Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Kramer Report S O B T/G '05

I will be posting the real story of south of the border thanksgiving 2005. You may have been thinking transgenders? Son of a..... Don't have time right now but....I shoulda had my D90,
TRV900 mini DV, .....I do have a shot of TraTrum jumping off a cliff...(I think he has his P-1).
SS....SQ...almost DOH gusting to 30...... Then 4WD nightime to SanFele to hide in a drained
swimming pool cause it was 30-40G........details soon...film at eleven. Kramer out

Monday, November 14, 2005

SF adventure.

I took a road trip to SF this weekend. I had no real plans but wanted to meet up with a friend. On Sat I had some time to myself and I went looking for an adenture at Stinson Beach (known for its great white sharks). On my way there as I passed through the Muir woods and Mount Tam (the birthplace of modern moutain biking), I thought of the adeventures that lay ahead. As I rolled through the Stinson parking lot the big picture of great white shark warnings in "6 feet of water" got my heart rate up. Unfortunately, there was just a 4 foot close out beach break and no real surf. So I kept on driving North, stopping at everyturn out and asking if there was any surf. As I followed the cars with surfboards I found myslef in a cool little town, with lots of stoned drunk hippies and artists on acid trips. It was like a time warp from the 60's. The road finally led me to a large river mouth and a great wide open estuary. One of the locals said the surf was peaking and it was the best day all year for the spot. My pulse rate was three times my IQ. I asked him if the water was cold and he said not really just in the low 50's (Ha ha). As the sun was seting, I scrambled for a parking spot and ripped out the 4/3 and hoody-rash. Excited for a great setion I slammed the tailgate door shut and went to get my keys from the from driver side........ Oh yeah. keys in the igni@$#$#$#tion. Nice!!! A middle easterners nightmare....no cell phone, no local friend or phone number, no money, no shoes, stuck in a 4/3 wetsuite with a hood in a hippie town full of drunks who really don't care about much of anything. Oh did I tell you that there are no signs or directions for this town since the locals tear them down to keep the tourists away. Anyway with some luck from the locals, AAA got there and got the door open. I made the mad dash to the beach and paddeled out into the line up. As the sun started to set and the full moon started to rise, and the light off shore wind dusted off the waves, it all seemed perfect.

Dear Mother Nature...

Dear Mother Nature,
We have to talk here. I was just fine on a 16 Venom and 142, nicely powered at Arroyo Laguna, when my bar got caught in some heavy kelp which made the kite go crashing down. I could have been shark food here! Can you please get rid of the kelp or at least, lighten the bunch at the good kiting spots? PULEAAAAASE???

And so it goes,... that was my story.
Traig and I went up to Cambria to kite. The forecast was em...err.. just a LITTLE OFF! It was supposed to be smokin' wind, man. What happened to the forecast?!!!@#!??! Even Vic and Paul drove up, believing in the forecast. I waited and waited for the wind to pick up. The original kiete addict was, of course, already out on his 19V and fish. I wanted the wind to pick up a little bit before I attempted my go-out. Sigh... And then I decided to borrow Paul's board since it was light (big mistake), and went out on my 16V and was completely lit on the outside.

On my way back in to switch to my 132 (I love my FLX 132, btw), I caught some kelp and faceplanted over the board. When I tried to get back to it, the kelp was so thick that I had a hard time to get upwind of the board. Then a BIG THICK kelp ball grabbed a hold of my bar and it was all over. ALL OVER. Kite goes down, I can't get it back up (yes, I suck), and I lose the board. Sigh.... There I am, drifting downwind, totally sharkbait. About half an hour later, Kitemonkey finally came to my rescue. But, I had to let go of my kite and bar to get in. At the end, I lost Paul's board, lost my SECOND bar, and gained some genuine hatred for kelp. Sure, kelp has its good points - such as keeping the water less choppy on the inside for a smooth kiteboarding ride, and... I guess it may have some nutritional value? In any case, I will now stay as far away from kelp as possible.

When will these lessons and "paying my dues" stop?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

SE wind dance.

