Tuesday, January 03, 2006

GK Sonic kites, venom, vortex, vagabonds and paragliders

Holidays are the time of year to ponder in awe, the carring tolerance our friends/relatives (if they will admit to it) grant us.. Us, being the constantly surfing, kitesurfing, paragliding, mountainbiking, swimming, running, anysportavailable, "sorry I am swamped today.. Can I call you tomorrow morning honey?" etc. preocupied nutcases that we...or I am..Gotta project here. Guilt by association and all. December was a whirl wind of kitesurfing trips interupted by partial surf days turned mountain bike trecks and all night work catch up's to ship product while injured friends walked in the door in need of repair.
A few trips to San Felipe/La Ventana went down as well as umpteen days of paragliding training/high flights ( I stayed up thermaling for a couple of hours one day over the Santa Barbara mountains YAHOOOO. What a view of the Channel Islands) with the fantastic teachers up at Eagle Paragliding in Santa Barbara. John, Vic and I would show up at the training hills and fly untill we drove the instructors nuts with our seventh grade comedy show, then we would race away to catch the post Santa Anna NWesteryly twilight sessions up at C Street with our North County buds. You don't get much better winter treats than that unless your name is Hefner and the tree is surrounded by bunnies with excessive elective surgeries...
Yep life around Malibu included several huge swells with light winds only a venom 19 and a five foot ten inch fish surfboard would work in....Lucky me... Snicker, snicker... There were the open top, speed drives with the kite bunny (unmodified), to check out holiday lights, in a very high horsepowered and underweight canyon MonkeyAir sleigh...BaddddddSANTA!!!
We spent time testing the new Sonic 14 and Sonic 11. The 11 went back to back with the venoms down in a San Felipe trip as well as the 14 up against the venoms and c shape leis on a Barrilles/ La Ventana trip with as large a MonkeyAir goofball, holiday crowd you can fit into a remnted econo van and it's cup holders (lots of yoga) . The Peter Lynn kites are still THE king of stability and ease of use as a wonderful kitesurf/windsurf/ski couple watching from their balcony of the nicest home on the beach of Barriles noted. They just had to have my used 10 and 13 venom after numerous stability, relaunch, rescues of inflato users, kite/boards with our venoms, etc demos were performed. Evelyn has written us to tell us she has been able to use her 13 V in conditons in front of her place in Los Barriles that would have required two of her lei sizes. She used the venoms with absolute confidence and those leis are now for sale. Her husband and neighbors might soon follow suit. Ventana was fun and the GK sonic showed it's potential in jumping and cruising through a mega wind range. We had some great wave riding on a point break up here in Malibu with the kite just sitting at the edge of the window while riding a no strap board. There is no apparent grunt feeling with the sonic. All the power comes through your harness and it takes a bit to get the most from these kites. BOW/SLE kites are not hop on the first test ride and have it sorted, type of kites. These are a huge breakthrough for lei types of kites. The benefits stack up as you keep riding them. They love fast boards and apparent wind. The rave reviews from the European forums and every other maker comparing their new SLE kite to the Globerider Sonic is testament to it's performance and quality.
Jeff Burton and crew have been up at C Street and traveling around the globe riding the new Caution spitfire three's as well as testing a new SLE kite from Caution that should be out sometime in the next few months. Andy Santacruz out in Mainland Mex can't stop talking about his new five line caution spitfire on the group.
Underground kiteboards are building some of the most popular wave style directional kiteboards as well as twin tips on the market. Heidi requested a five foot eight inch UG directional to land under her Xmas tree with a guy painted on it...UUHHHHHHERRRRR>>> As we have beautiful Miranda babes adorning our boards, she thought it only fare to have a guy painted on hers. Now that board is a present and well...we....have to order it.. Makeing the order is bad enough, as inevitably the story would change between the shapers/glassers/painters at underground and soon word on the town would be that MonkeyAir had some sort of bondage, alternative, leather band practicing in it's corporate Malibu office... For the first time we told Heidi "NO!!!!" A Freddy Mercury looking character wearing only leather chaps painted on a fine UG directional was just too much.. She is getting the custom sixties flash colors and likeing it....:0) What if I had to carry her board to the beach?? Santa's elves had a bit of trouble with the idea of painting the mustachio'd dude on her board as well. So it wasn't just us.. Well there was one elf that wanted to do it...but he spends way to much time with the reindeer....Another story..
The Peter Lynn vortex 14 and 17 came in and out we went with crazy winds of 8 to 32 on the vortex's and venoms to test this week. The vortex 17 is a perfect beginner kite to intermediate ride and a great replacement for the old bomba. Beautiful graphics, great stability, much stiffer than the old bomba with all the extra cells and sharing venom technology. There are three adjustment points on the trailing edge strap inside the associated filling points. All articulated internal straps are now provided in between center cells and super cool enlarged diameter and high quality, short, new aluminum collapsing spars. All this in a bag with an enlarged kite sock, with zipper.. Good stuff.. The 17 vortex would be applicable to advanced guys for unhooked riding and great cruising/ hanging type jump kite. Lots more testing needed for final conclusion on this one. First test in crazy range of wind was quite good. The 14 is also a snappy turner and has our wave sailing bell ringing. This will be tested more this week and in the future. More time neaded to test these and Tom has the quiver in his paws now with our school while we are away testing the Venom 2's next week in Australia.
Another ten great days of wind waves, friends, excessive caloric intake and breaking of vegan dietary regimen came and went. It's all a blur of wrapping paper, bruises, sand in wrong places and poor water quality alerts in the Santa Monica Bay. Now it is off with John and Vic to visit all our kitesurf/lifeguard/surf buds all over the east coast of Australia and find every point break and vegetarian restaurant in Newcastle, Caulundra, Brisbine....etc.
It's the new year and somehow I never saw it happen, even though I was looking into a very pretty set of eyes when it did. When you are having fun, it is really hard to keep track of time and dates...
Happy New Year ALL and thanks for being our friends and travel buds..AND ok...put up with our stupid tricks......Pull my finger...common...go ahead...
Darn Christmas Burritos.......sin queso..