Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kite Practice #1- How Do You Hold This thing?

Scott & Frank- ready, set, bodydrag!

Kiteboarding gear is too small for my truck- I'm starting to accumulate some kiting gear and there's one thing that seems very strange about it. I can fit it all in the front seat of my truck. What's with that? I keep thinking where's my gear? It's not a real watersport if I don't need racks, a van, or a truck. It's hard to adapt to something new.

Kite Practice #1- Scott and I had an informal kiting lesson from Frank today. He set up his 9M Waroo and risked his well being, and his kite, to spend all afternoon coaching us. I can't thank him enough!

This was my first time using a real kite. It was a little scary at first. We were on dry land and the wind was pretty gusty, very slightly side off. We just practiced keeping the kite at the side of the wind window and bringing it up very slowly, just a little off the ground, then back down.

When we got wet I felt less tense. We could be much more aggressive with the kite in the water. Bodydragging was a kick and I just wanted more power!

I can tell that it takes a lot of time-on-the-water to learn. My muscles have a lot of memorizing to do. Just handling and carrying the kite made me feel like a klutz. It was a fun session, a great way to squeeze as much excitement as possible out of mostly light winds!

Revere Beach Notes; Kiting is done on the north end of the beach at the last bath house.

Revere Beach, Kite Practise, Bodydragged, N, NNW, NNE, 5-20, 9M Waroo, With Scott & Frank

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Making the Cut

Gerry S and I sailed out from Scatteree/ Pleasant Bay for an afternoon session, chasing each others wakes in the smooth water behind North Beach. It was big sails and hi speed blasting to boost our egos. It was great.

After Gerry left, the wind picked up a little. I went down to a 4.2, ditched my glasses (too rainy to see with them on), and did some exploring. The exploring happened mostly because I couldn't really see where I was going without my glasses.

I found myself standing on a small strip of beach separating me from some nice looking waves on the ocean side near the new cut (not that I could really see anything). It was almost a mile from where I had launched and it was completely isolated out there, just sand, seagulls and waves. I knew that I shouldn't go to the ocean side that far out, by myself, but it was such a small strip of sand to walk across. It would only take about 30 seconds. How could I resist that? Ever since the new cut opened up I'd wanted to sail there. I told myself that I would just do a few runs to test the spot. After all, the tide had just changed and was now flowing in, or it was supposed to soon, I wasn't sure.

I was little cautious but the sailing was fantastic. I stayed just inside the outer bar, where the waves and shorebreak were smaller, except for once when I went too far and took a tumble in the shorebreak out on the edge of the crescent shaped area that I was in.

I had a thrill from seals swimming under my board and jumping out of the water right in front of me. When I first saw their dark shapes in the water I thought that they might be sharks and it really improved my focus. I got one of my best quick waterstarts ever.

I didn't stay out there for as long as I would have liked. I sailed upwind, avoiding the outer bar, and eventually cleared the last spit of sand, let out a whoop, and went back into the bay through the new cut. It was getting close to sunset by the time I made the last speed runs down wind back to the launch at Scatteree. It was a great Nor'Easta session in the Summer!

Boston Globe photo in the paper a few days later

P.S. It turns out that the remaining camps on Nauset Beach were washed out by the NE storm while I was sailing there, or shortly thereafter. These houses are right on the new cut, where I was sailing, but it was too misty/drizzly for me to see them, (and I didn't have my glasses on).

Scatteree, Windsurfed, 15-30, NNE, NE, 5.7 & 4.2/ RealWind 85, with Gerry S.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Going to the Dark Side

Nahant, sunset session, kite landboarded

Why am I learning kiting? I want more power in light winds. I'm sick of schlogging on my biggest sail while kiters breeze by me, lofting big air, big smiles on the their big faces. I want some of that!

No, I'm not going to the dark side. I'm just visiting. No way I'm giving up windsurfing in strong winds.

First impression of kite landboarding- It's harder than I expected to balance without a sail in my fists/ Fun/ Am I nuts?!/ Shin guards would be nice/ I wish my board had a brake!/ My harness is useless cause I'm not even thinking about hooking in while I'm on the board/ I need more wind to keep my kite up/ I'm glad my board doesn't have straps/ Hey, I haven't fallen once without landing on my feet!/ I could get completely pulverized in strong winds.

Nahant is only a 35 minute drive without traffic!

Nahant, Kite Landboarded, ENE, E, 6-12, 3.6 trainer kite, solo.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Crazy Like a Windsurfer

The morning forecast called for 15 to 20 MPH with higher gusts, dropping off by noon. I set my alarm for 5:30 AM. My family said that I was crazy to get up that early on a Saturday morning.

When I got to the beach the white caps were small, tiny really. Nobody else was there. Maybe it was windier than it looked, I thought. I rigged big and got 2 or 3 planing runs before the wind dropped. I stayed and worked on non-planing freestyle and used the trainer kite, just like last weekend, and the one before. I left feeling unsatisfied.

My family said that this confirmed their belief that I'm nuts. I got up at 5:30 for 2 or 3 planing runs. They're right. It doesn't make any sense... I should have set my alarm clock 2 hours earlier.

Plymouth, Windsurfed, Trainer Kited, NE, 10-20, 6.2/Carve123, solo.