Monday, May 30, 2011

A Good Head of Foam

Waq Bay- It was fun to be back at this spot where I cut my kiting teeth 2 years ago. I remember how impressed I was watching somebody practicing single runs here because she could come back to the spot where she started. I thought I would never be able to do that.

Waquiot Bay, Kitesurfed, SW 12-22, 13M Octane/Mako 150 & 6' strapless surfboard, Robert.

Picture- Apres kite, I like a good head of foam on my bay.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mixed Salad at Nahant

Cutting the Rug at Nahant- John Coelho

Nahant had small, smooth, beautiful waves and good wind. The beach was a mixed salad of windsurfers, kitesurfers, surfers, SUP, and kids making sand castles but everyone had smiles on their faces. I was planning on windsurfing with some of the ol' crowd but one guy came in with a 7.5 sail, big board, massive fin, and said that my 6.2 and wave board weren't going to be good for anything, so I kited.

Offshore Wind- Pretty good wind quality in SSW. It was just a tiny bit offshore, felt pretty safe. Then it went SW. That felt much more offshore. On some runs I was traveling almost parallel to the beach. It made me nervous so I just did short runs and tried not to think.

Nahant, Kitesurfed, SSW, SW, 10-20, 13M Octane/ Mako King, with Paul, Skipper, others.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Craziest Wind I've Ever Seen

I was at Pleasure Bay, wind was too light to kite, so I went for a unicycle ride around the bay. About halfway around I felt a wind shift. Suddenly a cool NE wind was blowing straight in my face. I looked forward, at the flag on Castle Island, NE wind. I looked back at the flag at the kite launch, S Wind. The flags were pointing towards each other! @*!?? Wasn't this breaking the laws of physics? Sailboats in the harbor were going in all different directions at once. I expected to see an alien spaceship descend from the sky.

Picture- The graph is not very impressive.  I was wondering if it could show 2 wind directions at the same time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Riding a Delaminated Mako Kiteboard

Stress testing the repairs

I got to ride the resurrected Mako, love it! No board carves a turn like this. The board is so smooth. I don't think it's going to be my favorite board for light wind but for waves and forgiving landings on jumps it's got to be about the best there is, at least until it falls apart again.

Pleasure Bay, Kitesurfed, SSW, 10-20, 13M Octane/ Mako 150, with Jean, Rod, Sam, Skyrocket, Johnny D, Others.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Repairing a Delaminated Mako Kite Board

Scoopers Home for Wayward and Delaminated Boards- I took Jean's broken foam core Mako into the shop to give it some TLC and to save it from the trash can. I know this old board has some stories to tell. I'm hoping it will whisper them to me the next time I take it out in some wind. Here's how I tried to bring it back to health- Click on pics to see large.

Prep- I cut the ragged edge of the old foam to make a clean edge, and removed a few small pieces of foam that were left around the fin holes. I sanded the fur left from the foam on the top and bottom sheet but it was coming off slowly so I mostly left it.

Making Parts, Edging- I glued up Versatex PVC board to make a blank for the new edgeing. Traced the shape from the board and cut it out, sanded it by eye to get the taper on the edgeing.

Foam- I used Last-A-Foam, from Fiberglass Supply, to make a new foam core section. I traced the PVC edge onto the Foam, cut it out, sanded the foam to the thickness and concave by eye. Used a knife to cut out the hole for the old fin hole reinforcement block, (which looked like solid thickened epoxy).

Glue Up- I glued the whole mess together, old top and bottom sheet, new foam, new PVC edging, old fin hole block, with lots of West epoxy. It was more floppy than I expected so I put small clamping blocks on the place where new edge meets old edge to get rid of sag there while it dried.

Fiberglass Reinforcment- I have low confidence in the strength of the repair. After all, the original construction wasn't strong enough and the repaired board will always be less strong than the original. So I sanded the bottom, put 1 layer of cloth over the bottom of the board, 3 coats of epoxy. I tried to wrap the cloth around the edges but it didn't work, should have used thinner cloth. You can see the texture of the cloth if you click on the picture to see large.

The Result? It looks almost as good as new, feels a little heavier. I know it will work but not sure for how long. One session? Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Surfing and the well rounded individual

Surfers in the mist

It's a soft grey morning at Nahant, no wind. The early morning horizon is lined with mist. I've been surfing and now I'm laying on my board at the edge of the backwash, resting and catching my breath. I'm thinking how great surfing is. Before coming in I kept saying to myself, one more ride, for about 5 rides. See, I can enjoy something other than kitesurfing and windsurfing. I'm a well rounded individual.

It's nice that I have time to lay here and rest. I close my eyes. It feels good to relax my tired arms, legs, and shoulders. I try to let go of my thoughts and focus on the beach sounds- waves, seagulls, gurgling water... Blowing sand?

I turn my head and open 1 eye slightly to look at the flag over the bathroom. Nope, still no wind. Surfing is great. I go back out for 1 more ride.

Nahant, Surfed, Acid94, others.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

How to do a Board Grab Back Roll in No Wind

Most of the kiters I know, and have ever met, are at The Outer Banks this week kiting. Someone had to stay behind to protect the women and children. But I couldn't think about that this morning. The wind was up. I had some kiting to do.

West Dennis, Kitesurfed, 10-20, SSW, 13M Octane/ Strapless Surfboard & Flx 136, Mad Cow, with Andrey, Colleen, Gregor, George, Matt, Rod, Romain, Others.

Picture- Romain, from Quebec, sticks a board grab back roll when nobody else has enough wind to waterstart. Notice- no white caps.
Kite- 12M Bandit4, expert rider, light body weight.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sleepless at Chapin

I slept in this morning, got up at 5:30 instead of 5:00. The half hour made a big difference. It meant I was driving straight into the sunrise. Man, it's hard to relax and drive with that ball of fire burning into your skull. I was tempted to close my eyes but even I know you can't do that while driving. I might miss my exit and end up at the Outer Banks. Hmm, maybe that's the excuse I've been looking for.

Strapless- This was my first really fun strapless surfboard session. Kiting just gets better and better.

Chapin, Kitesurfed, NE 8-18?, 13M Octane/ Strapless Surfboard, with Pedro, Flo, others.