Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Salad Bowl went OFF!!

Got back from my casting and had planed on a bike ride this morning but the wind was averaging 15knots by 11 am.. Had to race up to see what Mother Nature was giving us. The towers were flying the no kite flags but the north end of County was showing a bit of left over south swell with a new wind swell push from the west and nobody surfing it!!! Mo snuck up behind me on the County overlook and after telling how good Avalons (Salad Bowl) below Deer Creek looked, we raced down to his place below El Matador and droped of his truck so we could have a return vehicle and scored an epic three hour down winder with some great waves at Salad B,County for an hour, Staircase, Harry's house, Honaroos,etc. Drove back up to Salad B to see far more wind and solid nine meter conditions but it was to be the first day of our local Malibu pool to be open for lap swim, so avoided the temptation only to find the pool not open yet do to chemical imablance problems...Doooohhh..... The three hours were cool and I got to do dinner with a funny friend from New York.

Yesterday was perfect 12 m synergy conditions alone at the Slot and worked West to Staircase. Ali, Mo, Billy Wilson on his pole board showed when I was leaving after three hours and proceeded to kite till dark. It is wierd breaking the old habbit of staying out till the wind quits, but have actually been acomplishing a lot when not hanging with my girlfriend, the Pacific Ocean quite as much. snicker....Happy Aniversary to Katherine and Kramer. The get together at the Malibu Cantina was a blast and their kiteing bud from Hi Holly was a lot of fun and hopefully will be along on our next Baja trip with Mike and Sue Flanagan plus the usual motley crew of wave and wind afficionados.

Vic got some good paragliding with Bill in the desert at a well known launch and claims it is to work almost every day of the summer with great launch and landing zones. Early day is a bit too large and can stuff pargagliders over the back so is hang gliding time however later afternoon settles down and is 15K foot thermal wonders. Hard to break away from the good local wind and surf conditions to paraglide inland but might have to do the two hour drive out to hit the spot. The Eagle crew has been heading out there a bunch and scoring it is the rumor.

Have fun everyone.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

6 Days of Baja

Wind every day for kitesurfing and good paragliding each morning, a bit of surfing with evenings spent in the sand dunes with the gang under a full moon. Beautiful conditions for John B, Paul,a few San Diego kite buds, Mara and myself. A last minute phone call to Paul got him driving M down for her lessons. Thanks Paul.

Mara's kite skills improved dramatically after a session on the land board with the 12m synergy. We took turns landboarding with the combo over the trip and had a ball. Her aptitude for the sport is clearly evident and having spent time in Cozumel with some kite instruction in smooth trades a year ago didn't hurt. The next thing we knew, she was making her transitions with just a few minutes of coaching and getting a few waves while participating on our long down winders. She is our refer to surf instructor, so, figure she has a lot of water skills under her kite harness, scuba tanks,etc. Mara is fluent in Spanish and became our MonkeyAir postergirl for the trip with her fun bubbly attitude and hitting it off with the locals. The beach was basically empty except for our vehicles and 6 mile downwinders with inumerable lip smacks the norm.

What a great trip. Here are some shots we got of Mara and the gang showing a bit of landboarding,the showers at SQ with Fidel and crew, Old Mill restaurant and a shot from the air of the point I was surfing. I got home last night to find some great surf and word of some wind and ten people getting stuck on the outside yesterday with their kites at the slot when the wind died down. Watch for the wind suddenly backing off if out at the slot. Best bet is to stay close to shore at the north end of Nicholas if you are not wave skilled. Have fun. Hope to get you along on our next wave clinic trip down to Baja. Summer is for fun!!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Bike, run paraglide kite. Fun

Four hours on the road bike pushing canyon hills in the heat Saturday and then just a blip of wind showing. Got a bit of kiting on Thursday and Friday by waiting till the late evening for wind and putting on the running shoes or sand tire feet for the running workouts. Wish the local pool was open for lap swim.

Four paraglide flights yesterday with fantastic thermals booming over Neal's house below the 1350 and cross countries into the mountains south with returns back to the coast to ridgelift to County Line. Neal got so worked up with us hollering at him and flying over his house, that he grabed a bud and raced up to launch to join us in the air. Spiraled into County on one instance to kill all the alititude and found a nice open spot to landin on a Sunday. Anoush was coming out of the water on a surf and we got to trade some great kitesurf stories of the last week with the south swell. The guard in the tower was an old junior guard student of mine and cool with the landing on the beach. Vic and I landed there a second time later in the day and my old bud/LG sup Bo said to not do that one on weekends. He also turned me on to a lap pool in TO while our Bu pool is being repaired. Cool, and will go there today after an oil change and TJ green machine fridge refill.

Good solo session up at Deer Creek after the paraglide with the 12 trix on 20 m lines and the rear adjustment of the bridle making a big difference with added grunt and even more stability for a tube kite. Gary from Ventura showed a bit late and offered to give me a ride back from County to do a downwinder. I took him up on it and realilzed that I could have spent a couple of hours down there as it was just starting to fade there as well. Oh well, the three hours at Deer were great and no complaints. The waves at County were still excessively flooded from high tide then anyway. Need to sell the lightwave board and Surftech McCoy lazer zap with straps and pads to a lighter guy so I can test some other fish. My Xanadu fish is ready to find a new home at a good deal. Might just replace that with the same, however, there is a very cool balsa laminate fish that caught my eye. hmmmm? Only strapless these days and want to experiment with other boards as usual. Been like that experimentning with boards since nine years old and surfboards from garage sales.

