Saturday, July 18, 2009

Kite Practice #4- My first Jump

I'm starting to get up on the board more. It turns out that waterstarts aren't really that hard. It's stopping and changing direction that's hard. I was doing very short runs to stay in the shallows, except when I didn't. Sometimes I would hit the brakes and the board would keep on cruising. I guess I was supposed to edge the board upwind to slow down but sometimes I edged the board downwind and accelerated instead, at just the wrong moment.

My first Jump- On one run I was coming into the beach a little too quickly, (see edging above), so instead of sending the kite the opposite way slowly and smoothly, I sent it fast. I didn't hit the beach. I went up in the air. It was a really nice feeling, being pulled right up off the water and redirected just where I wanted to go, away from the beach. It felt great until I crashed. The peanut gallery on the beach shouted and hollered and had a good laugh! It was pretty encouraging. Of course, I wasn't really in danger of hitting the beach. I just thought I was and overreacted.

What worries me a little- I was feeling a lot of pull and lift in the kite when I was walking it back upwind. Maybe I should pull in the power strap for the walk? The deep water relaunches are still slow, and I was getting dragged down wind pretty fast while I was trying to get the kite to break free of the water and go up on it's edge.

Signs of progress- Besides getting some nice, but very short, rides, I did the upwind bodydrag twice when I lost the board in deep water. Both times, I was barely going upwind but I made it back to the board just as Frank was finishing his swim out to rescue it. Thanks Frank! I thought I lost your board on the last one. Also, Frank taught me to bodydrag with a board, good move to know.

Photo- The newbie kite scene at Waq Bay, the upwind beach.

Waquiot Bay, Bodydragged, Kitesurfed, SW, 10-18, 12M Kite, Door 64, with Frank, others


Snowy Guy said...
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Snowy Guy said...

Who launched you? A friend or someone on the beach? I was sailing late Saturday afternoon and using a 9.6. If I wasn't so hung over, I would have done better. As I remember the winds were up and down a bit, but nothing out of the ordinary for Wacko. Given my meter readings (averaging 14 with a rare gust to 18), I was surprised that I could get up on a plane and ride, albeit with a strong downwind component. I know you can do better beginning kiting in steadier breezes. How much time have you spent with trainers? I'm follow this blog closely as it's the best instructional I have seen. You may want to go to and read it. Puffin, from what I have heard from guys who have had accidents, the safety devices were useless to them. I believe that's because they never practice using them before the accident. Even after their recovery period, they don't practice. I put together a fixed chicken loop on one of my ram air kites and have used it. Unfortunately, once you do, you are stuck wrapping up the kite and relaunching. I've body dragged with the ram air. It's safer in that once crashed it doesn't bounce. Releasing your kite in a crowded field can be dangerous to other people. You may meet Ed White down there. He's always offering to help others, but I found out the hard way that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

scooper said...

Snowy Guy- Hey, when we were leaving, we saw 1 windsurfer way out on the water, cruising at a good speed. That must have been you. I thought that there was more wind than 9.6 but I'm sure that the power of the 12M kite skewed my perspective. Your meter reading confirms it too, 14-18 sounds right for when it was up. The wind did seem very up and down, tough at times.

Frank C. has mostly been launching me, coaching me, and saving my butt.

I guess I had a lot of trainer kite time, used it occasionaly for about 1 year. If you have a 4 line depower trainer or traction kite you can get a huge head start on the sport. I couldn't afford one so I made the most of my Ballistic.

I don't really think of this blog as instructional but if it's interesting or informative then that's great!

Snowy Guy said...

Yes, that was me, the lone windsurfer. I have a 3.6 Ballistic Burner 4 line ram air kite which did cost me a bit of money. I can't say that I have gotten my money's worth out of it yet, but I actually bought it thinking I would use it on the ice. I have body dragged with it down at Waquoit and know I could ride the board I have with it in strong winds. However, the trick is keeping it out of the water in that once you crash it there your session is over.