Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lucky strikes

Any day at Chapin is a lucky day

Sometimes I'm struck by how lucky I am. Lucky- to have my health, family, friends, and a drysuit with a pee zip. These are the things that make my life rich.

Chapin, Kitesurfed, W, WSW, 10-25, 10M/Skimmy, 17M/Mako150, with Dillon.

Monday, December 26, 2011

That's why they call it Boosting

Ben said, "Dad you never get sick!" He and Barbara just got over sharing a cold which I, luckily, didn't get. "It's the kitesurfing," I replied. "Every time I jump it boosts my imune system. That's why kiters call jumping boosting." Ben shrugged. He didn't say anything. It must be tiring living with a kitesurfer dad.

Chapin gave me a boost today. I messed around in the waves on the sand bar then went into the marsh at high tide with Jean and a few others. I got a kick out of watching Jermy and Kristoff jumping onto a little dune on the sand spit and sliding back into the water. That should boost the immune system. Or break your legs.

Chapin, Kitesurfed, NNW, NW, 17-39, 10M Rally/Flx136, with Jean, Kristoff, Jermy, Mike, Frank, Jamie, Andrey, Colleen, Joe, Brad, Brian, others.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing You a Kiting Kristmas

The beach was crowded at Mayflower

Kitesurfing to celebrate the day before Xmas is an ancient ritual going back thousands of years. I kited today to keep the tradition alive for the heritage of future generations. I was just doing my duty.

New Old Skimmy- This home made piece of scrap actually works! I can't believe it. I tried this board when I first made it. It seemed all wrong, didn't go upwind, didn't go thru lulls, didn't waterstart, didn't jump. But that was a year and a half ago so I decided to pull it out again to see if it has changed. Has it! The board has really improved. I skimmmed up the Chapin pond until the water got down to the depth of my big toe. It still can't jump but it did everything else well. Good board. If I ignore it for a few more years, maybe it'll learn strapless back rolls.

2 sessions- Mayflower morning, Chapin afternoon.

Mayflower, Kitesurfed, NE, 10-25, Mako150 & King/10m Rally, solo.
Chapin, Kitesurfed, NE, 10-25, Flx136 & Skimboard/10m Rally, Mike.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winterizing my Brain

Sunday 6:00 AM. I'm not looking forward to this kiting session as much as usual. It has something to do with it being dark, cloudy, snowy, air temp near freezing. It's the first day of the season with real Winter weather. The sane part of my brain questions getting into the ocean in these conditions. Luckily, that part of my brain is small and shriveled.

My big surprise of the day? I'm really warm, even when the temp drops to 29 and the mouthpiece of my camelback gets crunchy with ice. I don't care. I'm in the zone. I can feel the sane part of my brain shrivel and atrophy to almost nothing. Now I'm ready for Winter.

New Old Drysuit- I just got my O.S. Systems drysuit back from the shop. They repaired 3 small seam leaks, several pinholes, new wrist seals, new socks. I know, I know, it's only 1 year old. Don't forget, 1 human year equals 15 drysuit years. So that makes my drysuit a teenager. I've go to expect some erratic behavior. Some mood swings. But no more leaks for now please.

New Mitts- 6MM Henderson/Hyperflex Oven Surf Mitts. This is the best cold temp handwear I've found. Even my dead lobster hands were only slightly numb in these. And I could still hold onto the bar a little.

Mayflower, Kitesurfed, N, 10-29, Gusty, 13M Octane & 10M Rally/ Mako150, with Paul, Igor, Brian, Junior, Chriz. Air Temp 32 to 29.

Paul took some video footage with my camera. Thanks Paul! I've just gotta figure out how to edit it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Deer Son

My son is a deer, a buck. He is standing in a room with other deer, young bucks mostly. They are waiting for their chance to prove themselves. They look bold, proud, excited. Some are nervous. They stamp they're hooves and throw their new antlers around. My son, I used to be able to cradle him in one arm, stands tall, strong. This is where he wants to be.

It's noisy. The deer are shouting, cheering. My son is called forward by the referee. The Ref blows a whistle and my son charges, head lowered, clashing antlers with his opponent. My body tenses as I watch. They fall, rise back up, fall again. The match looks fierce, brutal, yet no one is hurt. It's a symbolic test of strength.

Then it's over. My son's first match. I'm relieved that he's O.K. He seems relaxed now, happy. This is all new to him, and to me. The primal arena of High School wrestling. It's a brave new world.

Ben's First Varsity Match

Wrestling is a tough sport but Ben seems inexplicably drawn to it! I wish I had his passion for a challenge. Oh wait...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Smorgasboard of Gear

Paul's 21 Meter blimp, a really really nice blimp!

Smorgasboard of Gear- It's a warm, sunny day, for Dec. Wind is up and down, off and on, here and there. We have a good crew of salty characters plying the beach. It's perfect for passing some gear around. I loan some stuff out, borrow someone else's. We laugh at the crashes that ensue due to footstraps being too loose, gear unfamiliar, etc. Put a bunch of kiters on the beach and they quickly turn into one big happy dysfunctional family.

Paul's Speed3 21M Silver Arrow- Sooo fun!!! Wind was 10-14. I was super powered up on this when my 17M Zephyr was struggling to go upwind. I loved the jumps and back rolls on this big boy, (but the line twists from backrolls aren't so good). It's so lofty! I almost needed to pull the depower strap. Cool feeling. Still a scary kite though.

RealWind 85 Liter windsurfing board- Not as much fun as I expected as a kiters light wind weapon- not very turny and responsive compared to a kite surfboard, not as floaty in the lulls as it looks. Frank pointed out that the tail width is narrow. I like my 6' Caution surfboard better for kiting.

Frank's Door64- goes upwind slightly better than my Mako King but such a different ride, rides on it's edge more, doesn't break loose in transitions, hard to get it to release from the water for jumps and back rolls. Upwind machine.

Picture- Kristoff kites with helium balloons for extra style points. It looks like he's spawning.

W Dennis, Kitesurfed, 9-19, SSE, 17M Zephyr/Mako King, also RealWind 85, Door64, Flysurfer Speed3 21M Silver Arrow, with Igor, Frank, Sandie, Kristoff, Matt, John, Paul, others.