Dropping his board into the water and securing his feet into the straps, Marcus Keele smiles as he sinks into the lake.

With a strong gust of wind, he and his friends take to their sport.

“(Kitesurfing is) a great relaxing sport and I love it,” the 27-year-old Round Rock resident said.

Keele took up kitesurfing about a year ago. “I travel to Belton Lake as the lake here has a lot to offer, and the water is a lot cleaner.”

Wearing a harness that connects to a control bar, surfers can control the flying lines to the kite without a lot of strain on their arms, leaving plenty of freedom to try jumps and tricks.

“There is a quick release safety system that allows us to separate from the kite if it gets uncontrollable or we are heading into obstacles.” Keele said.

Riders select the type of board they like depending on their skill level, riding style, wind and water conditions.

“It’s not a cheap sport,” he said, explaining that there are directional surf-style boards, wakeboards and hybrids, which can allow a rider to go in either direction.

Getting back to his friends, Keele drops into the water.

“It’s play time.”

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