Sunday, January 31, 2010

Trashed by Ice

Igor, Kite, Ice

The cold didn't get me today, at least not in the way I expected.

I got a few runs on Igor's new board, Glide by ABoards. I love this board for light winds! It planed thru the lulls like Frank's Door 64.

Trashed by the ice- I was self launching off a beach anchor when a line got caught on a chunk of ice. The kite went straight up, spiraled, then crashed hard into the dunes & beach grass. It created a 1" tear in the canopy and a slow leak in the main bladder. This made for a dissapointing end to my session. I took a few runs on my landboard so I could finish on a happier note.

Happier Note- Igor was hitting it today! He got his first real runs. I saw 1 long one in particular. Nice progress on a frigid Winter day!

Bottom Picture- my hot tub for toes.

Chapin, Kitesurfed, NW, 8-20, 12 M Kite/ Glide 154 x 48, With Igor, 29 F Temp, Sunny.

Landboarded, 3.6 foil kite, NW, W, 9-15.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Beginner's Bliss

Some say that learning kiting in New England in Winter is bad because you spend so much time being dragged under, over, and thru the frigid water. Igor and I know that's just a myth perpetuated by tropical resort owners. The trick is to pick a day when the air temp is colder than the 38 F water. Then getting dragged all over the bay warms you up.

Igor practiced water starts for 2 hours in the shallows, getting about 1000 of them, including some nice ones. His determination is unnatural.

I found a sand bar out in the bay with 9" of water over it. This was sweet! I could try any stupid move I wanted and have just enough water to soften my crash. Then all I had to do was stand up in shin deep water, straighten out my brain, and go again.

Plymouth/ Nelson St., Kitesurfed, NE 8-18?, 12 M Kite/ 152 Ply board, With Igor, 34 F Temp.

Picture- cruising over the sandbar, thanks for sending the picture Igor.

Note- tide was 1 hour behind IWindsurf chart.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dad, 1925-2010

My father loved adventure. I'm sure his greatest adventure was getting married and raising 3 troublemaker boys but it's the outdoor adventures that I'm thinking of. How he loved nature. How he loved facing challenges, and how he got us all outdoors doing something exciting whenever he could.

He taught us all how to do some unique activities. Like crabbing from the canoe in the back cove. He would get so excited when he saw a crab hiding in the seaweed, it seemed like catching that crab was the most important thing in the world. And his excitement was contagious. It took me years to learn how to slow myself down enough to catch a crab without turning the whole canoe over. But I became an expert at it, just like dad, and the excitement stayed with me long after I stopped going to the crabbing cove.

He had the same excitement, the same tone of voice, when catching a bluefish, skiing on a beautiful snowy morning, clamming, skating on a frozen pond, catching a storm wave bodysurfing, skinny dipping in the frigid water at East Beach in the Fall.

It was his joy in conquering a challenge that made these things so special. It's the same joy that I feel now when I'm faced with my own adventures- raising my 2 boys with my loving wife, windsurfing on a stormy day, kitesurfing. I know I get my own love of adventure and challenge straight from dad. It's a part of him that is with me every day, and it gives my life an extra spark, a special joy. He is with me every time I lift my sail to the wind and step onto a board to skim across the ocean that he loved so much.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Beautiful Day to be Skunked

Tiverton; Farms and Ocean Remind me of Prince Edward Island

It was a beautiful day to be outside, no matter where or what. Fogland was skunky but it didn't depress me as much as usual. I soaked up some rays, hung out with Igor, and tried my 15M closed cell foil kite. I've been a little afraid to try this kite because it's supposed to be pretty powerful and it just looks too big. Not today. The only problem I had with it was keeping it in the sky. It felt great in that one big gust to 12 MPH.

Fogland/Cove Side, Kitesurfed, WSW 2-12, 15m Flysurfer Speed2/152 Ply Board, Temp 48 F, with Igor.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Landboarding- Icicles and Brakes

Mini icicles were forming on my landboard

It was just me and the seagulls but I didn't mind. I didn't have to worry about anyone laughing at my old barge of a landboard. It's an ancient windsurfing landboard, no footstraps, but it has a primitive brake that I added for kiteboarding. I used my 3.6 trainer kite, unhooked, very safe. The brake worked great, keeping the board from turning into an unmanned missile when I fell off and giving me some speed reduction in the gusts. It was pretty challenging and a lot more fun than it deserved to be.

Nahant/ Dog Beach, Kite Landboarded, NW, 8-16, 3.6 Foil Kite, Temp 26 F, Solo

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Snow Kiting on Pavement

Video from earlier in the day, Johnny Riding, Jean & Peter filming.

The lake was super gusty but fun, in a crazy kinda way. The strong winds had swept the snow away in spots revealing small patches of pocked black ice which looked exactly like pavement. It motived me to be conservative and stay upright. Although there were no crashes for me there were plenty of crashes for my kite. I was glad that I was a little underpowered on my 7M. Ron was looking smooth on his home turf with his 9m.

Tip to remember- try not to fly the kite to the extreme front edge of the wind window. If I hit a lull in that position my kite will just drop out of the sky like a rock. Let the kite drift back in the window as much as possible, keeping it not too low, not too high.

Indian Lake, Snowkited, NW 10-30?, 7M Bularoo/ Skiis, With Ron.

Picture- Ice Picks, for self rescue, that I hope I never have to use.