Gaze in awe at an Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 alumni who brings X Games-quality skills to bodies of water around the globe.

Screenshot 2018-01-22 15.02.38Fueled by nothing but the wind and pure joy — talk about renewable resources! — Dr. Casey Culberson and his kiteboard offer travel magazine–worthy photographs in a host of exotic locations.

“If you put your passion into something, you’ll reap the rewards,” says Dr. Culberson, 43, who practices at Mill Creek Family Dentistry in Mill Creek, Washington, just north of Seattle. “This is true in both dentistry and kiteboarding.”

About those exotic locations: “My favorite trip so far was Tahiti. Kiting in the lagoons of Bora Bora with lemon sharks and stingrays below you in crystal-blue water, with mountains in front of you — absolutely breathtaking.”

Dr. Culberson is something of a Renaissance man, having won an Edison Award in 2015 for his invention the Molar Media Mount, an arm that affixes to the dental light and positions an iPad or other tablet directly in the patient’s line of sight. But it’s the utterly low-key kiteboard — no motor, no nothing — that most captivates him. He has long been a water-sports aficionado and has a sailing background. “I saw some people kiteboarding once, and it looked so magical that I said, ‘I will learn to do that!’ ” Dr. Culberson says.


Dr. Casey Culberson, shown in Bora Bora, shares his ultimate kiteboarding destination: “A dream trip for me would be to go to the Turnagain Arm, just outside of Anchorage, Alaska. There is a phenomenon there known as a bore tide. A bore tide is a rush of seawater that returns to a shallow and narrowing inlet from a broad bay creating a continuous wave that, in this location, breaks for 40-50 miles.  Can you imagine kitesurfing on a wave for 40 miles?”

And so he has. Yet even this now-skilled kiteboarder has reveled in his recent return to newbie status. “The new thing in kiteboarding is hydrofoiling,” he says — in which one’s board has a metal mast extending 36 inches from its bottom; as speed increases, the wing creates lift and the board ascends. “With almost no drag, you silently hover above the water,” he says. “It’s an experience like no other.”

Among his treasured spots: Turks & Caicos, the Baja Peninsula and of course his own Pacific Northwest. Wherever he goes, though, he finds that this work-hard, play-hard pursuit is attractive to . . . a certain kind of medical professional. “If someone on the beach asks you what you do, and you say you’re a dentist, they’ll usually say ‘another dentist kiteboarder?’ This sport, it seems, really appeals to us dentists.”

Maui wave

The kiteboarding dentist: Dr. Casey Culberson catching waves in Maui. (Photos courtesy Dr. Casey Culberson)

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