Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Almost springtime. WInd waves and maybe my kid will love to kite....

It's that time of the year when clearing winds hit the Malibu Coast in concert with W swells. Ok,maybe it's a little early to call it spring. There have been some "spring like" surf with wind days. Friends called in quite a few epic days up north and I was able to ride a few of them. Malibu gets more thermal days during the summer but north of town if far better during the winter months. It's all about being able to drop what you are doing and bolt up there at a moments notice. Dropping everything and bolting for sports isn't easy. It's usually something for the independently wealthy, married with understanding wife, without children or with a full time nanny option. With parents juggling three or four jobs each, with a stoked 4yo bouncing off the wall and no nanny, spontaneity for adrenaline sports evaporates. But, it evaporates in a good way. You're mind copes by visualizing your kid out there doing all the things you are crazy about. He's out there kitesurfing, surfing, mountain biking, paragliding, etc. Vicarious kitesurf thrills from friends phone calls helps. Envisioning your kid doing all the fun stuff with you makes the wait for the next session endurable. My dream begins with my wife, son and myself all shredding long downwinders in the Baja or some tropical islands surf. I's not that far fetched. I know at least one dad who pulled it off. He is being chased by the IRS but he's living the dream and his family like their new false identities. We have been putting our son on the front of the stand up paddle board, boogie board and in a trailer behind the mountain bike since he was able to think, "do they think I enjoy this?" The hard part is not pushing the little guy (now 4 and a half) too hard towards what we want him to do in sports and getting the converse of our wishes. A kid who thinks walking with golf clubs makes golf an extreme sport and that all adrenaline sports should be avoided like the seat of a 125 degree outhouse seat at Lake Mohave. It's the fine line between letting him see how cool your sport is, and pushing too hard. You don't want him to becomes s green polyester pants golf cart marshmallow man, axle deep in a sand trap. Nothing against golf. It's great there's a sport for every Neman Marcus shopper. I intend to golf allot when I'm dead. For now, a couple of T times a year, when there is absolutely nothing else to do is plenty. Did I mention, nothing else to do? I occasionally hit the links, just to be sure that nothing exciting been added to the game in my absence. Nope, Tiger Woods' shenanigans were the highlight of the last hundred years off putter stroking. They still follow a small ball around and around, and around and then hit it with a stick. It's not even that wave sailing huge surf is that much better. Errrr, well yes it is. Even mowing the lawn back in forth with no surf in bugger all wind on lake mud puddle is more fun. It was nice to see Gabby R proving a gifted athlete could get very good very quickly, till terminal boredom sets in. Gabby's husband Laird Hamilton, ever the innovator, developed an electric golf skate board to add some forward momentum to the game. Think, a very short polo pony with wheels for the Thurston Howell the third type. Go Laird!! Great idea; wrong demographic. An average out of shape golfer must keep his mouth open while boasting about his new Bentley and would ingest a few pounds of designer country club insects if traveling at 20 mph on a skateboard. He will have to balance on the skate board while wearing clown shoes with spikes and swinging a 500 dollar club at tiny plastic balls. Let's face it. Most of these guys just think a skateboard is something not allowed where he has his help shop for him. There might be a couple of not quite country club courses where electric golf skates would be acceptable. Century city three par and carpet outlet has a narrow demographic of ex Dogtown guys in Bermuda shorts and bathroom slippers sharing the golf course with the homeless in the bushes. The only pro that might be attracted would be Tiger Woods. Budshweiter and red phull will generously sponsor any sport with overdone babes wearing over tight clothes in proximity to cold water. In this case golf course water traps, which will be filled with beer and underwater cameras. So we have a re-invented Tiger and his wet clothed bimbos on the back of an electric golf skate being chased across the greens by the babes' angry 30 year older significant others/ sugar daddies in golf carts. It would make for great theatre and a reason to watch golf on TV. The side of the circling FOX TV seudo news blimp would read "OJ chase 2015" on the light boards. The shows cable ratings in Texas would go through the roof. It would be a 1980s ZZ top video equivalent on well manicured grass. My son will see this on the Mickey Channel between Doc McStuffbuns and Princess Hobag, and think, "THIS IS THE GREATEST SPORT YET and dad has been keeping me from it" So, irregardless of how cool I think a sport is or is not (not actually classifying golf as a sport. Mr Webster might have listed it as a drunken retirement home game played outdoors post anesthesia), the boy will do whatever he pleases. Most likely, my son will take the advice of some used golf cart salesman over his old mans'. Hopefully at least my sons' golf cart will have surf racks and and an athletic, intelligent unmarried gal with a sense of humor next to him. This will force me to eat my words and golf more frequently prior to doing the dirt dance. It will be a way to share more time with my son and warn him away from the attractive from a distance girls standing waist deep in the third greens water trap alongside the half sunken black mercedes with the privileged pinheads license plate rim. Being a dad isn't easy but fun sports help loads. PS. All sports are cool. Some are just cooler than others to some of us semi advanced primates.hhwXgQVejIw/VO6V3WrLVqI/AAAAAAAABCs/ELALbZOuxAM/s320/20141224_134329.jpg" />

