Sunday, October 30, 2005

Repeat, repeat, repeat!

Man o man... it was a great weekend. The wind was perrrrrfect. Just purrrrrfect.

Saturday, Oct 29, 2005
I arrived at Zuma around 3:30pm and it had just clicked on. Sue went out on her 16V as did I. And I was LIT - so lit that I had to come back in and get my smaller kite. The 13V was what I rode for the rest of the afternoon. Yeee-hah! And even at certain times, I was overpowered on my 13V. Just for the record, the 13V is my favorite kite. I'm still scared of my 10V because it turns too fast for me right now... :-\ (Yes, it's retarded. I should be used to it by now.) Geralt and John showed up soon after, and we all rode til sundown. I tried to practice my toeside but didn't feel comfortable since the wind was so strong.

It was a great day though. Everyone had fun, perfectly powered on their 13 (me) and 16s (the rest of the guys out there). Just perfect.

Sunday Oct 30, 2005
I looked out at the trees and it was moving at around noon! (Yippppeeee~ it's gonna be another great day!) But Ikitesurf showed only 8 avg at Leo. I was tempted to go to C Street which was showing 6-16 with 11 average. C Street had been blowing since morning. But I decided to wait til Zuma came up since the wind line was reporting 8-12 with 10 average. I caught a ride with Vic up to Leo from Zuma and rode there since it was blowing stronger there than at Zuma. What a great call... PURRRfectly powered on my 13V, I was. Just perfect. The wind blew like Mother Nature was really blowing on Leo - really steady at around 15. Vic and Michelle were on their 16Vs. I made my way up to Staircase from Leo where Vic was kiting, and tried to make my way up to County where I saw Morgan heading up to. Too bad the wind started to die out at this point and the sun was almost down. I decided to head in and down the beach on my toeside. WeeeeEEEeEe~~ :-D

Another perfect day....on my 13... :-)

If only everyday blew like this. And if only I could leave work at 2 instead of 5... Sigh... This work thing is really getting in the way of my kiting. And thanks to day light savings, I now have to settle for only weekend kiting.... Darn it...

Monday, October 24, 2005

I love my 132...

132... yes, I love my 132. My Underground FLX 132, that is.

I went down to Topanga with Kitemonkey yesterday. I must admit - I was pretty pessimistic about getting wind. All the forecasts called for nothing. NOTHING, NADA, ZILCH! Kitemonkey and I arrived at Topanga and the wind didn't look so promising either - although I did see REALLY SMALL whitecaps on the outside. Kitemonkey, being the addict that he is, rigged and went for it on his fish and V19. I, of course, waited to see how he did. Downwind he went (bub-bye - now, I'm thinking that I need to drive down and get him). And then... the wind clicked ON. I filled my kite, and got Geralt to launch me (thanks, Geralt!). Hairy launch too - high tide and all rocks from the houses down to the water. Since it was my first time kiting at Topanga, I wasn't sure where I should get in the water. So I randomly picked a spot (eenie meenie mynie moe) and got in. Up on the board I went and zipped upwind... (woohoo!) I was nicely powered on my 16 Venom with my FLX 132. Sigh... I love my FLX 132. If I was on my Caution board, I don't think I would have done as well. Where IS everybody? It was just me and Kitemonkey kiting, and a bunch of surfers. I thought that Geralt would come out to kite for sure, but never showed up. About an hour later, Fred came out on his 17 Speed Flysurfer and was doing well. And then the sky started looking gloomier as if it was about to storm, so I got out, satisfied with my session. Always best to avoid the possibility of getting killed by a lightning bolt striking me down.

Heh heh heh... I wonder if anyone else got a sesh yesterday...

Just can't lose

Heidi and I had planned on going surfing but the trees moving in front of our house had us heading south to Topanga for a possible wind and wave sesh rather than north to Zeroes for a purely surf sesh. As we were driving south, we passed Ali and Noush heading the other way and the cell phones rang... "What do you mean your heading south??", they said. We just came by there going north and it looked really marginal at best.... Well the pager said 10 mph average and we were being optimistic and decided to head south. "Call us and let us know how the surf up there is and if it isn't blowing with waves down at Topanga, we will head north and meet you guys...." Heidi walks down to the beach with me and immediately makes a large point of the three micro-caps visible on the horizon that could well be seagulls or styrofoam coffee cups, but I am looking for an excuse to rig and we charge it...

Great session on my 19 V with the fish surfboard and Heidi was lit and ripping it up on her 16 Venom and 132 FLX.... Wish I was light... Heidi kited till exhausted and a couple of guys came out to join us on their 17 Flysurfer speed and 21 P but stayed way upwind out of the wave zone. My lifeguard bud TR got on the PA to make sure I reminded any of my friends that came out into the water to stay away from the surfers. Good on him... Heidi and I got heaps of waves but stayed well away from the surfers in the section south of the close out peak.

A big grin and a shower under the tower ended our session. We walked across to our favorite Thai restaurant Cholada to have dinner and call Ali and Noush to see how they faired... Ends up there were only three other guys surfing the main peak at Z and it was rocking... So all four of us scored and nobody got bragging rights. Just couldn't lose yesterday despite the gray skies that looked to be jinxin' any chance of wind... Ended up going up to around 14 average down at T. Never give up hope and watch the meters. Lots of spots only last an hour or so during the winter, so you have to be on it.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Light wind small surf blast

Went down to meet Ali and Anoush at our Monkey Air / EN Kiteboarding office (Cholada Thai Food) at Topanga two hours early yesterday as I had heaps of stuff to study and kill time. To my surprise Topanga was showing 11 mph and gusting to 13 on the pager. The new 11 meter sonic was in the back of my car to test but the low wind reading nudged some electrical activity into the gray matter in the 19 V with 5'10" no strap old school fish direction. Only three surfers out and the chest high sets looked good. No white caps made anything but a 11 m GB sonic test flight seem impractical. With the Sonic in its bag and on my back, something strange happened. A bit of venom vacillation freed the 19 V from the mildew madness confines of the Isuzu’s bedroom/gear rack and jumping of the sand and into the air in a flash. Just couldn't be bothered with pumping an lei, even if it was the new latest and greatest. There was just enough wind to get an hour and a half sharing glassy waves with the three surfers under the familiar and well used 19v.

