Sam Medysky has been kiteboarding since the age of 8 when he and his father, Daniel Medysky, a high school physical education teacher took up this radically new extreme sport on the sandy shores of Sauble Beach, Ontario, Canada. In 2001, the father and son team opened one of Canada’s first kiteboarding schools, Kiterider.ca. After 15 years of operation and having taught over 3500 students, the kite school has introduced many individuals to the sport of kiteboarding. In 2004, Sam won the Junior title at the US Open Velocity Games. This event sparked Sam’s career as a professional kiteboarder at the age of 13. After graduation from high school, Sam began his travels in Brazil to pursue his career as a professional kiteboarder and to train internationally. Currently, at the age of 25 years, Sam has become a six time Canadian national champion, 2014 AWSI rider of the year and one of the top North American riders competing internationally. Competition and training have taken Sam to some of the top kiteboarding locations around the world. His passion for the wind, water and dedication have lead to a reality of a childhood dream of a professional kiteboarder.
To know me, I would say you’d have to meet my parents to fully understand me. I came from two sides of the spectrum so to say and that's helped me stay balanced today. My Mother, Janis came from a family of 4. Her mother was a nurse and father was a school principal. Her side of the family has deep roots in Canada with several generations growing up in Canada starting out as farmers originally. My father's side is slightly different. He has one younger sister. His parents fled from Ukraine during the war and were fortunate enough to make it to Canada. They started a small textile store downtown Toronto. My Dad and his sister were raised above the store, in a small apartment and grew up speaking only Ukrainian until they attended school.
My Mother's side of the family is very traditional - she's attended elementary school, high school then into university to follow in her father's foot steps in a career in education. My Dad on the other hand was a rebellious teen back-packing around then joining the army at a young age before losing his parents to cancer at a young age. Following that he felt the need to go with the flow and seek university to also join the education field. You can imagine how my parents met… Mom arrived early in the morning at teacher's college and met dad in the cafeteria after he coached a team at the school. Fast forward several years both my parents had comfortable jobs in education, then I came along and a short 2 years later my sister, Mary.
We grow up in a small town north of Toronto. Mostly white caucasian folks with similar religions and beliefs. It was a safe, beautiful town. My sister and I could walk to and from school, and our parent's school in which they worked was only a 30 minute drive. The best part of growing up with parents in the education system was we got to see them all the time. When my sister and I had time off, so did my parents. Our parents always gave us all the opportunities possible to get involved in sports, arts and other activities outside of school. I grew up playing hockey in the winters and baseball during the summer. It was a pretty common theme for most kids my age. Being Canadian, hockey was nearly a religion for us.
I was fortunate that both my parents spent time on the water as children. My father's family would travel to Wildwood, New Jersey to visit our Ukrainian family there and spend their days on the beach. My mother's family spent the summer on the beach at Sauble and nearby Chesley Lake enjoying all sorts of water sports and shenanigans behind the boat. With my parents having the summers off, we would spend our summers in Sauble Beach, Ontario on Lake Huron. Sauble Beach is one of the largest fresh water beaches in the world. My sister and I loved it as children.
My Dad was always active at the beach and tried to engage my sister and I in all his activities. From a young age I was sailing, windsurfing and flying two line strut kites on the beach. One day my Dad came home with a Windsurfing magazine with an ad in it titled “Kiteboarding the sister sport to windsurfing” Following that my Dad sourced out a kite and that was that…
We learned to kiteboard together on the sandy beach in front of our cottage in the summer of 1998. There was some carnage and plenty of sketchy situations but we survived it. It wasn’t long after this that kiteboarding began to take over my life. Hockey demanded too much time with games, practices, summer camps and clinics. At that young age I gave up the sports I’d grown up playing and focused my attention on kiteboarding in the summer months and snow kiting or snowboarding in the winter. It was a pretty bold move to make, I guess, at such a young age but I loved kiteboarding. It was me alone and I didn't have to depend on anyone else.
As we grew together my Father opened a kiteboarding school in 2001, to help get gear cheaper and to allow us to go on some kiteboarding trips during the school breaks.
The first event was in 2004. My Dad took me to the 2004 US Open Velocity Games. Every pro I’d grown up watching was at this event - Andre Philip, Martin Vari, Shannon Best, and the rest of the pros. It was heaven for me just walking around and to finally see the pros ride in person. I won the junior category that year at the Velocity Games, and it put me on cloud nine.
After realizing my potential I remember just wanting to ride. My parents, of course being in education, thought it was best for me to finish school first, before pursuing any sort of kiteboarding career. I remember telling them one day during a trip somewhere in the car, that I was going to be a pro kiteboarder and they said, "ya but how are you going to make money?" I look back at that now and maybe that's what helped me get to where I am today. I was proving to my parents that I could do this sport as a career.
I finished 14 years of public school in Canada at the age of 18. That summer I worked my butt off teaching kiteboarding during the day and working in a restaurant at night to pay for the year ahead of me. Following that summer I moved to Taiba, Brazil with my best friend, Dave Drinkwater. My parents allowed it but I still don't know if they fully supported the idea. I think they would have rather seen me attend college or university with the rest of my graduating class. After 4 months in Brazil riding with some of the best in the world from Europeans to the local Brazilians, I came home with a big bag of tricks and the confidence to take me places.
In 2009 it all happened for me. I went to the Jupiter Kiteboarding Invasion, a fairly large event in North America at the time. I took first at the event beating out Damian Leroy and Billy Parker. I was on a steady roll. Shortly after I signed with Best Kiteboarding and received a wild card invite to the 2009 Triple S invitational. Since then kiteboarding has become my full time career, working not only as a brand ambassador for my sponsors, but also in gear development with the Best Kiteboarding's R&D department.