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Summer never ends.

Lots this summer so here are some pics in case you don't speed read. Summertime around here now means, lots of fun trips to the relatives in Maine, No Cal, etc and of course celebrating Sarah's and Aiden's birthdays in the most fun and extended manners. Let me explain how we can make a few events last the entire summer with the addition of fun sports, good friends and family. I fought the traffic up to my old haunt kitesurfing spots a few times of course between other commitments and it was fun to see all the new faces that have discovered the sport. Klaus and company told some great stories of chasing great white sharks in a mini sub just down south. Great kitesurf, paraglide, mountainbike and surf adventure stories were downloaded from the rest of the crew as well. Saw a lot of our old Central Coast transplant lifeguard and kite buds as well. Aiden was turning 2 this year and Sarah and I had been talking about getting him down to his favorite Baja piece of beachfront real-play-estate since his outrageously enjoyable first birthday there last year... Well that one was two birthdays as well. As it so happens shortly after the Aidster's birthday, mama Sarah has her July 4th birthday with the usual family coming in to celebrate. Last year Sarah got her first taste of paragliding, with a tandem pilot bud and absolutely loved it. I figured what better present and great way to share my passion for the sport than to push some paragliding lessons along with other birthday wishes her way. Not so subtle, but effective So with a great family push the three of us chased three good days of lessons with old buds at Eagle Paragliding in Santa Barbara. The first day was too windy, so Aiden and two very happy parents played at the Santa Barbara Zoo, had some great food in town and got home to drive back the next morning for mom's first day under a wing. Sarah absolutely loved it and her fantastic insturctors. Aiden had a ball playing on the hill with pop, mom between flights, and all his new buds including a couple of great glider chasing pooches. We hiked up and down that training hill a bazillion times. On the second and third lessons, I took along my recently reaquired wing, harness and reserve chute for Sarah's last couple of lessons. Worked on my old ground handling skill set and did quite a few flights along side Sarah. We would ride up the hill in the van together or walk up with her smiling from ear to ear saying how much she loved being in the air. It sure was fun watching her fly. At one point I was able to ridge soar the beach front site and while cruising up and down the local SB coastline, watch Sarah take her third lesson on the more inland training hill. She was doing great and with a fantastic instructor in the challenging wind. Sarah was well on her way to her first certification and set up for some nice safe and beautiful flights off of the sand dunes in San Quintin on Aiden's B Day trip. It was all coming together. We kept Aiden's head in water all summer with swim instructor mom and dad, as well as a great group down the street at our local lap pool. Sarah and I would take turns playing with Aiden at the shore or playground while the other took turns stand up paddling down the street or at Mothers Beach in Marina Del Ray. We took pretty much every one of Sarah's family members there this summer as well as mine to teach them to stand up paddle. Aiden would not be left out and found his way onto a board more than a few times in the one foot deep areas of the beach. He loved playing with his cousins, aunts, uncles and grand parents. Aiden had two birthday parties. One in Mex and one here at home with great friends at each and heaps of fun playing in the tide pools, sand dunes and playgrounds down in SQ and in Temescal Park with heaps of friends and his amped up parents. SQ blew and I was able to get out in the surf pretty much every day. Sarah and Aiden chased me down the coast in the old truck The people at the Desert Inn hotel down in SQ are old friends and made our stay happy and comfortable as ever. A decent four foot south swell put huge smiles on my face and some good ridge lift paragliding and great flights for Sarah and I kept air under our wings. Aiden would run up and down the sand dunes with his arms out to his side yelling "kite, kite" as mom flew over us to the beach. We stand up paddled the bay next to the volcanic vents and dined at the excellent local restaurants. We were surprised with a birthday cake for Aiden hand made by our old friend and mother of our baby sitters down at SQ who also works at the hotel. Thanks Loopy!! As usual the people and experiences were wonderful. It's awesome to have my family enjoys the people and beauty of San Quintin as much as I do. We had to head home too soon but were looking forward to Aiden's big second, second birthday party back at home in a day and of course our Maine trip in late July. We had lots of work with to do as well as castings,, lifeguarding, patients and the usual stuff. We stopped on the way back from SQ at Escondero Beach Resort for a little walk to stretch our legs. We ended up staying a day and scored some great pools/jaacuzzi for us to play in and a kitesurf session for dad. Next year some SUP there as well. Aiden's local B Day party was a hoot. We got him a new scooter and he took to it like a bird to the air. Sarah flew off a few times to do shoots out of state and Aiden and I had some great guys' days. He is going to think life is about, pools, parks and beaches...snicker.. and then dad stays up all night working. Sarah and I know how to get stuff done while he naps and sleeps. Focus is everything... Go, go go... We did Portland while visiting Sarah's sister and Dad and the Dear Isle with Sarah's mom. We surfed,kayaked, kitesurfed, and swam in lakes, bays and the ocean, We played in the swing at Grandmas house and overall had a blast in Deer Isle and Portland Maine. Sarah and I did a gorgeous hike on Isle Au Haut. The boat trio out to the island is an adventure in itself. Sarah's mom was along on the boat ride and we had not actually intended to do the hike but she insisted and we last saw Mom-Mom and Aiden with big smiles heading out on the boat ride back. This left us with five hours to hike the island and hop in the refreshing waters. We had a fantastic summer. Talking to Sarah last night, after putting Aiden to bed, we decided with a chuckle to just carry this summer along into the next one. There really is no "winter in California" You just wear more clothes and talk about next summer while skiing or snowboarding. Ain't life grand?