The problem with cut off lows, is that they have a real mind of their own when it comes to producing their counter clockwise winds. The wind will blow just long enough to screw up whatever you are doing and get you to the beach for nada. This got me to the beach and in my wetsuit with two out and back runs, when the hour and a half of solid winds died. All the friends I was obliged to tell that it was blowing roll up to see me laying in the sand with an arc overhead in too little wind. One of these freinds yells to me that it is good at Zuma, so I roll everything up and zip my soggy self down to a no wind Zuma scene. A short drive home in the wetsuit and a quick change out gets me back to work on the computer to find...DOHHHHHH LEO IS BACK ON at 16mph... Find a dry seconds wetsuit with at least one good arm and race back up for an hour of fun before dark. It was a blast in the port tack conditions on my strapless 5'10" with the good old 19 V doing it's tractor act. It was well past dark, by the time the venom touched the sand. Who is going to believe I scored today after crying wolf earlier?? Sure was a beautiful evening with the striated clouds. The coast guard copter hung for a bit and must have thought once again what nut cases we are.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Pacific to the Cortez killer sesh

Well, shot down to the Pacific side of Baja to one of our secret favorite wind and wave spots, A mile from the beach, the telltale shaking trees gave away the fun to come. First sight of the ocean revealed a wave breaking on the outer reef with the lip giving in to the abuse of a side on wind.... OHHHHYEAHBABY!!! 13 to 16 mph average winds and a fish strapless to a strapped directional till odarkthirty. Camped in the car overnight the first night and got on it early the next day with my fish surfboard and then Miranda 6'2" Underground directional and the good old trusty Venom 19 M. Half way through the day, the wind lightened up a bit and I went in over the long river rock bottom at low tide to change back to my fish. A fellow was watching me from the car park and walked up to ask me about the sport in a very polite local way and told me he liked the show and would be watching me... He was watching me alright......Well he was not a local I was to find out and used my outbound tacks to use a crow bar on the back door of my trooper that was not in my line of sight. I started to get a weird feeling, seeing how close he had parked to my vehicle... On one particularly nice outside set wave, I notice a strange flashing of my cars light and realize BANDITO!!! A full speed run in and a jump skip a fly over 200 meters of rocks to get to my car and get a bad guy ensued. Unfortunately he saw me flying in and pulled out of the car park in his black Toyota Supra with large rear wing in a cloud of dust and cowardice inherent in thieves and low lives. Fortunately he did not gain access to my car but did set of the alarm and do significant damage to the rear door and totaled the lock mechanism with a screw driver. The goon took the time to take my only pair of croks from alongside my board on the beach... First time ever to sustain an attempted theft in local Baja after a lifetime of surf and wind sport related trips down there. The guy would never have given it a shot if I had not been on a solo catch the guy trip down there and out of view of my wheels. Realizing, I could not as his vehicles dust cloud was now long gone and by the time everything was collected off of the beach so said...heck with it... You just can't let something like that ruin an epic day. Went back out and got another couple of hour’s wave riding in glassy head high stuff down the line with just an occasional kite loop of the 19 V and loud hoot to the empty blue sky and watchful pelicans. Rolled it up around 4 to ask around the area in search of the banditos ride and after four failed attempts, drove over the dirt road cresting the Baja Peninsula to make it to our old San Felipe Santa Anna wind kiting grounds by nine. A margarita at a beach front restaurant knocked all memory of one bad Mexican apple out of my head and prepped me for a catatonic sleep at our local kite crash hotel.

