Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Feet are Too Big

I never really hit my stride with the kite today but I felt like I was learning a lot and it was great to be out there on such a beautiful day. I could feel myself taking a good deep recharge.

My feet are too big- One thing I learned is that I should get a screwdriver and adjust my straps to fit brand new Winter booties before I put my kite up. And I learned what it's like to kite with my toes jammed into the unadjusted straps and my heels hanging on the edge of the board. It's really hard to edge that way, especially on my smaller board, not to mention how sore my toes are now. Windsurfing really has kiting beat on the footstrap adjusting score.

Learning by not trying- I also learned that the best way to self land without crashing the kite is to do it by mistake. Every time I try this move I crash the kite and make a mess of everything. Today I snuck up on it. I had the kite low on the edge of the wind window as I walked it in. When a healthy lull hit, my kite fell out of the sky, landing on its leading edge. To my amazement, all I had to do was pull on my outer line to spin the kite into a perfect parked position, no crashes, no birds nest of lines. Of course, I acted like I had meant to drop the kite on that exact spot. I felt like a pro.

Windsurfing when you least expect it- The wind died, shifted and came back stronger than before. So I had a bonus session of windsurfing at West Dennis on my way home. This wasn't in the forecast, which made it even sweeter. I was really powered up, so fun.

Kiteboarded, First Encounter, 8-22, WSW, W, 12M kite/ 132 & 152 ply boards, Des, Dave, Cathleen, Lisa.

Windsurfed, West Dennis, 15-29, WSW, 5.2/ RealWind 85, Hardy from New York, Dave, others.

Picture- Dave at First Encounter.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Side-lined by Swine Flu

Barbara has it not me. Still, it doesn't look like fun, very high fever that is hard to bring down. For anyone thinking about getting it this season, I recommend against it.

I heard from the usual crowd that it was a pretty good weekend on the water, sunny, warm, some wind both days. Igor got his first moves with a kite, thanks to Frank's help. Go Igor! I was there in spirit.

Here's a picture of Soccer Ben. He finished his season with a bang. He scored 7 goals in his last 2 games. That gives him bragging rights! If he ever brings that energy to kiting or windsurfing he'd have the potential to be a lot better than me. I'm not sure that would be a good thing...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wakeboarding- Fun with Face Plants

Paul with boat, looks like a spy or action movie hero

First time wake boarding-
Masskiters Paul & Holly needed a spotter and I needed some planing time after my skunky yesterday. What a blast! I got up on my first try with my right leg forward, (ego up), but I couldn't get up at all with left leg forward (ego down). This seems like a great way to experiment with board control and balance and have some excitement on a glassy day. I especially liked the feeling of putting more weight on my front leg to rest my rear leg. After this I should have no problem landing arial transitions and loops on a kiteboard.

Fun with Face plants- I have a special talent for dramatic kiteboarding face plants or so I'm told. But I didn't really know what a face plant could be until I caught an edge wakeboarding. I don't know if it was because my feet were glued to the board with bindings or because of the low angle of pull from the boat but these falls packed a punch. It was great fun though. I'd go back out in a heartbeat if the chance came up. Thanks Paul & Holly!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Windsurfing- 3 Strikes and You're Out

Scott- underpowered at Nahant

The forecast was for winds up to 40 MPH, widespread, blowing all day & thru the night, dropping off on Sunday morning. Too much wind for me to kite! This was going to be a windsurfing day.

Strike 1, Nahant-Scott and I got there around 8:30 AM. I did 2 runs. It was side-on, NE, head high waves, very dirty wind on the inside, underpowered on my 5.2, waves breaking way out made it hard to get past the whitewater, much stronger wind near the outside break but exhausting to get there. I had no strength left to get over those last few waves. Neither Scott nor I made it all the way out.

Strike 2, Revere- Straight side shore wind, small but fun waves, nice. I did 3 runs. My first 2 were good. I was just getting settled into the conditions when the wind switched off. I landed way down wind and walked back (thanks for the help carrying my board, Frank).

Strike 3, Duxbury- The IWindsurf meter said Dux was still blowing 20-30. So I gave up on those nice little waves at Revere and drove south. No wind. There were still 2 kiters flying their kites when I got there but the wind was disappearing fast.

My total runs for the day? 5.

Don't shoot the messenger? It's too bad that the IWindsurf site crashed in the AM. I waited until 7:00 before leaving the house so I could check the morning update but the whole site crashed at that time so I had to rely on the previous nights forecast. Later I found out that the morning update accurately predicted the wind to drop off during the morning, especially in Boston. What good is it if no one can see it?

Busted Drysuit- I sent it back for new knees. Barbara suggested I try her full baggy drysuit for a temporary replacement. It fit!

Bottom Picture- unknown kiter playing in the waves at Revere.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Drysuit Blowout

I blew the knee out of my drysuit today at Hardings Beach. I just bent my leg and it split. Man that water was cold! My knee went numb almost instantly. It felt like someone hit it with something hard and cold but it was just the water. The bottom half of my suit is neoprene, tight fitting, so water didn't migrate in very far, allowing me to keep kiting, frozen knee and all.

First time Self launching- I used a sign post at Hardings, put a rope and caribiner around it, hooked my chicken loop in and it worked great! Then I did it again at West Dennis pond after launching Scott. I used a metal pole and flew the kite out over the water, still worked great.

First time landing a buddy while flying my kite-Scott's kite was leading edge down in the water at the shoreline. I just grabbed the LE and twisted it into the wind and held it until he ran down to it. After he had his kite secure, he landed me.

Hardings Notes- in SW at low tide had lots of little breaking chop waves even though it was mostly waist deep or less where I was kiting- out near the inlet to Stage Harbor. Pretty challenging for my kiting level but I felt like I was learning a lot. There were more waves than in W.

West Dennis Pond Side Notes- Mid tide in WSW winds worked great for Scott and me. It was mostly waist deep everywhere. Only room for a couple of kiters though.

Hardings Beach, Kited, SW 14-21, 12M/ 152 ply board, Des, Jerry E, others.

West Dennis, Kited, WSW, 11-18, 12M/ 152 ply board, Scott.