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Eggs, Schedule Reboots and New Kite Toots.

Work responsibilities and family visits sometimes blend with Mother Natures weather smoothie to produce a totally different blend than expected. This Easter was scheduled to be a San Quintin blow out but the forecasting computers had something to say about that. Throw in booking a job locally and Sarah and Aidens' trip to visit family in Maine and I end up here in So Cal testing a few new Peter Lynn Escape kites in between other work while my family is in Maine.

When you book a job in the industry, everything else has to wait as you basically go on five job interviews a week plus year round to book just a handful of these jobs. Add in the classes, prep work, memorizing scripts, etc and Sarah and I are pretty darn busy. Of course the other jobs like running Happyinsurf,, our health care practices and meeting the demands of our boss Aiden takes all of our time plus. Sarah had to take herself and Aiden to the airport as the second and third call backs for a job came at the exact time that I was to take them to the airport for their flight to visit her fun loving family in Maine. It is very strange not having my family around. I really do miss them.

Stoked to have booked the job but had to call a few remaining friends that were still wanting to go to San Quintin despite the not so favorable forecast and tell them that I had to pull the reserve chute on the trip. To be rescheduled for the last week in May. They understood and were happy with the new plan. What i did not expect was great wind for two days here and then a third light wind day to test the larger Peter Lynn eclipse 13 meter kite. Vic came through to help me check out an old PG wind of mine as well and replace any worn bridling. Want the SQ ridge soaring to be smooth and safe as ever.