My cuervo induced slumber was not broken till early morning, with the sound of a palm tree out side the window, getting clubbed like a harp seal by the strong Santa Anna winds... SHOW TIME!!!! Hoped in the car and raced over to the great little coffee/breaky shop for a quick fruit smoothie (sin letche) and took in a second story balcony view of the bay to see the wind situation. It was ONNNNN!! There are quite a few good kite spots in San Felipe and they range from ultimate butter conditions with screaming winds to a bit less wind six mile down winders in super fun surf...Yep SURF. It takes real wind to build good surf in the Sea of Cortez, but it does happen frequently over the shallow sand bars. .. Can't tell you how many buds told me I must be dreaming this up over the years, till they experienced a solid well overhead session of consistent waves during a six mile down winder and beg forgiveness... One of these doubters dubbed my spot "Double Apologies" as he apologized twice. Once to me personally and then in front of the gang and bought a round secondary to getting a sick lucky wave session on an only average local wind condition. It does not always get surf and specific tide and wind conditions must exist. We teach our students on our tours down in Mex the basics of what to look for. Spent the first day down there in some shoulder high little waves and had a ball testing the new Sonic 11 meter kite in some real winds. Great kite and a huge breakthrough for lei riders who want a more stable and rangy kite that eats gusts. A back to back with my venom emphasized the V's far superior stability and ease of use as with the other bows we have tried. Venoms are soft and will absorb the initial hit of a gust and then you can sheet out. A Bow kite gets hit by a gust (as does your body) and then you de-power... One less hit with a V...your choice... You still don't just let a BOW kite sit over your head while walking over knarly rocks etc as you can with an arc. They are great at de-powering but it is on and off. Experienced the same thing with the crossbows I have tried. There is a kite for everyone and I do like the bows and they certainly have a spot in our quivers. The sonic re-launches very well, and the bar is a delight in simplicity of design. The light bar pressure is fantastic on the sonic and the wind range is huge. For people who don't know the joys of Venoms.... this is THE bow kite..... For those who want a bit stiffer feel than the venom this is also a great kite...butt... Not the same power through the turn feeling in the light stuff as a venom. More power per size though with the large projected area. This is very cool. A few weeks on these kites and they will certainly only get better and better in my mind. The arcs are just so darn user friendly; it is very hard for me to pull out my leis/bows.

After four hours of going between these two toys, I decided it was time to high tail it to one of the most beautiful spots down there for a little glassy water wave and wind session. 80 degree water and 98 degree air allowed me to stay perfectly comfortable all day with just a pair of shorts and a keg of sun screen. The scene was right out of a Barbados travel brochure but this spot is only an easy six hour drive from Malibu Monkey Air headquarters. Great scenery and hours of wind filled my senses to a point of contended self mumbling... "This is sooo nice...sooo nice...Did I mention this is sooo nice??" Went to town for a great dinner and to buy a pair of local leather semi sandals, as duct tape does not cut it as stylish foot wear. The San Felipe Halloween costume scene would have given Pee Wee Herman the eebee geebees. Ghosts, gools and veggie burritos were followed by a nice large double scoop of lemon and lime sherbet sugar high, pancreas slap to keep awake on the drive back through haunted San Felipe to the camp. Went back and camped at my evening kite session spot to the sound of wind and a space ships view through my sun roof, of the Milky Way... Freaking awesome!!! Morning came with some little white caps way out on the outside, so a little time killing was in order. Knew going in that this was to be a bit lighter of a Santa Anna and some beaches get the wind line earlier than others down here. Rather than move to one that was already blowing, a stretch, good beach run, calisthenics were in order.

Tides are huge down here and what was dry when I started my run was four inches under water by the end. I jogged up to the trooper and yanked out the 19 V and fish surfboard with a strapped UG directional in tow, just in case... It sure looked light. Once overhead the pull was there and perfect little wind waves were peeling off of the sandbar to smack down the line strapless on the fish. A few hard gusts tugged me into the drink fishing lure style after an hour of this, and it was time for a board with straps. A local fisherman with a gringo client on board his boat was anchored 100 meters off the beach and after seeing the first jump were yelling for more in a very slurred local alcohol dialect.. Great little waves on the way in and ramps on the way out for the next four hours made for the conclusion of a very nice kite surf day.
The thought of responsibilities brought me to the beach, with the wind still shaking the palms madly and the green water wind speckled with huge white caps. There were paragliding lessons to attend back home with my buds. I said goodbye to a very nice couple from San Diego who have a place down there and are experienced with our kite surfing shenanigans. The prettier half of the couple is stoically working her way through treatment of her MS and is demonstrating good arm strength. I hope to bring her a small training kite to play with under her husband’s watchful eye on our next visit. They absolutely love to watch kite surfing and make a point to make us feel welcomed at this beautiful spot. A tank full of pemex and I was on the road back to reality with a four day birthday present to myself under my belt. What a great trip. Just missing a certain babe to have made it complete... It almost felt wrong getting it so good and not being able to share it. That is the problem with having a bit more flexible schedule. All your buds with nine to fives just can't escape when Mother Nature beckons. Try to set up Mother Natures schedule and she just laughs and spanks you. Got to try to manipulate work to maximize fun....errrr...yeah right.. More like, manipulate fun to get some work, sounds more like it.