitive kitesurfing world.

“I’m also looking into some sponsorships, as I just came out of that past summer season, which ended pretty well,” Green said.

With wind speeds reaching 25 mph and the water getting choppy, kitesurfing can induce a rush of adrenaline.

“You can get some pretty high jumps up to like 65 feet,” Green said.

Green doesn’t have a coach, but he is taught and encouraged by his father, Graham Green, who introduced him to the sport as a child.

“Sharing my passion for the ocean with Seb has been one of the most meaningful things,” Graham Green said, “because I get to experience some of the coolest, most surreal environments around the world using kitesurfing as a basis.”

The father and son have kited in Mexico, Colombia, Sweden, Denmark, Oregon, Manzanita and Panama, as well as experienced different cultures.

“I get to meet people I would have never thought existed along with experiencing different cultures and perspectives while doing a sport I enjoy so much,” Sebastian Green said.

Even though his father encourages him in his endeavors, Green still has to pay for the equipment by working summer jobs.

“You need a kite, harness, control bar, kite, pump and board,” Green said. “My parents had me pay for all my equipment, so I’ve been working on the side to fund gear. I do construction during the summer for Windy River Construction and Natural Designs and sell employee benefit packages and
401k plans for Jackson Square Financial.”

After kiteboarding for almost nine years, Green has enrolled in an online course to become an  instructor.

“I’m currently getting certified to be a licensed kiteboarding instructor, allowing me to teach internationally to all ages,” Green said. “I want to share my passion with others the same way my dad did with me.”

Green says the sport helps him achieve a good mental state and find a sense of peace.

“Any time I’m feeling down or singing the blues, I can always rely on the ocean to lift my mood,” Green said. “It’s safe to say that every time I get in the ocean, I get out with a bigger smile no matter what.”