The eleven meter has huge range and covered the 14 to crazy 30 mph stuff that was thrown at us. Very solid and good turning canopy with great grunt and gust absorption you would expect from the shape but with much better turning. The kite just drifts down the line well with no stall. A kite, like the Peter Lynn twin skins, loves a very efficient board with the controllable apparent wind build on demand. On the first day we had nice shoulder high remnant waves from the last south swell and 10 to 20 mph winds starting on the light side. The 11 had lots of grunt and enough speed to get out there when most others could not. The board of course was a big part of the equation but this is one heck of an efficient kite. One lighter weight fellow was using the same size kite with a SUP board to add perspective.

The third day was under the 13 m and the other two kiters who were leaving the beach when I arrived, said "forget about it, there just is not enough wind" It was the Topanga almost there sort of wind with top end at 15 sporadically but mostly in the 10 mph zone with puffs to 14. Put up the 13 and it whipped me upwind in no time. This kite has a lot of surface area and is still relatively good turning kite for a flatter, high projected design. Took some little knee high waves down looping and it resisted stall when surfing towards it. This is light wind stuff and the beautiful solo session was much appreciated and makes me want to keep this 13 in my quiver. Can't wait to get my wife under the 11 m as it is a very stable and forgiving kite for an LEI flat design. Easy relaunch, predictable power delivery, total depower on a good long throw bar and with effective safety.

We are excited about our new line of mens, womens and kids clothes, that we have ready for pick up just after this holiday for Happyinsurf. We have our happy guy surfing, snowboarding and SUPing with of course our skiing designs both cross country and down hill waiting to grab onto winter garb on demand. We are very happy with the response the clothes are getting from those that have seen the protos and will have a line sheet up on Happyinsurf site soon. It's all about being happy out there in the surf, slopes, air and trails.

Sarah, Aiden, her sister and family have been sending some great pictures of the gang over this Easter Holiday and sounds like Aiden is participating in an Easter egg hunt this morning. Here's a picture of Aiden sliding along in his Peter Lynn kitesurfing gear and a shot of me under the eleven meter escape at North Beach Leo a couple of days ago.

Aiden Sarah and a few friends took our little ones on their first camping trip up at Sycamore Cove a few weeks back and had an absolute blast even with the huge downpour on our last day. Sarah got her first tandem PG flight and thermaled up over the Santa Monica Mountains and ridge lifted down the coast. Absolutely stoked on her thirty minute flight with a beach landing.
We have been taking Aiden on heaps of Mountain Bike rides in a tow along trailer and it won't be long till he is riding with us. His second birthday is on June 2nd. We hope to be celebrating the week before in Baja and the week of here.

Happy Easter everybody and lets get some water time this summer together!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Come do our Easter supervised kite tour/lessons in Baja

We have been taking groups down to Baja forever on annual lesson and guided tours for kitesurfing and before that windsurfing wavesailing and surfing. There is always more to add in like stand up paddle lessons and even paragliding off the sand dunes for some. We don't do the twenty trips a year we used to do but still do the annual classics. This is a perfect opportunity to move to the next level in your kitesurfing, be it learning to go down the line in the waves to just learning to get on top of your board. These days, we base our trips on the number of people who respond and not just heading down irregardless as in the old days. Family and commitments sure change things. Last years early season Baja trip had amazing wind and Sarah and Aiden had a blast as well. Funny how much fun you can have outside of kitesurfing down there. We did great hikes in the sand dunes, surfed, stand up paddled, landboarded and this time did not have a paragliding wing along for the trip. Odds are we will bring one along for the next trip. We had a fantastic and very affordable babysitter at the hotel which gave us huge opportunity to do crazy stuff like eat a non disturbed dinner...gasp... OMG... unbelievable. The marriache band even entertained him for an hour one night and let us eat in peace. Man... Do we love Baja... My wife want to go back on our sons birthday in June (he's going to be 2) and her birthday on the Fourth of J, as she likes it so much and does not even kitesurf...yet...... She will be getting some lessons this year.
Hope to have you along on our trip. We have different rates depending if you are and absolute beginner requiring constant one on one attention or at a clinic level/ guided tour level. You can contact me at 310-774-6535 for these needs, equipment needs, etc.
You can reach instructor Tom Mc Gill at 818-378-5679 as well. This is the spot to get your wavesailing going without the rock dance.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Angulo inovations, wind public relations and reggae radio stations