Klaus got his new trix 12 here and wants the bridle modded and Bayless and Mo are doing the simple bridle adjustment to test the efficacy of the strings in that configuration. Always surprising to see what a small adjustment will make. Hope everyone out there is having a fun summer. I have a few new syergy kites in here from the shipment last week if anyone needs one as well. 10, 12 and 15.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Back to work....

On return from a great Baja trip, it was time to go to work for three days and miss the smoking local winds at Leo. At least the swell was not up to add to the torture. Was able to go to the gym, run soft sand six miles and do the push up sit up bit of my lifeguard days at each tower prior to the first day of work and then it was two days of long hours but laughing my ass off. The gal who was paired up to play the maid in the bit was incredibly talented and had a fake Russian accent that had the entire crew howling with laughter.. She grew up in a small R town with a couple of chickens and a pig...and on from there with the joke lines... Lots of people thought she was really Russian. I was playing the scumbag rich hubby who was chasing the maid around. Crack up and totally out of character for my persona but got great laughs going through the motions. Now I know what those gold chain,caviar, club type "tragically hip" no morals type of guys feel like. Ha, ha..Guess some gals are actually atracted to those scumbags. Hopefully they did not take my character to be my real persona.. That would be horrible but playing the character took my thoughts off the usual sports and more towards how that gal got to be such a darn good actress in the few years she has been here from Florida. It's simple, focus, focus, hard work and stay focused on what she liked to do the most. No leaving the city and keeping her sports to the gym and jogging at the local park. As in kitesurfing, distance running, swimming, surfing, biking,paragliding or any other endeavor, what makes you better is time spent immersed in it. If you enjoy doing something enough and if you have the additional cognitive stimulous as she did in her work, so much the better and rewarding. Years away from doing stand up and a bit of a recluse has me rusty in that area. Hitting town again and classes as before to hone the skills. She was a great motivation. After seeing a patient in the morning it is workout, teach kitesurf and study.. Motivation is a great thing.

We have had fun wind every day this week and I have been popping out at Deer Creek after the morning run or bike/errands/work to go on down winders to the slot. It is summer rules on weekends and John R. (head lifeguard at Leo) told me he was considering a total ban of kiteing anywhere in the County to Leo area before five on weekends or weekdays when the no launch flags are up on the towers. Launching elsewhere and just staying off the shore was always ok in years past. Hope he does not go with that. I was the only guy out on Sunday as I started at a different spot and worked my way down. He pulled up with the light bar going and we chatted a bit. He said, you look like you are having fun as usual Traig but will magnet people in by being out. He smiled and said "go have fun and finish your sesh. So it was a run down to the Slot and hopefully he will be cool with alternate launches and a shlog down to the wind line at North Beach as long as we stay off of the beach when the people are there. Will see. His big worry is the influx of kiters in the surf lineup at Secos during a large south swell. These conditions at Leo are of course what we live for year round here in Bu. The number of kiters and bonehead rulebreakers in our ranks and those of the windsurfers and one very vocal and complaigning poleboard rule breaker with no wave ediquite and a knack for whinning to the guards about wanting right of way on all waves over kiters, etc. has changed our playing field and threatened both sports. Follow surf ediqute rules and be safe.

The sky and water have been magnificent colors and the porpoise were jumping two feet from my kitesurfing student today in the Leo area do to the huge school of bait fish that have been at our coast section the last few days. Sharon did great in his lesson and was up on his board. Hopefully get him up again tomorrow. Even a job loving fertilization specialist Phd Md. can find the time to sneak out to learn. It has been a month since flying his venom last but he is going to increase water time now after fun of this lesson. The stoke on the dude's face today was priceless. Teaching lessons can certainly be rewarding that way.

After the lesson Frym and a lot of other kite buds rolled up for a kite session in nine meter conditions. The no strap 6'4" Miranda was under my happy feet. Once again trying to not use straps.... ever. The week down at SQ resulted in no knee pain, do to lack of jumping and just doing the old waveriding strapless as has been my favorite for years but hijacked by the frequent Jhonesin for jumps and of course the necesary lofts over set waves... No more straps for me. Might have to get a reel leash..gag....to save the old styro surfboard when in the rock zone of inside Leo Slot or County.

See ya on the road, trails, sky, water or sand. Be cool to put space in there... Maybe when those space shots get affordable for us normal schmoes. Live life, forgive, forget, formulate fun and move on. Can't wait for the next SQ trips surf downwinder. You can hit more lips in one day than Mohamid Ali did in his career.. Fun, fun, fun with no straps and a board friendly sand beach...

Oh, here is a quick shot from work and that very talented actress who actualy managed to smile after being stuck with me..Told you she was good at her craft.