Something we noticed about eight years ago when we rode long board surfboards with no straps and kites, was how receptive the general surfing public was to the kite sport. Add straps and the grumble faces would start. Levels of separation, I suppose… Yesterday's session had the three surfers hooting and smiling at the use of a standard fish surfboard with a ram air kitesurf kite. When asked by one of the young surf gals in the water about the equipment, she had deduced that the tool for the job was certainly the kite. Nonstop waves with no sitting and waiting does put us in an enviable position. Just kite loop the 19 V on the 25 meter lines and make that section past LG headquarters you can't make surfing.

Having grown up surfing, most of us accept the use of a kite with a surfboard, as a natural evolutionary progression. An aggressive, wave starved, crowded surf spot local might not see it this way. If this sport was around when I was a 10 year old surf grom, my buds and I would have built kites out of old tarps if we had to. There is a weird dynamic here, where some seem to resist even things that are obviously fun as heck, just to preserve a misguided original perception… i.e. snowboarding as viewed by skiers back in the day. Several times these surfers royally snaked me on waves but I kept my gob shut and just smiled, hooted and spun around to get the next set on the outside. Kill’em with kindness they say.

Days like this generally attract beginner surfers who don't have the wave right of way concepts down. I was keeping a very safe distance from the surfers. We will often times go out and paddle surf with the crowd a bit and then go and get the kite. This is a sure fire way to get a bit more acceptance for the strapless surf sesh. Keeping a safe distance from the surfers while still lettin’ them know that the reason you are out there is to ride more waves, is an art in and of itself.

The good old fish surfboard has had a full summer of kite days and is starting to delam a bit.. Going to keep using it till the entire deck delams, then probably strip it off and re-glass the blank. A good styro constructed one like the 5'6" Randy French surftech/tufflite with straps or partial straps would be way cool but more green that could go towards yet another Mex wave and wind trip. Might just get Adrian at Underground to build a super duro, dream fish for us over here. Strapless is sick till it gets really choppy. This is when the 6'2" UG Miranda come out or the 5'8". The 19 V parked and just surfing the wave with a flat surfboard, is a nirvana that is bringing a new thrill to a bunch of the old time local kite crowd that had grown accustomed to tiny twin tips and mini mutants which are far more like wakeboarding than actually surfing. Light wind potential is through the roof for even a 195 pound lard arse like me with the 19 V and flat rockered fish… Life is good.

Got back to the car, killed a few million Topanga bacteria on my person with some fresh water and disinfectant, then walked across the street to meet my buds and try not to tell them what a great sesh they just missed... Failed at that miserably.....Ain't I a stinker...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Surf's up!

Monday, October 17, 2005

San Felipe caps off a long summer of great kitesurf trips

Our Mohave teaching trips this summer were a mixture of warm water and great wind. The Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day teaching trips had wind and waves as well as the numerous smaller Mex trips this season, so I guess it should be no surprise that Mother Nature let us score six days down in San Felipe and a wave trip on top with killer conditions last week. Maybe the karma bag lady decided to just dump a shopping cart full of recyclable stoke on Mother N’s front porch this year and she is just passing it on. Some of us have been fortunate enough to have been chasing wind and waves around this dirt ball in space for a lifetime and now get the ultimate rush vicariously, while watching progressing kitesurf groms getting their first wet kiss from Mother Nature in the form of the first down the line wave or boost in good winds. Sounds hokey and the stuff of after session double margarita mumblings, but it really does slap a joyous synapse in the old noggin to see a grom dip their face in the water and wind stoke endless grin salsa. Ocean adrenaline sports are as addictive as any three form pharmaceutical.

Two Santa Anna’s slipped through our caloused fingers as we tried to get students schedules to coincide with the El Nortes. Tom and I left four days early to get some before the students came and we scored heavy last Monday. Showed up in the leather skined gringo capital of Baja, to find that it had been blowing hard for two days prior to our arrival. We usually schedule our teaching trips down to San Felipe around the general three day cycle of the Santa Anna’s. This particular wind event caught the meteorologists with their heads in sand unfortunately. Trick is to leave and four in the morning on the day the wind event is to start. This way you are up and riding in a semi conscious state by 11 am the same day.

Strat and Michelle had the best day of their respective kitesurfing experience down there and are hot to go back. Each punched in three days of riding in both flat and wave conditions. Cheap sunglasses and localy purchases five clam, straw cowboy hats augmented shorts and rashy riding conditions of 80 degree water and 98 degree air. Fortunately our group did not include the baggy bottomed guy with the purple string bikni bottoms who was pointing it at all traffic admiring the gorgeous San F. view on the way into town. Not a good last thing to see on the side of the highway when heading towards dinner. We all ate a bit less that evening and drank a bit more. Gringo fashion fopaws, smiling locals, and loco fisherman with tall tales, go hand in hand to make up the mixed fish soup that is San Felipe and has brought us back with students chasing wind and good times for so many years now. Looks like we might be heading back this very weekend. The rumor is that Mother Nature is partial to tequilla and will be bringing wind with her.