The name Mark Angulo is marinatated in years of admiration amongst us old surf/ wavesailing windsurf and now kitesurf salty ocean crowd. We used to see him when visiting Maui to wavesail there or Jhone's over one of his custom wave shapes at our local beach in Malibu or up at the J/Central Coast or Santa Cruz that a friend had scored. Mark always was innovating and ahead of the curve on what he would throw down in the waves with some wind in his sail. It came as no surprise when my bud Klaus, who is also an old windsurfer and now a die hard kiter started adding Angulo kite board shapes to his board room full of Angulo SUP boards etc. His Angulo SUP is his all time favorite wave board and incorporates some very cool bonzer tech. I tried that one and it certainly impressed me. I was able to test some of his early designs in kiteboards as well and witnessed the early planning of his customs for our very large friend who needs some real interplay of proper rocker, outline and volume to get going in our local flukey Ca winds. The boards just plain worked. He was trying all sorts of crazy rail designs, etc in the early models and came up with some very solid boards and yes they worked in the surf.
I have always been working on the best combinations to get out wave sailing in the light stuff and am gravity challenged myself. We have routinely tested all sorts of large kites and board combos to get the earliest planning. In windsurfing the racing domain breakthroughs in technology in which Angulo was one of the masters, led to more efficient wave boards for the light wind surf application. Lots of us missed some of that as we had traded out our twenty years of windsurfing for the kite boards about 12 years ago. It seemed logical then to keep and eye on what was happening in the kiteboard racing circuits as light wind is what races are often held in and kite tech alone wont get you out and winning races. Some of this tech would have to translate to feeding our wave and wind addictions. Low and behold, it just came to my attention that that old windsurf wave ripper and shaping genius Angulo came up with a series of kitesurf race boards so damn efficient and fast that in the prelims of a recent race they literally ran circles around everything else in the field. The superiority of the designs were so evident that the kitesurf racing board forbid access of the new rockets in the event. This is like a Ferrari showing up at the riding lawn mower race around a formula one circuit. Guarantee there are heaps of shapers out there trying to copy the breakthroughs Angulo came up with and will try to get them into the race circuit tech specs. We all know however that the perfect combo of rocker, fin placement, volume distribution, etc is not something you can copy... Well without a laser scanner and a board to copy anyway So hats off to our hero Mark Angulo. Word is some of the specs from his break through race board has been passed along to a board that you can race and ride waves with... Now does that mean changing out the race fins or... is the shape a hybrid... not putting any pictures on yet but Klaus does have on order and he is going to let me take it for a spin when it comes in.

There have been a bunch of great C Street Ventura wind and wave days during Santa Anna Switch today.. Wish i could be there.. as well as just clearing gradient winds up there and of course at the J. Cool to have kite bros to give me the story and vicarious highs of great surf and wind days up north. Was able to get up to County between baby duty and jobs last week for a few hours of heaven, first on the 09 PL tube kite proto which is now far updated to be the new Peter Lynn Fury and then sizing way down as the wind went ballistic to throw up an old six meter Eclipse Kima. The little craigslist quad round tail SOAP surf board I have been surfing in slop down here was the ticket in the up and down slamming gusts and was super possitive off the top and bottom. The thinner board round tail means less early planning but great all around and far better than most strapless rides. The old trusty Surftech Xanadu 5'10 repaired a million times and with it's hundredth set of fins is still the light wind go to till we give Angulos board a whirl and the only strapped boards for those really out of control days are an old step railed Mark Angulo round pin of Klaus's and the old trusty six four underground thruster of yesteryear also with about a bazillion rock and skull induced repairs.

This is the year my wife picks up kitesurfing with our instructor Tom doing the honors this time as teaching your own wife is really not a good idea and hopefully that little fireball Aiden will be up on a board soon as well. The little guy is running around nailing that soccer ball at 18 months and lovin reggae music, blues, rock, or anything else that can get his arms gyrating. Looks like disco is the favorite right now with Parlaments classic tracks giving him a full body contorsions worthy of a crack addict on electro shock therapy.. So basically he dances like dad... Dooohh.. Sarah gets a laugh out of that. Here is a shot of him with the trusty bottle and soccer ball as well as on a sponge at the creek that leads into our old Sycamore Cove Beach lifegaurd headquarters area that painted so many great memories on the gray matter canvas of this mildewed brain.

