Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's All Down Hill From Here

It's all over. I'm done. I turn 50 on Tuesday. Too old for these crazy sports. Body parts are going to start falling off if I keep at it. At least that's what one side of my brain says. The smart side. But I never listen to that side.

Crash & Burn- O.K. I was back to crash and burn today. It felt familiar. At first it was mostly from my slide turns. Yesterday they were working really well. Today, not so much. I think I was being too aggressive. Then the wind came up and I switched to my smaller board and it was more than just slide turns throwing me into the drink. I felt like a crash test Dummy.

Small Board- This board works! My previous problem with spin out is completely gone now that I know something about edging. That doesn't mean it's easy. It's so touchy compared to my big board! It just submarines if I don't power the kite enough and I can forget about completing my slide turns with this baby. Still, it did handle the chop better than my big board... I think this board is going to teach me a lot, or I'm going to decide it's junk and throw it out.

West Dennis- was a party. There must have been at least 8 to 10 guys on the water. The weather threw everything at us, rain-drizzle-fog-sun, strong-light-moderate wind, chop-flat water. I got there when it was blowing to 30 but waited until the tide and wind were lower. Everyone seemed pretty excited to be sneaking in a session this time of year.

West Dennis, Kitesurfed, S, SSW, 11-21, 12M Royal Era/ 152 & 132 Ply Boards, Air Temp 46, with Frank, Tom, Greg, Eric, Patrick, Robert, Kristof, others.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kiting- Learning Curve Illusions

My faithful steeds await in the parking lot snow pile

I didn't do my usual crash and burns today. I don't know what's going on. Could it be that after 6 months of face plants I'm starting to figure this kiting stuff out a tiny bit? Nah, it was probably just because the wind was light, (no whitecaps at all).

Learning Curve Illusions- I had to sine the kite pretty hard to stay on plane but it was still fun because I felt like I was learning a lot. This is the best time in my learning curve. I have the illusion that I improve every time I go.

Nelson St- Nice spot for kiting in shallow water for 2 or 3 hours on each side of high tide, very safe!

Strapless Surfboard Riding (Realwind 85)- Crazy, crazy, crazy. I tried a few runs, got up once for a few seconds. How does anyone waterstart without footstraps?!

Nelson St/ Plymouth, Kitesurfed, E, 10-15?, 12 M Royal Era/ 152 Ply Board, Temp 41, Solo.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Seasons Greetings from the Chapin Beach Tree Stump

I stopped to say hi to the Chapin tree stump. She seemed to be in good cheer, probably from drinking all those Bud Lights. Yeah, they were empty. I checked.

This was one of those days when the temp dropped dramatically as I drove S to the Cape. It was 28 when I left the house and 36 when I arrived at the beach. I think the cold temps back home kept the Boston crew away. I had the beach to myself.

I kited during the mid tide, waist deep water and lots of beach, very nice. It was good to know that if I lost my board or the conditions changed I could just walk it back in. 10-20 MPH was enough to have fun with my 12M kite, plenty of power in the gusts, had to pump the kite in the lulls. ENE wind was dead sideshore and pretty gusty.

Chapin, Kitesurfed, ENE, 10-20, 12M Royal Kite/ 152 Ply Board, Air 36 F, Solo.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kiting- Edge Control Makes a Difference!

This was probably my best kiting day yet! I still crashed my kite all over the place and did my signature long swims to retrieve my board but I think I had a breakthrough with edging and handling more power, and my slide transitions started to click a little too.

Edging and handling power- The secret ingredient was revealed by Frank's well timed tip- keep the kite low in the gusts. That's the opposite of what I've been doing, stupid me. What a difference! I could feel the board's angle of attack shift dramatically and in a few runs I was upwind by our usual Summer launch spot wondering how I got there. The best thing was that I felt much more comfortable and in control when powered up. It was a pay off day for all my crashes and gallons of saltwater that I've been drinking, great fun!

Skim Board- I tried getting up on an old skim board that we had hanging around the house. This was nuts! How can anyone get started on these things? My booties gripped the board like a banana peel on ice. It didn't float at all so I had to throw it across the water and jump on as I powered up the kite. Of course I slipped right off the other side. What was I thinking? I may glue some grip on and try again some time when I feel like crashing a lot.

Waquiot Bay, Kitesurfed, SSW, 14-26? 12M Royal Era, 152 ply board, Frank, Igor, Paul, Robert.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kiting- Equipment Test

It was a pretty wild day. Light start, got to try Frank's 15M Flexifoil with his Door 64. The kite turned like it was in molasses but that board is incredible. It just planes right thru all the lulls. It felt like magic.

Then the wind picked up and I got out on the Era 12 with my little ply board (132 x 41) and really gave that board a good try. It felt messed up. At slow speeds, barely powered, it was good but when I got a gust and picked up some speed it just kept sliding out like crazy. Frank thought that it was a technique problem but I think there is something wrong with my board design, fin placement or something like that.

Finally it really picked up and I got out with a 7M Bularoo that I bought online. It just arrived on Thursday so I was excited to try it. I just got a few runs before it got too dark to kite but it was fun. It was a little scary being out on a kite in that much wind, sand blowing down the beach etc. The kite felt great, very controllable. I was pleasantly surprised that the 7M felt less "lifty" than the Era12 even though the wind was much stronger. It still might have been the low end of the wind range for a 7? Frank was on his 9M Waroo fully depowered.

Otherwise, it was drizzly, grey, cool & stormy, very small but friendly crowd. I felt a little stupid driving home from my day at the beach thru a blizzard of snow but I know that there is more of that to come.

Kiteboarded, chapin, 8-15, 10-20, 20-30, ENE,NE, 15M Flexi kite/ Door64, 12M Era kite & 7M Bularoo kite/ 132 & 152 ply boards, Frank, Igor, Kristof, 2 windsurfers.

Picture- Igor in the kiddie pool, Frank assisting.