We were able to take Sarah's mom and step dad up for paragliding flights tandem off of the Santa Barbara mountains during the holidays and it really did give them a huge rush. Some of us take the adrenalin stuff for granted as it has been in our veins since childhood. Nothing beats seeing the grin on loved ones face when they do their first flight off of a mountain under a canopy or do their first run on a kiteboard. A bit of single track for a newbee mountain biker or even a first body surf splash in the ocean for your infant puts the biggest smile on this mug. Sharing the stoke is certainly what it is all about.

Good wind, surf and innovations everyone and hopefully see your out in even lighter winds in the surf sooner than we thought. Spring is just around the corner and with them clearing winds and surf.. YEAAAHAAAA!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ocean Eye, a happy train guy and a few kites in the sky

Our old buds Klaus Obermeyer and Michelle started a great organization (Ocean Eye) with one hundred percent profits going to the sea life currently in the most danger and into organizations that won't squander the proceeds. Got to hand it to them, they really know how to help out what we love the most. Good old Mother Ocean. Klaus and M were diving off of Tahiti and shot a beautiful picture of a Gray whale coming up below them. Klaus is of course very well known for his extensive motion picture and still photography work world wide. He had the picture of the surfacing Gray done in paint on canvas and will be selling the beautiful very large paintings for 2500 a pice to raise money for the oceans. The Ocean Eye logo is very cool and like our Happyinsurf guy...very happy.
Got a cal from a very nice fellow who we spoke to years ago at Monkey Air regarding PL twinskin kites and our use teaching with them all over, including off our old teaching boat up at Lake Mohave. Cal had moved to Oregon for a while but the cold chased him back to Mohave so now he was ready for the newest latest greatest Charger from PL. Excited to get an arc going on those fun warm waters again this summer. Vic got his new ten meter from me a few weeks ago and is very happy with it as an all around with his Underground directional. He hopes to head down to San Quintin with the rest of the gang like we did for so many years over the Memorial Day and the other summer holidays with a heap of students and wave sailing clinic attendees in tow.
It was a load of fun taking our eleven month old son Aiden to Travel Town in Griffith Park to see the same 1800 and 1900 trains I was so fond of when I was just a little guy like him. Sarah and I climbed into the cabs and walked all round these timeless pieces of engineering elegance with Aiden pulling levers, playing engineer and just plain old having a great time. When we took him on the train ride just as the park was closing, you would think his grin could light up the world. We took Aiden to our favorite Itallian restaurant in Brentwood after the great day and enjoyed some fantastic vegan pasta and dunked pieces of the soft bread in Aiden's baby food as a special treat for the not so little guy.
Some solid clearing winds came through yesterday and I was able to get down late in the afternoon to launch out in front of Klaus's place and kite with he, Michelle, and some of the crew for a bit. There was not a lot of surf but the PL tube kite once again showed it's fantastic range as the wind went from the higher twenties to the mid teens and pulled me into a few little bowls south of headquarters and in front of K's house. The more someones life plate becomes, the even more significant even a moment in the ocean becomes to balance the spirit and lift ones energy. After the session, Klaus and M took me inside to show me the beautiful new whale painting on the wall. It must be four feet wide by three feet tall. What a masterpiece as the vague outline of the whale comes into sharp relief with the pectoral fin in the changing hughes of the sun dabbled water. Had to stand there and stare at it for a few moments before racing home to the wife and baby for a nice walk out to the gorgeous Pacific Palisades bluffs with Aiden laughing and talking up a storm in his stroller overlooking the alternating color ferris wheel lights on the Santa Monica Peer, headlights on PCH far below and the millions of lights outlining the PV peninsula heading south. We did not get the little guy into bed till ten thirty and he thought he got away with the biggest coo ever. A casting for he, mom and myself this morning, had him trying to sleep in needing the prodding of a good bottle of warm soy milk to get him paddling out the door.
Good winds and here's a few shots of the days adventures.